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Zimmer Hopes Her "Boat" Floats


The hilariously spirited series STEAMBOAT continues to plow through the Web's waters, having quenched its viewers' thirst by posting the first three of five episodes in its "second season." Written by and starring Michael O'Leary (Michael; ex-Rick, GUIDING LIGHT), STEAMBOAT peeks behind the scenes at a struggling soap where the actors have wilder problems than their characters, and each could easily take home a Most Neurotic Personality award.

Now that O'Leary and his fellow executive producer, director Scott Bryce (ex-Craig, AS THE WORLD TURNS), have brought back several daytime actors — and added Daniel Cosgrove (Scott, ALL MY CHILDREN) as Larry, a riotously obsessed blogger — STEAMBOAT's ninth episode splashes around loyal fans' wish lists. While they wait (and post "No. 9!" on the show's Facebook page), here's a look at an exclusive conversation with Kim Zimmer (Echo, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Reva, GL), who plays STEAMBOAT's Rhonda, the soap-within-a-soap's explosively pretentious executive producer.

Soap Opera Weekly: STEAMBOAT has brought you into a whole different world. What was your favorite aspect or memory of that?
Kim Zimmer: Well, when I watched STEAMBOAT, I absolutely was appalled at my character. I thought she was just the most distasteful, awful person in the world. So I would kind of change her up a little bit, because she was just too hard and too coarse and scary. It happened so fast, and we weren't able to really delve into our characters the way I would've liked to.

Weekly: Right. But the line "I've got my father's balls" is a classic.
Zimmer: Exactly, but it wasn't shot right.

Weekly: Do tell…
Zimmer: Yeah, it was the juiciest line in that whole thing, but that stairway shot was not well-lit and the focus wasn't on. So there were just little things like that, because it had to happen so fast; had we had more time…comedy needs so much more attention than drama.

Weekly: Absolutely.
Zimmer: I mean, comedy has to be directed to within an inch of its life, oddly enough, and that's what we didn't have the luxury of [when shooting] STEAMBOAT.

Weekly: But it was amazing that it was all done in a day. Michael and Scott are just amazed at how everybody came together, and it's a good idea.
Zimmer: Yeah, because you know anybody who has ever done daytime has always said, "Why doesn't somebody do a parody?" So it really is something that needs to happen, and with so much airtime left with all these soaps being canceled, people's attention spans are so lax now that maybe it's a perfect time to bring one of these parodies to life.

Weekly: What are your hopes for the show? Are you hoping that it gets picked up by a network?
Zimmer: Well, yeah, I'd like it to have a little money thrown at it, so that we can shoot it the [right] way, and use better lights [laughs], because VENICE looks beautiful! I mean, I love [STEAMBOAT] because it's funny and it's fun, and the people involved are just so wonderful, but the production values on VENICE are exquisite.

Weekly: What do you think of the promise of Web soaps these days? So many actors are jumping into them.
Zimmer: Yeah, if that's the way it's got to be, that's the way it's got to be. It's unfortunate that the networks are not as behind the soaps as they have been in the past, because of the economy or whatever, but if that's the way we've gotta tell stories that we like to tell in daytime, then that's what's got to be.

Check out STEAMBOAT at