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Royal Reporter

Judi Evans on Her Return

Justin has been back in Salem for some time now, and he's made no secret of his affection for Hope. Strike that; he's in love with Hope. This became a little more acceptable and understandable when he was served divorce papers from Adrienne. Still, Hope does not like Justin like that and she believes he and Adrienne belong together. So she called Adrienne back to Salem, possibly hoping that if they were together, they would get together. "Hope called her back," Judi told us. "It's all Hope's fault! And Justin didn't know that Hope called her. She thought she was rescuing Justin, even though they're divorced, and ended up finding out that it was kind of a ruse. I think initially she was very humiliated. She thought she was there to help Justin. 'Hi, I'm here to save you. What? You don't ' Never mind! I think there's a part of her that certainly misses being a family and being together and he is the love of her life. But they are divorced."

Something clearly happened to tear them apart, but Justin and Adrienne had a fairy tale romance literally. He was the rich boy and she was the working class girl and, after many trials and tribulations, they ended up tying the knot in an over-the-top ceremony in Greece. While Judi enjoyed all of that romance, telling us that she particularly loved "all our weddings! The whole Greece trip and the wedding in Greece were just phenomenal," she believes "it's all about the story. The romance is still there. You can have those sweeping locations, but to tell good stories you don't need all that frou-frou. You really don't. A good story is a good story, whether it's on the street corner or up on film screen. I think it's even better because there's no distraction. It's all about the relationships."

And one of the things that make those relationships come alive on the screen is the quality of the writing, how it can capture not only the characters but the actors who portray them. Judi and Justin hadn't worked together in years and, as she told us, "we've seen each other at events and what have you, but we didn't even talk before I came back. And we did our first scene out on the stage and it was so weird, it was like it was yesterday. But the way they wrote the characters, too, they really matured them, they really caught the gist of what their relationship had been as opposed to what it is now. Wally and I kept marveling at how wonderful the writing is. And true to form, true to life, true to the characters. So it's really been wonderful. I'm very lucky. Very blessed!"

We might at some point find out what Adrienne has been up to since the last time we saw her in Salem. We asked Judi, and were surprised to find out that she has a full-time job! "I work at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Cemetery and Mortuary," Judi told us. "I actually just got promoted last December to family service counselor. I help people who've just experienced a loss. I help them through that transition period. It's really rewarding. One of the girls I work with, she explains it as there are three huge moments in your life: the day you're born, the day you get married and the day you die. So it's an honor to be a part of one of those times for someone and also to help the family through that.

"I needed something to do," Judi continued. "As an actress, you have to wait by the phone. I hate to say it, but it drives me crazy. I needed something that felt like I was giving back to society in some way. Raising my son is important, too, but he's getting older, he doesn't need me as much. I was sitting with my girlfriend on the beach one day and I said I don't know what to do! I don't have a college education because I was in soaps all my life. She said, I have a friend who used to work at Rose Hills. They loved it. You should check into that. I did and two weeks later I was there."

Judi Evans has always been full of surprises. This is just the latest. We can't wait to see what Judi and Adrienne does next.

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