Actress Jen Lilley of Los Angeles is a woman of many talents. Not only has she had starring roles on “General Hospital,” “Days of Our Lives” and in movies, but she’s also a singer, children’s book author and strong advocate for foster care. In fact, she and her husband, Jason, recently became foster parents to a now 1-year-old boy. In honor of National Foster Care Month in May, we chatted with her about her career, being a new parent and why you should consider fostering.

You left “Days of Our Lives” in 2016. What can your fans look forward to seeing you in next?

I have two movies coming out later this year. One is called, “The Wedding Do Over” for Pixl TV, and one is tentatively called, “Off the Menu,” starring Santino Fontana and Dania Ramirez. I play Santino’s girlfriend at the beginning of the movie, the one who got away. And beyond that, I’ll keep you posted. I’m sure I’ll have updates as the year progresses.

You’re a singer, an actress, a children’s book author and a foster mom. You seem very busy! What led you to start fostering?

In short, my faith and conviction. James 1:27 says that caring for orphans in their distress is the purest form of religion. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” And it is in my power to help orphans in their distress, so I absolutely must obey that conviction.

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Daytime fan-favorite Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Maxie, GENERAL HOSPITAL) is starring in a romantic new movie just in time for Valentine’s Day — A Dash of Love, airing on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel!

Lilley plays Nikki Turner, an aspiring chef who accepts a job at a prominent restaurant run by one of her idols, Holly Hansen, played by Peri Gilpin. “She’s brilliant and lovely and amazing and beautiful,” Lilley enthuses to Soaps In Depth. “It was so awesome working with her.”

Of course, things become complicated when she begins falling for the head chef, played by Brendan Penny. And that’s not to mention the fact that Holly is secretly stealing Nikki’s recipes to pass off as her own! “It’s so cute, and it’s so me,” Lilley says of the movie. “I totally get this character! I was laughing the whole time reading it, and thinking, ‘This character is me.’”

A chef herself, Lilley admits she loved baking for everybody on the DAYS set and is a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. “It’s my favorite holiday of all time, probably even more than Christmas,” she confesses. “When I was at DAYS, I would get every single cast and crew member personalized chocolates!”

The actress believes that soap fans will absolutely love this romantic confection. “Everything about this movie is amazing,” Lilley declares. “The fans are gonna love it. It’s very funny. I really hope Hallmark hires me again because I really like working for them already, and I love Hallmark movies.” (Source)

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Jen Lilley has plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.

Lilley, who lives in the beach cities and is expected to appear as part of the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks show Sunday, Dec. 13, recently released her first Christmas CD, “Tinsel Time,” on the Manhattan Beach-based label Robo Records. Her Lifetime film, “The Spirit of Christmas,” airs Dec. 19 on the cable channel, and she is celebrating nearly three years on “Days of Our Lives” as the iconic soap reaches a milestone 50 years.

“I think that passion is better than coffee so it was something I was really driven to do,” said Lilley about making time to record “Tinsel Time” in her busy schedule. “Somehow you just carve out time to do what you want.”

“Tinsel Time” features seven songs, including two originals, “Santa We’re All Waiting on You” and the title track, which was co-written by Manhattan Beach resident Rob Christie, founder of Robo Records. Other songs include classics “Santa Baby,” which Lilley plays ukelele on, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Jingle Bells,” “I’ve Got my Love to Keep Me Warm” and an acappella version of “Silent Night” with “The First Noel.”

“It was an inspired impromptu thing that really worked,” said Lilley of “Silent Night.”

On “Days of Our Lives,” Lilley plays the conniving Theresa Donovan. Her love interest on the soap is Brady Black, played by Eric Martsolf. The co-stars went to recording studio last year to record “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

“I thought I would start with that one because it’s a duet and Eric was on Broadway for years. He has an incredible voice,” Lilley said. “I (thought) let me record a single and see if anybody likes it or see if it’s this grand illusion I have that I can do this. We had a lot of success with it, but I remember driving to the studio knowing that Greg Field and Chuck Berghofer were going to be there and I was weeping joyful tears the entire way there.”

In between the hectic shooting schedule of “Days” and recording her CD, Lilley found time to film “The Spirit of Christmas,” which she teases with her video for “Tinsel Time.” “The Spirit of Christmas” was shot in January and February during a freezing Boston winter, with snow drifts reaching 13 feet or more. She calls the film “less of a ghost story, more of a fairy tale.”

“We probably got $1 million of production value out of all the snow,” Lilley said. “I remember days there were wind advisories and you weren’t’ supposed to go out. My character was always running outside without her jacket in a huff … I lost 5 pounds in the three weeks just from shivering.”

Overall, Lilley said recording the Christmas album was a “dream I didn’t expect to happen so early in life.”

