Zima's New Role Is A Killer! (Maybe...)

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Daisy was definitely guilty of a few crimes on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, but when portrayer Yvonne Zima guest-stars on LAW & ORDER: SVU on Wednesday, January 9, her character's guilt or innocence will definitely be in question.

"It's a very complicated story," she teases. "I play a single mother — and it's like, the second time I've played a mother, which is weird because I'm only 23! — but I also play a rape victim and I'm also accused of murder. So there's a lot to watch on Wednesday!"

Continued after the jump

Right from the opening scene, Zima's character is thrown into the middle of the mystery. "You see that I'm hovered over a body and I'm claiming that I'm innocent," she explains, "but it looks like I've killed one of my boyfriends."

On a daytime soap like Y&R, sometimes the actors involved in a whodunnit storyline don't even know if they're guilty or innocent until the very end, but since this is a primetime drama, Zima had the entire script to know her alter ego's ultimate fate and could adjust her performance accordingly to keep the audience guessing. "It's very subtle," she confides, "those nuances of... maybe a hint of a smile if you're talking about something dark where someone might think that maybe you did it.

"To me, it's always been really technical," Zima continues. "Like, I'm gonna break this down and look at the script and this might be a good place to mislead people if need be. Because that makes it more interesting. But I think the most important thing is to be likable or have people care about you in some way. Whether or not they seem guilty or innocent you're along for the ride with this character, and you'd better damn well care if she goes to jail or her life is ruined or her kid is taken away."

While her role on SVU certain put her through the ringer, the show also afforded her the unexpected opportunity to reunite with a former co-star. "I was actually reunited with an actress I worked with on ER when I was like, seven, Mariska Hargitay," Zima reports with a smile. "We were trying to figure it out because she said I looked familiar."

As a child, Zima played Rachel Green, daughter of Anthony Edwards' Mark on the long-running medical drama. And Hargitay played Cynthia, one of his love interests in the late '90s. "She was so lovely," Zima says of Hargitay back on ER. "And so much lovelier now and so much fun to work with."

But will Hargitay's SVU detective be able to keep Zima's single mom out of jail? Tune in to "Beautiful Frame" on Wednesday, January 9, at 9:00 pm EST on NBC and find out! (And watch a preview of the episode below!)

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