Jen Lilley Details Awkward Days Of Our Lives Set Encounter With Replacement Emily O'Brien

The soap world has been buzzing with controversy ever since it was announced that fan-favorite character Theresa Donovan (played by Jen Lilley) was being recast partly through her most recent return to "Days of Our Lives." Lilley is being replaced by Emily O'Brien, who currently plays Gwen von Leuschner on the soap. In a strange turn of events, "Days" is having one actress play two different parts simultaneously, and the transition couldn't be more awkward.

Lilley originated the character of Theresa Donovan in 2013 and played her on and off until September 2023 when the recasting was announced. When Lilley returned to the soap in August 2023 for Victor Kiriakis' (John Aniston) funeral, a communication mishap led to Lilley not being available for the full filming schedule. Per People, Lilley assumed that the schedule would be condensed so that she could finish in time, but the powers-that-be had already recast her with O'Brien by the time she started filming. The errors led to a pretty embarrassing conversation between the two actresses.

The recasting caused some awkwardness between Jen Lilley and Emily O'Brien

Jen Lilley was to return to "Days" for a 12-week character arc, but when scheduling conflicts got in the way, it was decided she could film for four weeks instead. In an interview with People, Lilley detailed her first time meeting Emily O'Brien on set during her first day back to filming. They introduced themselves and discussed who their characters were, but little did Lilley know what was coming.

"We're catching up in the line," she told the outlet. "All the while, poor thing knows that she's the recast. At this point, nobody else knew."

Lilley went on to explain that she asked ex-producer Albert Alarr about her seemingly light filming schedule, and he told her that they had replaced her with another actress for the remainder of the arc. Lilley apologized to O'Brien for the way both actresses were treated, and encouraged fans to take it easy on her, as she noted in the interview, "They do not take recasts well."