Melrose Place {1992-1999}

Heather Locklear (Amanda Woodward, 1993-99) I had watched some of the episodes and thought how much I would have loved to be on the show but I thought I was too old. I was 30, and they were twentysomethings! Then I got the phone call to meet Aaron, and he pitched this role of my playing a businesswoman who runs an ad agency. I didn't know I'd be moving into the apartment building or buying it. Amanda was just developed as a strong character, so I put it in my head that these people were incompetent.

Star No one could play a bitch better than Heather. She gave me permission to go off the deep end.

Marcia Cross (Dr. Kimberly Shaw, 1992-97) I did one episode, and then they asked me to do another episode, and then another. It went on like that for a long time. Finally at one point, I got a call from my agent wanting to know if I could [do more episodes], and I was like, ''What do you mean, I'm dying tomorrow!'' I was driving off the cliff or something with Michael Mancini [played by Thomas Calabro, who declined to participate in EW's story and photo shoot]. But he said, ''No, they want to bring you back to life.'' Okay, great!

Locklear I was only supposed to do four episodes, so my manager negotiated me as a special guest star. Then it became 13, which turned into a two-year deal that I would renew all the time, but I stayed a special guest star. I got ribbing from the cast like, ''Oh, really? When is she moving out of the building?''

By the end of season 1, Amanda had purchased the Melrose Place complex, and the crazy really began in earnest. Star let his freak flag fly by keeping viewers in suspense (and stitches) with tales involving baby stealing, bombings, and boyfriends coming back from the dead.

Star We did 32 episodes that first season, so we had a lot of time to work out the kinks. It wasn't until around 23 or 24 that I felt like I was able to embrace the soap aspect. That was the guiding principle: Let's just try to do anything to keep the viewers hooked and entertained.

Bissett It was at its most popular when it went over the top.

Zuniga All that stuff with the baby! I gave birth, and then Kimberly starts to help me, then kidnaps the baby, then I get the baby back, and then it's kidnapped again, then Kimberly breast-feeds my baby. All I did was scream at people.

Bissett Jane almost married Richard Hart [Patrick Muldoon]. Then I killed him ... At least I thought I did. We put him in the trunk; we were out with our shovels and flashlights. And we dug a hole; we put him in it. And then his hand pops out of the ground.

Show I was shot at Shooters and was blown up in a boat. I did have many brushes with death.

Cross I had a crazy scar on my head. I wore a double wig. I breast-fed Jo's baby, blew up the apartment building. I did everything you can imagine, and every time I would say, ''Are you kidding me? I can't do this!'' But I did it all.

Locklear I thought it was funny that when the apartment exploded there was a cell phone in my boot that I could use to call for help. We all survived and then moved back in there, as if there was no other place we could live. We all hated each other, but we still mingled at the pool. Somebody move already!

Leighton Crazy was Sydney's normal. I wore miniskirts with white patent-leather go-go boots and my hair in a flip. I remember some blackmail experience with Amanda where I was in a Japanese kimono with chopsticks in my hair. I was crushing on Michael, so I broke into their apartment, tried on Jane's wedding dress, Jane and I fought, and I ended up in the pool — which makes perfect sense. I was also a stripper for a while.

Shue I really didn't [get to] enjoy the fun, campy stuff until year 2 or 3, when I turned into evil Billy and married Brooke [Kristin Davis]. I do recall being more on the straight side, serving as the emotional core. Though there was that whole stalker story line where Billy went up to Seattle to beat up Keith [William R. Moses].

Melrose lasted seven seasons on Fox, and served as a springboard for the cast's and creator's careers.

Star It cracked open the whole idea of doing nighttime soaps for TV. People weren't doing them. The thought of any kind of continuing story line was seen as cheapening the process. Closed-ended stories were the mantra.


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