Jen Lilley had a heavy hand in orchestrating her return as DAYS’s Theresa Donovan. It all started shortly after she learned about John Aniston’s (ex-Victor) death and emailed then-Co-Executive Producer Albert Alarr last December.
“Not only did John Aniston mean a lot to me, personally, as an actress, but I truly believe that Victor and Theresa had a very special relationship,” says Lilley, who last appeared on the soap in 2018. “When I first left the show and Theresa went with Mateo to Mexico in order to save Brady and Tate, the only person who knew why Theresa was really pushing Brady away was Victor. Victor respected the fact that Theresa was doing this instead of telling Brady the truth because she knew he’d come after her and would probably die. She sacrificed herself and, from then on out, Victor said, ‘Come back to us. You’re always a Kiriakis.’ So I thought it made a lot of sense for Theresa to come back, at least for Victor’s funeral, maybe shake things up with Brady, and ruffle his feathers on the way out.”
Lilley ultimately received a call from her manager saying DAYS wanted her back, “but back back,” explains the actress, who had only intended a quick return. “Albert misinterpreted [my email] as I wanted to come back full-time. So when they asked for 12 weeks, I knew it was not possible. I told them I could come back for three or four weeks. I could rearrange things and make that happen.”