Sal Stowers is living the good life as Days of our Lives’ Lani Price Grant, front and center in storyline with a lot more to come. It’s been a slow and steady evolution that she hasn’t taken for granted. The actress was eager to chat about her stint in the Salem limelight, working with Jackée Harry and Marla Gibbs, and the story turn that has her “absolutely heartbroken.”
Sal Stowers Reveals Her Thoughts On Upcoming DAYS Storyline
Soap Hub: You’ve become such a key character on Days of our Lives. How does that make you feel?
Sal Stowers: I’m super thankful and honored. As an artist, the goal is always to tell great story and shine a light on something that maybe is not possible in our own lives. I’ve worked really hard on the show, so it’s definitely rewarding that Lani has become such a staple in the Salem community. I feel like it slowly started to happen. Eli [Lamon Archey] and Lani have become such a powerful couple, and Abe [James Reynolds], being Lani’s father, is such a powerful part of Salem. Now to have what’s happening with Paulina [Jackée Harry]… It’s exciting and feels good to know that the story that I’m telling is such a big part of the show.
What were your thoughts when you learned Jackée was cast as your “aunt” Paulina?
I was so excited. Of course, there was the initial reaction of, Hey. What’s happening? Are they going to do something to break Lani and Eli up? I thought maybe Chanel [Raven Bowens] was going to try to get in the way of their marriage, because, as we know with soap couples, there is always some type of drama.
Obviously, you were aware of Jackée’s array of work?
Yes. I love Jackée. I was such a big fan of Sister, Sister growing up. I knew her. I love her wit. She’s so fun and spontaneous and this bright light. I’m so thankful and honored to get to play alongside her. It was definitely one of those moments in my career where I was like, Oh wow! Look who I get to work alongside. As artists, we all have dreams to work with this actor or that actor. So when people start crossing your path, it’s really humbling.
Was it easy falling into the roles of aunt and niece?
It was so easy. Jackée and I connected right from the start. It was effortless. It was like, she was my aunt. I was her niece. That family dynamic was just there. When we’re around each other, it feels good. She just gives me so much love. It’s a really wonderful thing to work alongside someone and not have to force the connection. It helps bring the material we’re given to life and makes it so much more wonderful to play.
Then the show cast Marla Gibbs as “Big Mama,” your grandmother.
Oh my God. I know. It was the same thing as with Jackée. It’s Marla Gibbs. She’s this pioneer…such a legend. Her presence is so graceful and royal, and she’s wonderful to be around. I remember the first day she came on set. She saw me and automatically called me by my character’s name — “I love you so much Lani, and I’ve been watching you.” She’s a true fan of the show. She watches it and knows everybody, all the characters and storylines. She was so precious. I remember hugging her and feeling like I wanted to cry. She reminds you of a grandmother and feels like a grandmother. It felt so special to be hugging her and be able to work with her.
Let’s get down to the hard stuff. What were your thoughts when you learned Paulina was going to be Lani’s real mother?
It’s weird. I kind of knew it was coming. They didn’t tell me for a while, but something just wasn’t clicking. When I found out she was going to be my mother my heart sank. The first thing I thought was, ‘Oh no! Abe’s not going to be Lani’s father.’ And everybody knows I have this crazy ridiculous connection with James Reynolds.
So that had you concerned?
I was brought onto the show to play his daughter. That was the whole reason my character was brought to Salem. So, for me, it didn’t make any sense at first. I was deeply saddened because I love Lani being Abe’s daughter and everything they’ve worked through. Also, I think so highly of James Reynolds. He’s such a legend. He’s worked so hard in the industry. I’m there to lift him up, to add value to his stories, and to create with him. I didn’t want anything to be taken away from him…I was absolutely heartbroken. My feelings were just like, ‘Wait. No. I don’t want this to happen. I don’t like it.’
Have you come around to the idea?
Obviously, I have to look at the writers’ standpoint and the show and what they’re trying to create. That’s just how this game is. You have to know that at the end of the day, the writers are going to tell a story that’s going to benefit everybody, and it’s going to make the fans fall more in love with the characters.
Let’s talk Lani and Eli’s twins. Are we ever going to see real babies?
Yes. You will be able to see baby Carver and Jules soon. They’re so beautiful, and just the sweetest little babies.
How hard has it been playing maternal feelings with dolls?
It’s been really challenging. It sucked. [Laughs] Pre-Covid we knew we were going to have real babies. That was really exciting. You want to have the real thing. Dolls make it very challenging, but being an actress, you have to use what’s given. So Lamon and I made it work. You do what you’ve got to do to tell the story. But now we have real babies. We were ready for the real thing.
Lamon posted a picture of one of the freaky-looking dolls on Instagram.
Yes. He was like, “Sal Stowers, we did not make these babies.” The show did their best with getting dolls that were African-American [and had] the complexion of Lamon and me, so we’d have the feeling of, ‘OK. These are our children.’ But they do look a little crazy, and their hair is wild.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.