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[Melrose Place Cast Photo #5]


MELROSE PLACE is an updated version of the popular 1990s series. Set in an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck. Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini. Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms, once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career. Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick. After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie's sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding Sydney since she began drinking again. The other tenants include Lauren Yung, a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller, an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond, a first-grade teacher. The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster, has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way.

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz Talks Melrose Place

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz has moved into MELROSE PLACE, and she tells PEOPLE that her offbeat character on the CW's revival of the primetime soap isn't all she appears to be. "She is a little weird," the actress told PEOPLE Tuesday. "I have a so-called innocent side, but I think it's just the persona that I'm giving to people. I'm only setting people up."

Describing her character, Simpson-Wentz says, "Her name is Violet and she's new to MELROSE PLACE, new to L.A., looking for a family member - looking for any kind of family, looking for love. She's really not accepted - not just yet. I think that's something interesting, to play the outsider."

Some of Violet's downfalls include, "obsessing over things and people," says the actress. "Anyone that's willing to be like, "I'll help you out," she finds an obsession with them."

Unlike Simpson-Wentz, who has a strong bond with her own family in real life, the character is "desperate for family, desperate for love, desperate to connect," says the star. "In a way she looks up to Ella, who's played by Katie (Cassidy), because she's got it together from the outside. She sees that and she's like "How am I ever going to fit in this town and place?'"

Simpson says she's glad to be part of the series' tradition of shocking plot twists - but won't give up an specifics. "There's a lot of jaw-droppers on the show that we obviously can't give away but it does get crazy." Although she was too young to catch the original "Melrose Place," she hopes to "bring the old audience back and also start a new one, one of our generation because we just missed the boat on MELROSE PLACE.

Speaking of MELROSE signatures, she admits she was worried she wouldn't have any steamy scenes. "I had said, "I haven't had to make out with anybody." Then I just found today that you'll see who I have to make out with in episode six!" She even got hubby Pete Wentz's approval for any torrid scenes. "My husband is a huge supporter," she exclaimed. "He's seen the pilot and loved it and was excited for me."

Just don't expect the Fall Out Boy musician to make any guest appearances on the series. "We have enough family in the business, so we're good on that," she said. "I think we've got that covered."

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Last modified on Sunday, 12-Sep-2010 23:22:56 CDT.