Salem hasn’t seen much of Theresa Donavan the past few years, as Days of our Lives’ Jen Lilley has been off contract since 2016 (and only returned once for a short stint since then), but that doesn’t mean that fans haven’t seen the actress herself.
A Dream Come True For Jen Lilley
Over the past couple of years, Lilley has appeared in five holiday films—including Winter Love Story, Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday and Love Unleashed, and is currently filming another Christmas movie for the Hallmark Channel.
“Ready to work!!!! Back on set and COVID safe!” Lilley posted on her Instagram account, alongside a photo of herself wearing a face shield.
The new film, USS Christmas, is being shot in Wilmington, N.C., and also stars Trevor Donovan and Barbara Niven (ex-Liz Coleman Reynolds, One Life to Live). The story follows Maddie (Lilley), a newspaper reporter who embarks on a Tiger Cruise during Christmastime and she meets a handsome naval officer (Donovan) and stumbles upon a mystery in the ship’s archive room.
Last week, Lilley posted another Instagram story about some of her other co-stars, one of whom she shared a long-time connection with.
“Just the sweetest couple in the world from #USSChristmas,” Lilley wrote next to a photo of her along with Hardy Rawls and Ginny Maccoll. “Okay fun fact, when I was in fourth grade, this man right here, Hardy Rawls, aka the dad from Pete and Pete, performed at a small theater in my home state of Virginia. I just happened to see the play for a school field trip, and it left an impression on me for the rest of my life. I couldn’t understand what a celebrity was doing in Virginia, and I remember thinking maybe it wasn’t so crazy to think I could become an actress.”
Lilley credits that day with helping her realize her dream, as she recognized that all those scripts she wrote casting her stuffed animals in different roles was a desire to enter the creative arts.
“What an unexpected delight to perform opposite of him in this @hallmarkmovie and to get to tell him the profound impact he had on me as a child,” Lilley wrote. “I love that an artist can touch the lives of people he/she may never know. I’m so grateful for my job, and for my community on here. I hope and pray I touch your life in a lasting, positive, and meaningful way.” USS Christmas is set to air on Nov. 28 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.