Days of Our Lives: Jen Lilley Stunned After Being Replaced as Theresa, Calls it a "Horrible Situation"

Days of Our Lives: Jen Lilley Stunned After Being Replaced as Theresa, Calls it a
By: TV Fanatic Posted On: October 03, 2023 View: 58

Since the dawn of daytime soaps, recastings have been pretty common.

Sometimes, it's because the original actors have moved on. Other times, it's because certain cast members are temporarily unavailable.

But nothing could prepare us for the news that Days of Our Lives has recast the role of Theresa Donovan with Emily O'Brien taking over.

Jen Lilley attends the 28th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Theater

It came out of the left field and has given fans pause because O'Brien has been with the show as Gwen Rizczech since 2020.

As we said, Recasting roles is not new to the soap world, but having an existing actor on the show take over a role from another is wild.

Theresa Surprises Brady - Days of Our Lives

Lilley opened up about the news to Soaps.com, saying it's a "horrible situation."

"Top to bottom, it was just not handled the right way. … Everybody was mad, because everybody was kind of lied to," she told the outlet of the controversial decision.

Lilley claimed she reached out to Albert Allar -- who has since been fired -- about bringing Theresa back to the show for Victor Kirakis' funeral.

Lilley agreed to shoot three months' worth of episodes in one month because that was the time she had available to stage a temporary comeback to the NBC-turned-Peacock series.

Parental Concerns - Days of Our Lives

She said she was surprised at the end of her return window to learn there was no conclusive ending for Theresa.

The actress said she went to Alarr, who told her that there would be a different Theresa on the show in the future.

"Theresa's still going to do all of that… it's just we're going to do it with a different Theresa."

Lilley believes her arc hadn't even been mapped out when she agreed to return.

Theresa Reunites With Her Family - Days of Our Lives

"I think they were bluffing at the time," she said of not having all of the story shown to her at the time.

The actress also has "no hard feelings" towards her successor and isn't ruling out giving pointers to her.

"That poor girl has had to have conversations with me [on set, knowing she was going to replace me]. How horrible she must have felt!"

Indeed, it's probably the craziest piece of casting news we'll report this year, and it makes us wonder what the show has planned for Theresa if they went to these lengths to keep her in Salem.

Jen Lilley at the 28th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Theater

What are your thoughts on the news?

Are you shocked?

Catch new episodes of Days of Our Lives on weekdays on Peacock.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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