“There’s a lot of kinetic energy going on, it has been ‘Days of Our Lives,’ the CD and the movie. It has been a very exciting time in my life … I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights, but I can’t stop smiling.”

View the full article here.

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Jen Lilley, dreamt about doing a Christmas album since she was a child, and this year, her dream becomes reality with her new CD, Tinsel Town! Not only is the CD available now, Christmas 2015 is guaranteed to be doubly rosy and bright for her, because she will also light up the screen in the Lifetime holiday film, The Spirit of Christmas.

“I’m all over,” she said with a laugh. “In addition to playing Theresa, I have been busy. I have many goals and that is to accomplish a lot in this business. I also have about 15 careers in mind that I want to fulfill someday. I’m busy and want to be in everything,” she said. But Days of our Lives fans fear not. “My first love is playing Theresa with all my heart,” Lilley shared.

Lilley’s Tinsel Time CD has recently been released and contains a beautiful collection of Christmas songs — some old favorites and some that are newly penned. All are upbeat and without a doubt, guaranteed to give your holiday a lift.

“As a kid I always wanted this. I’m always singing. I love Christmas music, and before I got into this career as an actress, I always knew I wanted an album. I was always a little song bird — singing every where I go.”

Lilley got together with a publicist friend and told him of her ideas. She then was in touch with producer and two-time Grammy winner, Rob Christie, after recording a Christmas track with Eric Martsolf (Brady, Days of our Lives) last year.

“I knew nothing. Rob did it all. He remembered me from the song last year and said I should record and come back,” Lilley said. “I took him up on his offer and Tinsel Time was born. I have to say I’m thrilled.”

Lilley was able to pick her own songs and she gathered together veteran musicians like Gregg Field and Chuck Burghofer, who worked with Frank Sinatra. She also teamed with pianist Tom Rainier, who was the piano man to Tony Bennett and Barbara Streisand.

“I have the best (musicians) and am so blessed,” Lilley said. “These are musicians whose talent level is beyond belief.” Not to mention the fact that Lilley herself graces the CD playing a little ukulele on Santa Baby.

There are a total of eight tracks on the CD including Baby It’s Cold Outside, the duet with Eric Martsolf (Brady, Days of our Lives), a terrific rendition of Santa Baby, and a jazzed up version of Frank Sinatra’s Jingle Bells.

Lilley said that anyone purchasing Tinsel Time from her website, www.jenlilley.com will receive an autographed CD and a personal Christmas card from her. How cool is that!

The CD’s title tune and first single, Tinsel Time, was co-written by Donald Benjamin and Kevin J. Regan. Benjamin, a longtime friend and fan of Soapdom, shared his initial inspiration for the song. “I just wanted to write a more traditional, happy Christmas tune. I don’t care for the modern stuff.” He wrote the music and the lyrics to the first verse. “Kevin did the rest, and Rob Christie put it all together.” But he feels that what really makes the song is Lilley. “I love her. She’s got a fantastic voice.”

From CD’s to television movies!

On Saturday, December 19th (8/7c),  Lifetime will air the movie, The Spirit of Christmas, where Lilley plays Boston attorney, Kate Jordan, a high-strung, high-powered woman that only cares about getting ahead in the world, and puts career first.

“I read the script, I auditioned, and I knew I wanted this part,” Lilley said “I also have a fond love for this role because there was a time I wanted to be an attorney.”

The story centers around Kate Jordan, who is offered a promotion if she can do an appraisal of a Vermont bed and breakfast during the holidays and is given only three weeks to complete the assignment.

The glitch is the establishment is haunted, and any of the previous male appraisers ran for the hills upon finding out. Being strong willed and not a believer in ghosts, Lilley’s character tackles the mission, but as one can imagine, she will come face to face with a man who was murdered on the property 100 years ago.

The ghost (Daniel) played by French-Canadian actor, Thomas Beaudoin, is shall we say, too much to handle for Attorney Jordan and love will soon blossom.

But now, there’s a second big wrinkle to this tale. The spirit only comes back once a year and only during the twelve days of Christmas.

“Would you believe it?” Lilley said laughing. “I love this film, and promise a lot of twists and intrigue with mystery. It will be fun to watch. When it airs I will be watching like every one else with my popcorn. It is weird to watch myself, and I hope my real-life husband, understands,” she said with a giggle. “I also want to say what an honor it was to work with Thomas Beaudoin. He is a big star in Canada and in France.”

Lilley said that doing the film was a breather away from Days of our Lives. “Doing a film is so different and the entire film was shot in a few weeks,” she revealed.

Shot on location last year in Boston, Lilley endured five major blizzards during production — a far cry from the temperate temps of LA, the land of sunshine and palm trees.

“Oh my, I must say that the walls of the snow were taller than me, but I survived. Again…I’m so happy to have been a part of this film and hope that without a doubt, it will become a regular every year Holiday classic.” (Source)

 

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