She has buried a woman alive, kidnapped her nephew's son and stolen a rival's fertilized egg to implant in herself. As played by actress Louise Sorel, the character Vivian Alamain on "Days Of Our Lives" is daytime's hell-on-wheels.
Sorel, however, is less than thrilled about being widely considered soap's best villain. "The idea of being labeled a villainess is appalling to me," she says. "Vivian happens to be very devious and cunning, yet a woman who ultimately has not learned how to behave. She always wants to get her way."
The actress' vision of dangerous liaisons has since given way to the writers' version of Saturday morning cartoons. "You have to fight like hell to present a character on several levels," explains Sorel, whose arch portrayal of a sexy matron is often worth the price of admission. "Of course I played Vivian with some humor, and as soon as the writers caught on to that, they went overboard and made her ludicrous, like a caricature. It's disturbing to me.