BY Michael Fairman
November 12 2009 3:30 PM ET
On One Life to Live, Victoria Lord Banks is having one bad week. First, in her run for mayor of Llanview she may have trouble swinging the all-important gay vote, which her archnemesis Dorian seems to have cultivated by lying and saying she is gay. Now, with the votes in and the count "even steven," could it be the city’s most respected citizen might wind up giving her concession speech?
But all of that is nothing compared to Viki’s family drama. Her daughters, Natalie and Jessica, along with her son-in-law Jared, have been lured to Napa by Viki’s former rapist and devil incarnate, Mitch Laurence. As a shot rings out, poor Jared takes a bullet, which jump-starts Viki into action to protect the ones she loves. In tomorrow's and upcoming episodes, viewers. prepare for some 10-hankie moments!
Taking out the hankies is commonplace when watching Erika Slezak’s gut-wrenching and magnificent performances as Viki. After more than 38 years with the series, she is a bona fide daytime legend, and for the first time, the actress speaks with Advocate.com and addresses her legions of gay fans. The six-time Daytime Emmy award-winning actress chats about all things One Life, including Kish’s gay storyline, Viki’s battle with multiple personality disorder, and a look at what’s next for one of soaps' favorite heroines. Erika also opens up about her support of a causes dear to the LGBT community, namely the issue of same-sex marriage and equality.
Advocate.com: Viki is neck and neck with her nemesis Dorian in the Llanview mayoral race, and the results will be in on Monday’s episode. But this is not Viki’s first time running for mayor. She won previously but then had a stroke and multiple personality in the middle of her term. What did you think when they told you Viki was running for mayor again?
Erika Slezak: When I heard I was going to run for mayor, I went, What is going to happen this time? The race is close and Markko votes for me and he thinks it’s because of him that I may have won, and he feels guilty because now his girlfriend and Dorian’s daughter, Langston, won’t speak to him. In the meantime, terrible things are happening.
I thought it was brilliant how head writer Ron Carlivati used the gay vote as a pivotal part of the election!
When they introduced the gay story, and the fact that Oliver Fish was in the closet this whole time, and Kyle was a little bit, and then they bring Nick in who is working for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Llanview ... I thought it was brilliant! Nick forces the other two to force their hand and say, “Tell us who you are.” I watched last Friday’s episode when they started the same-sex weddings, and it was terrific! The world is populated by all kinds of people, so let’s show it. What pissed me off in Maine ... my God, what did they do up there? To repeal gay rights for same-sex marriage ... it’s idiotic! Who cares what people do together as long as they are happy? I don’t get the big difference between marriage, civil union, and living together, and I am Catholic. Marriage means you commit to each other and there is a piece of paper that says, “I want to be with you forever,” or as long as we love each other.
It’s not only the symbol of marriage but that same-sex couples should have legal domestic-partnership rights.
Marriage is the only thing that can really do that, although there are some states that will recognize civil unions and give partners the same rights and health benefits, etc. But marriage sort of seals it, and if you want to get married, you should. I am very liberal there. I was so upset when I picked up the New York Post recently and read that a cab driver had two guys who were partners in his cab around 10:30 at night. This was down in the East Village. These guys were at a friend’s house for dinner and they were going home. He went two blocks and the cab driver looked in the rearview mirror and saw the two guys hugging. And he stopped the cab and told them to get out! And he said, “There is no hugging in this cab.” They were just appalled, and thank goodness they lodged a complaint because that is so illegal, and it's just narrow-minded thinking.