Jen Lilley Details the Moment She Found Out About Days of Our Lives Recast

By now, you’ve probably heard the news that Days of Our Lives has recast the role of Theresa Donovan.

The stunning announcement broke earlier this week when it was revealed that current Days of Our Lives star Emily O’Brien would take over for Jen Lilley.

In a new interview with People, Lilley revealed that she reached out to return to the show in late 2022.

She intended to bring Theresa back to Salem as part of the farewell storyline for John Aniston’s Victor Kiriaki.

“I was close to John Aniston personally as an actress, and also our characters were oddly close in a way that none of the other characters knew,” Lilley explained.

“So I was like, okay, that would be a really fun way to come back, kind of shake things up in Salem in a way that would fluster other characters and would be fun for the show.”

“It would make sense for Theresa, and it would also make sense for Jen Lilley to honor John Aniston.”

Lilley followed up in early 2023 and learned that the show was interested in a 12-week stint for Theresa, but the actress could only commit to three.

Lilley recalls her reps saying there was no way the show could have written a 12-week arc because that hadn’t happened before.

Upon telling producers she could only return for the window of time she had available, she was told that Theresa was coming back, “whether or not it’s Jen, but we want it to be Jen.”

Lilley responded that she understood if they had to recast and slowly believed that was the avenue the show would take.

“I go in the shower, I cry about it, I’m like, ‘This sucks. I just wanted to go back for John and now they’re recasting,'” the actress said to the outlet of the casting news.

But everything changed when the show got back in contact and offered the three-week arc, with Lilley revealing she could give four.

At that point, she believed she was filming 12 weeks of scenes over that month.

Upon returning, she bumped into O’Brien, and they chatted about the show.

At that point, it seems O’Brien was aware that she was taking over the role of Theresa, but Lilley was none the wiser.

After the second week of filming, The actress grew concerned when she was told they only needed her one day the following week.

Lilley believed at that point she’d been recast and reached out to the casting department and ultimately asked then-Executive producer Albert Alarr what was happening.

At that point, she was told that Theresa would still do the rest of the scenes, but they’d be going with a different actress.

Lilley believes the whole situation was confusing and awkward for O’Brien, and they exchanged numbers, with Lilley noting that fans struggle with recasts.

“I love doing Days. I stayed way longer than I ever thought I would because I loved them so much,” Lilley said of her initial run on the show.

“So I was like, no love lost. I love you guys.”

What are your thoughts on the news?

Hit the comments.

Days of Our Lives streams weekdays on Peacock.

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