Robin Strasser Robin Strasser

Are those reindeer hooves we hear on the roof? Nope, it's that One Life to Live pain in the ass Echo DiSavoy (Kim Zimmer), who will come down the chimney in a Santa suit on the soap's December 22 episode. But there's nothing festive about it. Echo is being punk'd by that wicked little elf Dorian Lord, played by Robin Strasser. TV Guide Magazine spoke with the incomparable, Emmy-winning Strasser about this holiday prank, as well as that new détente between Dorian and her archrival Viki (Erika Slezak) — guess what, Strasser's not wild about it! — and what it was like to welcome powerhouse Zimmer to a show that already had an abundance of prima divas.

TV Guide Magazine: Echo has certainly lit a fire under a few fannies on OLTL — especially after she was caught kissing Viki's man Charlie [Brian Kerwin]! This is a good thing, yes?
Strasser: Oh, indeed! We took what I think is a triangle — Viki, Echo and Charlie — and then introduced Dorian into it because she really seems to want to help Viki, though I think Dorian's really doing it to increase her approval rating, so that sort of makes this a quadrangle, right?

TV Guide Magazine: I don't know. I'm confused already!
Strasser: Oh, well, who knows? Anyway, our wonderful head writer, Ron Carlivati, then takes it all off in a crazy direction for the holidays, with Echo stuck up on the rooftop at Dorian's house not properly dressed for the cold and there just happens to be a Santa Claus costume up there. Kim Zimmer gets to do a great comic turn. I know the audience will be amused. Viki and Dorian certainly are! They really crack themselves up over this and we don't get to see that too often.

TV Guide Magazine: I know this is kooky ole Llanview, but still one has to ask: Why is there a Santa costume on Dorian's roof?
Strasser: Because she puts it there! This is Dorian's special Christmas present to Viki. Echo is looking for photography work so Dorian cons her into thinking she'll be shooting the official mayoral calendar, which involves Dorian wearing a Santa suit. They go up on the roof to shoot the thing and suddenly Dorian says, "Oops, forgot something down stairs! Be right back!" And she leaves Echo, who is not wearing a coat, locked and stranded up on the roof. It's freezing so Echo has no choice but to put on the suit, and the only way down is — of course! — the chimney, which is naturally full of soot. Isn't it funny how things work out? And aren't we lucky that the woman is Kim Zimmer? That woman can do anything.

TV Guide Magazine: Especially steal scenes! How did you react when you heard Zimmer was joining OLTL? When the news broke, a lot of folks — me included — wondered if one show could handle you, Slezak and Zimmer without imploding.
Strasser: Are you kidding? People thought that? Really?

TV Guide Magazine: Well, you must admit that OLTL does have an embarrassment of...
Strasser: Bitches? [Laughs] Did I say that? No, seriously, this has been fantastic for us all. Erika Slezak is very smart. I admit that when I first heard about Kim, I went to Erika and was like, "Uh, what's up with this?" But she was totally cool about it. She said, "Oh, this is going to create lots of great story for us." And sure enough it did! When I first stepped on the set with Kim, I was instantly taken with her natural energy, her humor and her style, her tremendous timing, and suddenly I felt like, "O-kaaaay. This is going to be great! We get to play!" So it turned out terrific in this case...but one never knows.

TV Guide Magazine: Will this Viki-Dorian friendship endure or are they just biding time between blow-ups?
Strasser: I don't think it makes for as exciting a show when they get along. I guess we could both go off and do a very funny Thelma and Louise thing — "Viki and Dorian: the Road Trip." But heaven forbid this new friendship becomes permanent! Those two ladies being at odds has always been my bread and butter. Robin Strasser will be out of a job if Viki and Dorian ever truly have a meeting of the minds!

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