Picture-Perfect Presidents

AS THE WORLD TURNS’s Dylan Bruce (ex-Chris), Terri Colombino (Katie), Ewa da Cruz (Vienna) and Austin Peck (Brad) got to play some very different roles in the January issue of CBS Watch! magazine: that of U.S. presidents and their first ladies! When the foursome were gathered in New York City on Jan. 16 at the appropriately named Capital Grille to celebrate the photo shoot, Soap Opera Weekly and Soap Opera Digest were there! Surrounded by poster-size copies of their gorgeous pics, the actors answered some not-so pointed questions about the experience.Weekly: What’s your favorite memory from the shoot?
Dylan Bruce: Probably the crew of the shoot and the editor of CBS Watch!, Jeremy Murphy. I had such a blast with them going out to dinner and hanging out after hours.
Terri Colombino: Everything we got to wear was incredible, these high-fashion couture dresses and beautiful jewelry by Chas Schwartz. I kept talking about pearls and how I loved pearls and I’ve always wanted pearls, and they gave me the pearls I was wearing. It was so unbelievable; nothing like that’s ever happened to me. So that’s a good memory, but just being with my buddies was such a good time.
Ewa da Cruz: There were a lot of favorite parts about the shoot, but I would say the photo on the staircase, for me and Dylan, something about the moment, stepping down the stairs…when I saw the picture, I was like, “We’re getting this; this is going to be good.” But I would say working with everybody — Dylan, Terri, Austin, the whole crew, everybody — it was just fun. You come to work and you laugh, and you leave laughing. It’s a good vibe.
Austin Peck: The production value that was put into it, the time and energy, the location, basically everything. Everybody was excited and full of passion and trying to make the best of it and taking something as seemingly artistically mundane as presidential moments, and bringing fashion and art and creativity to it.

Weekly: Okay, let’s talk about the photos themselves! Dish.
Bruce: [They] look close to real. I kind of look like [John F. Kennedy], and I don’t want to sound like a cocky jerk for saying that, because I know JFK is like American royalty, but Ewa! She’s the spitting image of Jackie O. It’s very cool; I love the shots.
Colombino: The one [of George and Martha Washington] looks like a painting to me; I love it. It was actually a happy accident. We’re not even posing; it’s in between shots. [The photographer] was setting up the lighting. We all saw the picture on the computer and were like, “That’s the one!” This is Martha and George Washington reimagined (laughs). They had a really good night.
Da Cruz: When I was told I was going to be [Jackie Kennedy], I was like, “Yeah! I wonder what they’re going to put me in?” So when I saw the dresses, I saw that they were going, “We’re re-creating the picture, but still giving it a very modern twist.” Because when you look at Terri and Austin [as the Washingtons]…(laughs). I don’t know about that. Maybe in their dreams? So the moment I saw that they were willing to take it a little further, I was very happy. Because if you look at the white dress shot, I’m pulling it up and it’s a lot of cleavage. I don’t think I’ve seen one picture with Jackie showing her cleavage like that.
Peck: Honestly, I will say that the George and Martha photo is my favorite, and it stands out from all of them. But you can’t match the beauty of Ewa and Dylan; if we had presidents who look that good, they would probably announce them [as] king and queen for life. I was just thinking, “I got some cool clothes; I got a beautiful woman,” and that’s as deep as I went (laughs).

Weekly: Do you have a favorite president, or one that just fascinates you?
Bruce: I am a big fan of Harry Truman; I just read Truman, the David McCullough book. Don Hastings (Dr. Bob) recommended it. Kathy Hays (Kim) loves [Dwight D.] Eisenhower and Hastings loves Truman, and we’re in the car one day and they’re like, “Read Truman and read Ike (by Michael Korda) for Eisenhower.” So I read that book and I absolutely fell in love with Harry Truman. He’s not even a college-educated man; he’s a farmer from Missouri. He pretty much lived the American dream that anyone could be president. And obviously, [I love] Barack Obama; it’s pretty awesome that he could be president.
Colombino: Ronald Reagan. He’s like the first president where I remember knowing what the president was and what he did — and of course, with him being an actor to begin with, he had such a charismatic way of relating to people. Of course, I was a child, so I didn’t understand it well, but I learned more about him throughout the years, and his love for his wife. Also, my grandmother passed away of Alzheimer’s, so I have an interest in him. He’s always been my favorite.
Peck: Teddy Roosevelt. A president like Teddy Roosevelt — speak softly, carry a big stick — that would go after the big corporations, and a president that was environmentally conscious, economically conscious, globally conscious…he really embodied those things, and I think he was incredibly eccentric, so he could relate to people in strange ways. I would like to see that type of president again.

Weekly: Who on WORLD TURNS would make a good politician?
Colombino: Oh, gosh…Liz Hubbard (Lucinda). She’s unbelievably intelligent. She knows everything about everything and she’s just so passionate about issues. She’s always talking about something, and she would make a good first [female] president.