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'Day of Days' Interview: Jen Lilley on Playing "Lovable Mess" Theresa Donovan

Jen Lilley at the Day of Days event on November 14, 2015. Photo Credit: Charli Nobles 
The annual "Day of Days" event was held on Saturday, November 14 at Universal Citywalk. Mandy Lynn Denaux covered the event for Serial Scoop and chatted with the cast of Days of our Lives about the 50th anniversary of the iconic soap opera, and much more. Jen Lilley–who plays Theresa Donovan–shared  thoughts on how her character has changed since Josh Griffith and Dena Higley took over as co-head writers, how social media has impacted her experience as an actor, and if she would be friends in real life with the sassy Theresa.

Read our interview below.

SERIAL SCOOP: We know you can’t share too much of the upcoming storyline, but if you had to summarize in one word what your character has been up to, what would that word be?
JEN LILLEY: Design. Designing her new life with Brady, designing new clothes for everyone.

SERIAL SCOOP: What has been the biggest shift for you with the regime change?
JEN LILLEY: I think Theresa’s been a lot more sympathetic with the new writers. I think she’s got mommy syndrome, as all moms do. Or hopefully all moms do. I think that’s something that people can universally relate to. So it does sympathize her. The fun shift for me is that Theresa still has old Theresa in there, but here’s the shift...if you mess with people she loves, she will come after you. But if she loves you, she loves you fiercely and she loves with all her heart. I really like that shift, just bringing a lot more dimension to Theresa to the surface. Dimension I think I’ve been playing, but only so much because you have to do what’s written.

SERIAL SCOOP: If you could play any other character on Days, regardless of age or gender, who would you want to play?
JEN LILLEY: Stefano [DiMera], because he has like five million lives. He’s the Phoenix, he just keeps rising from the ashes. And he still looks the same. I mean, what is this, what is this? One day he’s going to look younger than me. I’m going to surpass him and he’ll still be alive. It’s amazing. I want that.

SERIAL SCOOP: How has social media impacted your experience as an actor?
JEN LILLEY: I love social media. I love the fans. I love that we have our hashtag, #DAYS50.  It’s a good way to communicate.

I love social media because it does allow the fans to feel like family even more. They get to know me as an actor. I’m different from Theresa.  I’m such a weirdo. I fall up stairs; it’s on my resume. I can bake cakes and I can fall up stairs, and that’s all I’m really good at...and singing.

SERIAL SCOOP: Would you be friends with Theresa in real life?
JEN LILLEY: Okay, here’s the thing, I really would be friends with Theresa. I actually based Theresa off my best friend from junior high, who is just a hot mess and who will remain nameless. She did not make my wedding because she was buying cocaine. So we’re not like really friends anymore, but I totally based Theresa off this girl. A lovable mess. I have such an affection for hot messes. I love being friends with those people and being the constant in their life. Like, “Here honey, I’ll hold your hair back while you’re throwing up, and I made you a cake. And you can come to church with me tomorrow.“ Yeah, I’d be friends with Theresa.

* Jen Lilley & Eric Martsolf To Host 7th Annual Indie Series Awards


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