Soaps.com recently sat down to chat with Days of Our Lives star Louise Sorel, who plays the notorious villainess, Vivian Alamain. Read on as Louise shares some personal thoughts about her character, discusses her take on Vivian's relationship with Brady, reveals her surprising favorite moment on "Days," and much more!
Soaps.com: Who is "Vivian Alamain?"
Louise: Funny you should ask that question, because I've been asking it. [laughs] I've had some issues with that. I think she's somewhat similar to what she was many years ago, but I think there's some stuff that needs to be looked at. I think she's a very bright, certainly narcissistic and witty woman with a penchant for stirring things up. She kind of lives off of that energy. Also, of course, she won't take any slack and anyone who crosses her is clearly in trouble. But there's some things that I'd like to investigate. I think she's clearly passionate and a bit of a fruitcake, which is fun to play, but I'm also missing some things that I'm hoping [the show's writers] might look at. Her business acumen, which she did have many years ago. You know, sort of the other aspects of her besides getting even with everybody. I think she's well-travelled. Maybe I'm talking about myself. [laughs]
Soaps.com: There was a recent scene in which Vivian dreams that a naked Brady is flirting with her on the island. Does Vivian have a thing for Brady or is this just a matter of, "We can't help what we dream?"
Louise: I think it's mostly that. Who wouldn't dream about that? My God, he's got the body of doom. I tease him all the time and run my hands all over him. He's a sweetheart, and he obviously is in unbelievable shape. Who wouldn't be dreaming about that? No matter who you are, it's just extraordinary. But I don't think Vivian has a thing for Brady at all.
Soaps.com: How about the scene where Brady dreams that Vivian and Nicole are both in bed with him? Was that pretty hysterical to tape?
Louise: It was kind of a quick thing, but we did have a few laughs about it. I think it's just that Vivian is in Brady's conscience because of what's going on. I don't think it's particularly sexual. I think it's thrown in because it's unexpected and kind of amusing. Vivian is just annoying to everyone. [laughs] Even when I'm not on the show, all the characters talk about how they want to get rid of Vivian. Once in a while, I think, "I'd like a friend!" Other than Gus, who basically says, "Yes, madam. No madam."
Soaps.com: Speaking of Gus, are there any secret romantic feelings between him and Vivian?
Louise: No, I don't think so.
Soaps.com: Our editor, Christine, and one of our writers, Matt, both had this feeling that Gus was meant to be gay. There were a lot of gay innuendos with Gus, and then suddenly he's in a hotel room with a girl.
Louise: I know what they're talking about, and I thought it was odd. I don't know what that was supposed to be. I can't imagine that they ever intended it. He certainly isn't [gay], but I know what they're talking about. I can't comment any further because I don't think that was the show's intention.
Soaps.com: In terms of your current storyline, do you think Vivian's time on the island has softened her at all? Or will all hell eventually break loose against Victor and company for locking her in the coffin?
Louise: I think Vivian has momentary lapses of gentility. I don't know how else to put it. Vivian goes back to Victor and says she wants a divorce, and when he asks her what happened on the island, Vivian says, "Oh, you have no idea." Each little experience makes Vivian think, but I don't think it lasts very long. [chuckles]
Louise: I do. As much as she can. I think Victor is the only person who she has invested her heart in, other than her nephew Lawrence and also Nicholas. But I haven't been able to play those things out. So I think the only place she's had any of that is toward Victor.
Soaps.com: Speak about Vivian's relationship with Carly. Why does Vivian hate her so much? Does it all have to do with Lawrence, or are there deeper issues?
Louise: I think what happens on these shows is that they set something up, and it's only really one-dimensional, because it's plot. I think the original reason I was even brought back on the show was to chase Carly down. And then I seem to have just given up on it! It went away somewhere. I think it's in the recesses all the time but it's not necessarily focused. I keep saying, "What happened? I was after her and now I don't care?" I think we have some scenes coming up with a little conflict of some kind, but I don't see it being followed through. I don't know what their relationship is at this point. Sometimes it's hostility and sometimes it's just putting up with each other.
Soaps.com: Based on your experiences meeting fans of Daytime television, do many often assume you're just like Vivian?
Louise: I'm so antithetical to Vivian. I'm very approachable, I'm very emotional, I'm very hands-on with people. As soon as I meet somebody, they say, "Oh my God, you're nothing like that woman!" I think some similarities might be in the humor, in the irony. Sometimes, if you're very shy, which in essence I am, you compensate with a certain flair.
Soaps.com: Vivian has been a very bad girl during her time in Salem, but you've also commented before on how Vivian has a backstory with moments of loneliness. Will Vivian always be known as the villain or are softer moments ahead?
Louise: People see Vivian as a villain, which I understand, because it comes with the territory. I don't think of her that way. She's just a person. When I was on the show before, I used to get some quiet little moments, which I would beg for right now but haven't had. You would see her need, particularly with Victor. There have been some isolated moments that they've given me where you would see someone who was really lost. Unfortunately, those moments are fragmented and I don't think there are enough of them. But I don't think she's a villainness, certainly not in her mind. She's just an annoying person. [laughs]
Soaps.com: Do you have a favorite soft Vivian scene?
Louise: My favorite thing is this one little snippet from way back with Deborah Adair, who used to play Kate. We had a little scene in an elevator, in the midst of all this chaos that was going on, that was very eye-opening to Vivian. She talked about her past, and how she had been in Greece or someplace with this man, whom she was very much in love with, when she walked in on him with someone else. I think that was a real killer for her. Anyway, we had a very quiet scene which was originally not intended to be that way, but I fought for it. I said, "No, I don't want to run around in this scene. I want to sit down and talk." Thank God the director agreed. It was one of my favorite little intimate scenes, which I normally don't get.
Soaps.com: And your favorite crazy moment?
Louise: I've loved all of it. I thought I was having a brain hemorrhage anytime I'd come into work and they'd say, "You're now a box of french fries," or, "You're Carmen Miranda." All of it was madness! But you know what? It was so much fun.
- Mario Rocchetta