Exclusive: Question and Answer with Daytime Sensation Jen Lilley

Jen Lilley took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some of the questions on her fans minds.

Jen Lilley


TVRage: How does it feel to be cast in the role of the daughter of two iconic characters on Days Of Our Lives?

Jen Lilley: It’s incredible. It’s a humbling experience. In addition to being an iconic super couple, Patsy Pease and Charles Shaughnessy are incredibly talented actors. I have big shoes to fill, and I feel completely blessed to have such a great challenge.

TVR: Did you find it difficult stepping into the role of Maxie on General Hospital after the character had already been established by Kirsten Storms?

JL: It was extremely daunting. I didn’t even know I was auditioning for the emergency Maxie recast until after I had booked it. I had less than 15 hours after my callback to be back on set, ready to go. And Jill Farren Phelps (former Exec. Prod., GH), whom I adore more than words can describe, told me to mimic Kirsten’s version of Maxie, adding “I know you’re nervous, and I don’t want to put anymore pressure on you. But this is the most critical time in this character’s life, and the most critical time in this show’s history, so I really need you to pull this off.” Um, sure, no problem...what?! I respect Kirsten Storms, and I think she’s a fabulous actress, so it was quite the Herculean task. I’m so grateful I got to walk in her heels.

TVR: Where you pleased by the fans reaction to the way you portrayed the character?

JL: Well at first, I received extremely personal and harsh feedback from the fans. As an actress, it’s my job to understand what motivates people’s behavior. So, I just took on the fans perspective and empathsized. I understand why recasts are so difficult to accept, and this is the best anology I can give to explain why: Dexter is my favorite television show, and to me, only Michael C. Hall is Dexter. So if Brad Pitt suddenly came in to replace Michael, I would be livid. And I love Brad Pitt’s work. He is extremely talented; but he’s not Michael. So I just empathsized with fans, chose not to engage in the negativity, and stayed positive. After 5 months of relentless hatred, the fans came around. They finally understood you can like us both. We’re just different flavors of ice-cream. There’s no need to only like one. Now I have the best and most die-hard fans anyone could ask for. Every cloud has a silver lining.

TVR: Are you still in contact with anyone from General Hospital and did you enjoy your time working on the show?

JL: I loved working on General Hospital! I got to be part of television history. I wish I had come in under different circumstances, but I fully enjoyed the time I had. I mostly keep in touch with Kelly Sullivan and Kristen Alderson. I love the entire cast, and when any of us run into each other, it’s always a warm exchange. I hope I get to work with someone from General Hospital again soon.

TVR: Having now worked on two daytime shows would you eventually like to move into primetime and if so what sort of shows would you like to work on?

JL: I would love to work on primetime again. My first love is comedy. I’ve booked several comedic pilots that never got picked up, but I know some day I’ll book one that gets the green light. However, I need balance in my life. I can’t just do drama, or just do comedy. Ideally, I would be able to juggle a primetime comedy and still work on Days. It’s possible. Just look at Alison Sweeney. She hosts The Biggest Loser, she’s a leading lady on Days of Our Lives, she’s an author, a director, a wife, and a mother. You really can have it all. Why settle for less?

TVR: Having appeared in the movie The Artist would you like to appear in more films in the future?

JL: Absolutely! Directors, writers, and producers: I have film “outs” in my contract. Call me!

TVR: Do you prefer life as a blonde or a brunette?

JL: Good question! It depends on the type of character I’m portraying. Right now, I love playing an edgy brunette, but in real life, I’m a blonde.

TVR: What are your long term goals or ambitions?

JL: I want to become a successful children’s book author, host a design show on HGTV, design my own home decor line, land a leading role in a biopic, record an album, and have children. I like staying busy.

TVR: If you hadn't become an actress what other sort of career would you liked to have followed?

JL: I would have gone into interior design, become a kindergarten teacher, or pursued law school.

TVR: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans around the world?

JL: Around the world? Whoa! That’s amazing. Ok, well then, hello, ciào, bonjour, hola, hallo, shalom, xin chào! My fans are my friends, so thank-you for being my friend! I value you more than you know. Tweet me! @jen_lilley


- Days of our Lives
- General Hospital (US)
- Jen Lilley

Written by: Ben Drummond
Jul 29th, 2013, 1:56 am

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