Everybody loves the honest, loyal, warm, compassionate and very wise Victoria “Viki” Lord Buchanan Davidson on One Life To Live.
And I see many of the wonderful qualities that we love about Viki in her portrayer Erika Slezak.
In the few minutes that we chatted Saturday at 2008 Super Soap Weekend, I felt like I’ve known her forever.
And in a sense I have.
I began watching One Life To Live from nearly the beginning of the show 40 years ago as an escape from high school angst.
And I still watch the show as an escape from the realities and pressures of the world today.
Erika is incredibly warm and welcoming – and funny!
She just seems to be really down-to-earth.
And how nice is that in someone who is an icon in the business!
It was Erika’s fourth year appearing at Super Soap at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and here’s what she had to say about it.
“I think it’s a remarkable experience for us as actors to get to meet our audience who are incredibly warm and friendly and giving to travel from all over the country to come here and meet us. For us, we’re just people. We just happen to have a more high-profile job. To meet them face to face – it’s extraordinary. I just met a boy out there whose mother said he gets up at 3:00 in the morning to watch the reruns and I said, ‘you should be asleep.’ He loves the show and it’s just wonderful. It’s very humbling too because we live in a little cocoon. We are in our television studio and I get in my car and drive home. To see all the wonderful people out there who are our audience and who like what we do and who are grateful that we are there makes you feel really good.”
Erika told me that one of the highlights of playing Viki was the recent Paris, TX storyline, which, by the way, was one of my favorites.
“I loved the characters. I loved the idea of being there living a fantasy life. She knew she was only going to be there for awhile and she could get away from her problems and wouldn’t we all want to do that – just kind of vanish for a few months and not deal with life.”
Erika also really enjoys the new characters brought onto the One Life To Live canvas by the Paris, TX storyline – Gigi (Farah Fath), Moe (John Rue) and Noelle (January LaVoy). Gigi is now living in Llanview and Moe and Noelle are coming to Llanview soon.
Erika had Kara and me laughing as she described the people of Llanview.
“They [Gigi, Moe and Noelle] are such real characters,” she said. “They don’t have a ton of money. It’s not like the Llanview people where everybody is rich and nobody has a job and nobody pays a bill. Have you ever seen anybody pay a bill in Llanview? It’s fine we all have charge accounts everywhere.
“But [Gigi, Moe and Noelle] are real people and to bring them in and to assimilate them into the show is so wonderful and I think that was one of my favorite stories ever.”
Erika also said she loves the challenges of playing Viki’s alter personalities and she also very much enjoyed the recent 40th anniversary storyline where Viki died (briefly) and went to heaven and saw some of her dead loved ones, including her beloved, Ben (Mark Derwin).
“I loved heaven because it was so comfortable. I had ballet flats on for two weeks. It was great.”
She also enjoyed working with the show’s creator Agnes Nixon in some of heaven’s scenes.
“Agnes is an extraordinary woman. She was so nervous when we did the heaven stuff. She was wonderful. She was so determined to learn her lines and know every single word. She’s a very, very smart, funny lady. You will never know how funny she is. She’s delightful. It was a treat.
And I kind of went, ‘Yay! I’m the only one who gets to work with her. Yay!”
I asked Erika what are the characteristics that she likes best about Viki.
“She’s so good. She has such a big heart and is so fiercely loyal to her friends and her family in particular. She’s kind. She’s very smart. She’s able to differentiate in her mind what’s just and what’s not just and she always tries to do the right thing, which is a hard thing to do in life isn’t it?”
Kara asked about how Viki’s relationship with Todd will be affected when she finds out that Todd knew that Jess had turned into Tess for all those months that she wreaked havoc.
“Viki gets Todd. She understands his problems. But when she finds out what Todd did it’s not going to be pretty because that’s unforgiveable to leave your family hanging out to dry. Natalie could have been killed. Jared could have been killed. Tess was in a lot of trouble. It was his own selfishness. I don’t care what motivated him, it was unbelievably selfish. It’s interesting to see where it goes. She always wants to believe that there is good in everyone and I think she’s finally going to realize that the good in Todd is buried so deep, that there’s no point in looking for it anymore.”
On playing alter Niki Smith, she said, “It’s nothing but fun, but she is so tiring. She expends so much energy and she’s all over the place all the time. But after playing Viki for so many years who is so controlled and always does the right thing – and then to be Niki….it’s terrific.”

Super Soap Weekend 2008 at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios is over and I have LOTS to report.
And because was the last year for the uber-popular event, there was certainly a lot of sadness by fans, but also a feeling that everyone wanted to get the most out of it.
Since we packed so much SSW in two days, I can’t stay awake long enough to really do justice to all the good info, gossip and spoilers that we gathered.
So here’s what I’m gonna do.
Give you just a teaser….
