Robin Strasser is once again a wanted woman! The legendary, Emmy-winning diva recently announced via Twitter that she will come back to One Life to Live as Dorian Lord when the soap finds new life later this year on the Internet. Naturally, TV Guide Magazine wasted no time scoring an exclusive chat!
TV Guide Magazine: This is thrilling news, especially since you weren't in the mix the first time Prospect Park tried to revive OLTL.
Strasser: Not because I didn't want to be in the mix! The people who were mixing it up didn't ask me. I won't lie. It's an entirely different energy now. Any fear I had that I was going back into something uncomfortable, or any fear that I might not live up to expectations felt totally surmountable once I looked at the bigger picture — that there's still life in One Life to Live! The fact that Prospect Park still had the appetite and desire and muscle and vision to make this a reality made me think, "Wow. I want to be involved in this. This is history!"
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of that bigger picture, do you think this long delay in getting the OLTL and All My Children reboots off the ground was maybe for the best? Things seemed so desperate and crazy and rushed the first time around. Will we see better shows as a result of the postponement?
Strasser: Interesting question, but I think you'd have to talk to the people who were in the trenches at the time the plans collapsed — the ones who thought they had a job [with Prospect Park] and didn't. I was written out of OLTL on June 23, 2011, more than half a year before the show went off the air. As I ranted at the time, the loss of about 800 jobs per show should not be trivialized or dismissed.
TV Guide Magazine: I still can't believe ABC didn't bring you back for the OLTL finale. We so needed a final moment with Dorian and Viki [Erika Slezak]. How did you feel about that?
Strasser: Well, the show went out with enormous ratings and success and heat, and I know that was [exec producer] Frank Valentini's intention. I'm glad it happened that way. I have worked hard in the year and a half since I last played Dorian to try to let go of what didn't happen.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you actually meet with the Prospect Park peeps, or did the offer come by phone?
Strasser: I got a call. On Jan. 2. Happy New Year! It's such a gift. Not only was I made to feel important but they have let me know in the most wonderful way that they consider Dorian to be key to the show. My God, it's been years since I heard that! [Laughs] Well, I hear it from my fans all the time. Their loyalty and love has been unconditional.
TV Guide Magazine: And they never gave up hope for OLTL!
Strasser: No, they did not! Via their energy and their social networking, they have proven to be tirelessly devoted. And that had an enormous impact. In their minds, it was never over, not even when the network said, "Stop already! Support The Chew! Support The Revolution! Support Katie Couric!" [ABC] tried to tell us to watch all sorts of things and to force us to believe that storytelling has a shelf life — and that is both anthropologically and psychologically incorrect! We need our stories! [Laughs] See, now you've got my blood going!
TV Guide Magazine: Won't it be wild having Agnes Nixon involved in OLTL again? That hasn't been the case in years.
Strasser: Agnes Nixon didn't just create these shows. She created jobs, fostered careers, changed lives — not just our lives but the lives of millions upon millions of viewers. That woman is as high at the top of the mountain as it gets and the more attention Agnes gives OLTL, the more blessed we will be. I can't wait to work with her again and, especially, to make this transition with her to the Internet. At my age, how many firsts are still left? To me, that's jet fuel. Even the part of this that's scary is jet fuel.
TV Guide Magazine: You? Scared? Of what?
Strasser: Getting what I asked for, what I prayed for. Mixed up in all the joy and the celebration is the fear of not living up to this. Do I deserve this? Could it be taken away? To love something so much and let it go and then have it suddenly come back is an overwhelming thing. My respect for this business is built on the premise that every episode is opening night, though I may have driven people crazy with that concept. Every episode, every scene matters deeply. At the start of each work day, I always think, "If this is the last performance I ever give, let it be a great one!" What can I say? I'm a drama queen.
TV Guide Magazine: Now there's an exclusive scoop! Has Prospect Park talked plot with you yet? Do we know what Dorian's been up to? Wasn't she sent off into politics at the end there?
Strasser: Who knows?
TV Guide Magazine: Didn't she replace some senator who had to resign after a sex scandal?
Strasser: Who knows?
TV Guide Magazine: Sore subject?
Strasser: I have erased from my memory things that did not ring true. Moving forward! However and wherever we pick her up, it's all doable, because she has always been a glass-is-half-full-of-wacky-juice kinda gal. In that way I'm just like my character, the queen of revisionist history. [Laughs] Just ignore the past and wear a great hat!
TV Guide Magazine: Toward the end of your OLTL run, you were dealing with a bad back. Feeling better?
Strasser: I still have challenges but I am working diligently on my physical, spiritual and mental wellness. When I left OLTL I thought I would be wheeled out on a gurney and straight into back surgery but, for various reasons, I have not gone that route. Right now, for me and my body, that's not the best course of action, and I'm full of happiness and gratitude about that. I am going to show up for work on the new OLTL fully energized, one hundred percent committed and ready for my close-up!
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