Last Updated: June 10, 1999
SUNSET BEACH CHARACTERS:
The hottest couple on Sunset Beach isn't Meg and Ben, it's Sherri Saum (Vanessa) and Timothy Adams (Casey). While the couple share relatively few scenes, their offscreen romance has been going strong for almost a year.
"There was an attraction from day one, I'd have to say," Adams reveals, although he and Saum didn't officially begin dating until August of 1997.
"I was otherwise engaged," explains Saum, who was involved in a long-distance relationship at the time. "I was trying to be good. I concentrated on work and denied my feelings until I couldn't anymore."
If there was an instant attraction, what was it that they first noticed about each other? "I looked across a table in the waiting room of Aaron Spelling's office," New Jersey native Adams says, remembering the fateful day in the fall of 1996 when he first saw Saum, who had come to L.A. from Ohio by way of New York. "I saw this beautiful face and this full head of hair. I couldn't keep my eyes off her."
"Tim was the last person cast," recalls Saum, "and I saw him a couple of days before that at NBC. I saw him from the back, so I noticed his cute butt first."
"Are you serious?" asks Adams, genuinely surprised.
But when Saum finally saw the person in front of the buns (so to speak), she knew "just friendship" would be difficult. "Even when we hung out back then, I told myself it was completely platonic," she recalls with a smile. "But being in the same room with this guy - you can't imagine the feelings I had. So it wasn't very easy."
Adams went after Saum with all his heart. "I consistently pursued her," he admits. "I just wanted to spend time with her. Eventually, she broke down her barriers and became more receptive to my pursuing ways," he says. "I gave her all the attention I could possibly give her."
"As time went by, my walls were chipped," Saum explains, adding with a laugh, "I succumbed to his wiles."
"For his 30th birthday, he went to Thailand at the very beginning of August," she continues. "When he went away, I realized how much I missed him. I didn't expect to feel so strongly about him. And then he came back and we really started hanging out. It was destined to be like that."
While he was known around the set for being a bit of a playboy, Adams says it was just to take his mind of Saum, the girl with the amazing hair. "I spent most of my time thinking about Sherri and trying to distract myself because we couldn't really hang out the way I would've liked to," he confesses. "So I kept myself busy, interacting with new people. But I found out it was to empty for me."
But they've been filling each other's lives for some time now, enjoying the thrill of new love. "We were in Baja California for New Year's," says Adams, recalling one of their most romantic nights together. "We were a this small Mexican hotel on the coast, just absorbing the environment. We were playing outdoors and having fun like kids. There was a trampoline at the hotel. We'd bounce around for a while and then we'd just chill out on our backs and rock ourselves looking up at the stars. The nights were so clear. It was very romantic."
Of course, romance is all well and good, but what about meeting each other's parents? "I was nervous," admits Saum, recalling the moment she met Adams' mother this past May at the Emmy's. "I don't think I'm really shy, but compared to Tim and his family, I'm very shy. I thought his mother would think I was this little girl from Ohio, but she made me feel very comfortable and it was fun."
"My mom was delighted to finally meet her in person," adds Adams. "She'd been watching her on television for a year and a half, and she'd never been able to have a conversation with her!"
For Adams, meeting Saum's family was a shocking experience - literally. The couple had gone to Ohio for Thanksgiving and, while visiting Saum's aunt's dairy ranch, Adams accidentally leaned up against an electrical fence used to keep the cows penned up. "ZZZZZZZ!" he remembers. "Picture your whole insides getting all jimmied. And then you get back to normal once you stop touching the wire." Needless to say, he jumped off that wire very quickly. "But that split second leaning on the wire felt like an hour!"
The rest of Adams' Ohio experience was much more relaxing. "I'm not nervous about meeting new people, so I was looking forward to it," he says with a bravado reminiscent of the lifeguard he plays on SUN. "I was wondering if they'd be receptive to my outgoing ways, and they definitely were."
"I was really nervous because my family's very conservative - they keep to themselves," reveals Saum. "I knew Tim was like a tornado and I wondered what was going to happen. But they all fell in love with him. I knew that would happen, but I wondered how quickly they'd break down."
But when vacations and trips to meet the parents are over and done with, it comes down to the fact that the two love to spend time together. "We grab a pizza," says Adams of their average weekend.
"We do as little as possible," adds Saum. "Eat a lot. Rent old movies."
While the two spend as much free time as they can together, they don't often run into each other on the set. "I always look forward to whenever we have scenes together," Adams says, even though that hasn't happened for a long time.
"We haven't had real scenes together since we've gotten as close as we are," Saum points out. "The closer we've gotten," begins Adams, the less..."---"... we've worked together," Saum finishes. "I'm curious to see what it would be like now. Maybe it would be easier." "It always seemed easy to me," Adams adds. "I was nervous when I had scene's with him," confides Saum. "Because she liked me," Adams says with a devilish smile.
Although the two are in love, for the time being, they're content to have separate addresses. Adams lives near the beach in Santa Monica and Saum resides with her sister in a house in West Los Angeles.
"I have my own room," says Saum, "but it sometimes gets a little bit dormish because my sister is there a lot with her boyfriend. There have been a couple of times when they didn't expect me to be home because I'm not home very often, and they just walked into my room. My sister's boyfriend likes to watch sports in my room."
Of course, the inevitable moment occurred one day when in walked the boyfriend - not knowing Saum and Adams were there.
"They've learned their lesson, but it's soured the staying-at-my-place situation," the actress concedes. "it's easier to be over at Tim's because there are no other people around."
Although they know the proverbial "big picture" looms over them, for now, Adams and Saum are content to leave future plans unplanned. "The most plans we'll make at this point is traveling together and spending time together," Adams says. "Anything more concrete than that is difficult because of the job we're in. We're both transplanted from New York, and we're living in a city that doesn't necessarily feel like our first home."
"I hope we keep on truckin'," says Saum.