Actress Jen Lilley has an ingénue quality, flawless skin, and green pools for eyes—you literally want to dive right into them. If you do choose to dive into the pool, you won’t be wading, as this Southern lady is a person of depth, both intellectually or spiritually. Her original career goal was law, and she is well-read and varied in her interests, including baking quality desserts and restoring furniture. But for Jen acting is the calling, and seven years in Hollywood has afforded her some remarkable opportunities. She earned a turn in the Academy Award-winning feature film THE ARTIST, where she was able to express her remarkable beauty and grace.
Jen is also a comedienne with innate comic timing. She has done improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade, and has garnered appearances on TWO AND A HALF MEN, and iCARLY. Despite all these inherent and hard-earned assets, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She understands she is a marketable commodity on which the entertainment industry places high value.
“I always knew that whatever I did in life, whether it was to be a lawyer or whatever—I just knew I wanted to make money to give it away. And I wanted to have a platform to be able to speak to people. So acting is kind of a natural fit for that, right? Because you have this ridiculous platform where for whatever reason, I play dress up and people listen to me.”
At present, Jen gets dressed up to play Theresa Donovan, the devious drug and booze addicted vixen on NBC’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES. DAYS is one of the last surviving soap operas on daytime television, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Jen has been a part of the cast since 2013, and has impacted critics, as well as her fans with her no-holds barred portrayal of the villainous Theresa. Because the character came off so diabolical, Jen originally had misgivings about taking on the role.
“I did the role of “Maxie Jones” on General Hospital for 11 months. Because of that I had DAYS attention. I auditioned for the role of “Jordan” and the role of “Theresa”, and they were like, which role do you like better. I thought I liked the role of Jordan better, because she’s a sweet girl. And they were like, ‘Well, we kind of wrote Theresa with you in mind.’ I said, ‘Can you spell “Theresa” for me?’ Maybe I’m reading the wrong character; this is so not my character.”
Jen has been a committed Christian since the age of 9, and is an admitted “goody two-shoes”, so taking on Theresa would definitely be a stretch.
“I just didn’t know if I wanted to play a character like that. She’s really evil; she’s slutty, and promiscuous. I just wasn’t seeing the appeal of it. So of course, I’m praying about it, and I really felt like God just kept saying, this is your role, this is your role.