You know, a few tidbits and morsels to bring you back in the next few days to read some more interviews with the stars.
Disney/ABC hosted a wonderful media breakfast each day, where members of the press questioned the soap stars in a red carpet-style format.
We got up-close-and-personal with 20 of the 32 stars, so we have lots to report – and photos too!
And we got more low down by attending some of the talk shows.
But we’re spreading things out through the week, so stay tuned.
But, for now, here’s a few tidbits.
Laura Wright (Carly/GH) was looking forward to taking her daughter on the Rock-n-Roller Coaster and Soarin’ during their Disney stay.
Laura loves the “passion” of Carly and how “her pendulum swings so drastically.”
Out of all her leading men, who’s the best kisser?
Ingo Rademacher (Jax).
You know Melissa Claire Egan who plays Annie Lavery? She dishs on some upcoming, jaw-dropping stuff.
We will see Annie quickly slipping farther and farther from reality after staging the kidnapping of her daughter, Emma.
When that plan backfires and Annie goes totally off the deep-end.
Annie thinks she’s marrying Ryan again and is at a party in her wedding dress, with lipstick smeared freakishly around her mouth and she’s holding a knife dripping with blood.
I saw previews, and I tell you she was scary looking!
And who did she stab?

Bradford Anderson has fond memories of going to Disney World every year with his family.
“Disney World is one of my favorite places,” he said. “It was the family trip. We all got in the car and drove down from New Hampshire each year and I looked forward to it so much. This year, I’m bringing my mom and my sister as well as my girlfriend. So coming back to Disney World in this capacity is strange but amazing.”
Anderson, best know as Damien Spinelli on General Hospital, is one of the 31 stars meeting and greeting fans at Super Soap Weekend 2008 – this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16. As Disney has announced, this will be the final year for the popular event and Soapbox will be the blogging live from SSW.
Bradford was the breakout star last year, with his FastPasses being the first to go each day.
He also surprised the fans camped out the Disney gates at 1 a.m. by visiting them and bringing them goodies to eat and drink. But Bradford says he won’t be doing the same this year, because he’s performing at the Street Jam for the first time – and he got the word from Disney not to.
The following is an interview I had with Bradford last weekend before his appearance with other daytime stars at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.
As promised, here is my Bradford Anderson interview.
Michele: What are you looking forward to about Super Soap?
Bradford: It’s kind of hard to pick just one thing out. I’ve only been there one year and it was just a barrage of positive energy and fun. Seeing familiar faces. Seeing lots of new faces. Being able to perform in the Street Jam. Just the opportunity to meet people and run around and basically be as crazy as we want to be because that’s why we’re there. It’s kinda neat.”
Michele: What is it like to have Spinelli become such a breakout character?
Bradford: “I came from doing musical theater in New York. Not only did I never have a job that lasted more than two or three months, but the life of a theater actor is not necessarily congratulatory. Getting on a show like this with a job that lasts more than three months, those are the things that blow my mind on a daily basis. The things beyond that – like all the things I get to do because of it and the people I get to meet is just beyond anything that I could’ve imagined. I’m just glad to have a job.
“When I joined the show, I was only supposed to be on for two months. So the fact that I’m here two years later is the biggest blessing I could have asked for and all the things that come with it is the cherry on top.”
Michele: What do you love/hate about Spinelli?
Bradford: “I love his sincerity and the fact that he’s innocent enough to not quite know how to communicate without telling the truth. He’s so earnest and honest in everything he does. It pains him to not tell the truth. He never tries to put on anyone or manuever anyone.That’s what I love about him.
“What I look forward to improving on is his self-confidence in knowing that he is such a good person and therefore doesn’t need to become something that he isn’t. That is the struggle that makes him somewhat interesting. The more he allows himself to be confident in who he is, I think more adventures will ensue. I don’t think the confidence will take away from who he is, it will just enable him to have more experiences.”
Michele: How difficult is it to memorize Spinelli-speak?
Bradford: “It’s funny. When I go to work and put on my hooded sweatshirt, my mouth just figures out how to do it. People have asked me to go into Spinelli when I’m not at work and it’s hard. At work, I just kind of step into it and when I’m not at work, it’s out of me. Some soap actors, their characters are just a different version of themself and it’s hard for them to separate the two. You get kind of confused, because we live in our characters so often. But, for me, I never get confused.
“I grew up in central New Hampshire, we don’t have football, but I played sports. I was never the strapping young athlete, but I did okay. And my social skills are actually pretty good and I’ve always had a fair amount of self-confidence because of my parents. I do have much more confidence in interacting with people than Spinelli does and I know how to use a computer, but I don’t even know what hacking means.”
Michele: What do you hope for Spinelli”
Bradford: “To relax and to love, somehow. To find someone who allows that part of him to really come out. Being able to see how he reacts when he is loved in return and knows it.”