Days of our Lives stars Casey Moss and Jen Lilley spoke with TVSource Magazine during the “Day of Days” fan event at Universal Studios this past Saturday. The actors discuss adjusting to the soaps’ rapid-fire production schedule and some of their most challenging scenes.
Every soap actor will tell you the pace of daytime is quick and concise, but the Days of our Lives filming schedule is unlike any other. We asked Days of our Lives newcomers Casey Moss (JJ) and Jen Lilley (Theresa) how they adapted to their show’s productions schedule.
“I just kind of had to,” says Moss. The 19 year-old model-turned-actor joined the soap earlier this year as Jennifer and Jack’s rebellious teenage son, Jack Jr. Prior to his casting on DAYS, he didn’t really have much experience working on other sets. “I don’t know anything else [but this].”
He admits it’s it was a bit of a shock when he learned the amount of dialogue soap actors had to perform each day. “I had a work shop with a casting director from CSI before I started the show and he was saying [about soap actors workload], ‘Wow they had 17 pages and we only have like 6 a day on a primetime show.’ We’ve done 50 pages! It is nuts, you just got to keep going at it.”
Jen Lilley, who joined in the spring as Theresa Donovan, complimented her co-star on the ease at which he adapted. “He works more than most on the show. He works almost every day.”
It is not just the pace, but the filming so far in advance is also a rarity for soaps. While most soaps are ahead 4-6 weeks in taping, Days of our Lives is close to five months ahead. Typically, Christmas scenes are filmed near the holiday season itself, but not at DAYS. “It was July when we filmed [Christmas]!” exclaims Lilley. “I put my Christmas tree up in October. It is a pretty well-known fact that I love Christmas, and I felt like an atheist because my tree wasn’t up, but it was like 95 degrees outside, but we are wearing Christmas sweaters.”
Now a few months into their roles, the actors feel they’re beginning to settle into their characters. Moss said the hardest scene he’s had to film so far was destroying the Horton Town Square. As for Lilley, she says the scenes where Theresa overdoes where the hardest. “I wanted to play them grounded and real. There is a fine line between playing them way over, and not playing them enough.”
The actress has had the opportunity to work with a variety of stars on the show, most recently fan favorites Charles Shaughnessy and Patsy Pease, her play Theresa’s parents, Shane and Kimberly Donovan. She welcomed the opportunity to get to chance to work with such great actors, and hopes to work with other veterans on the show as well. “I haven’t worked with Deidre Hall or John Aniston yet. Wally Kurth, and I were on [General Hospital] but not at the same time,” she reflects. “Just everybody, really. Especially veterans.”
As for Moss, the person he’d like to work with more might surprise you. “I’d like to work with Alison Sweeney,” he shares smiling.
TVSOURCE MAGAZINE “DAY OF DAYS” COVERAGE 2013
- ‘Day of Days’ Interview: Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn Preview John & Marlena’s Reunion
- ‘A Day of Days’ Interview: Blake Berris, Camila Banus and Kate Mansi
- ‘A Day of Days’ Interview: Casey Moss and Jen Lilley
- ‘A Day of Days’ Interview: Greg Vaughan and Ari Zucker Talk Eric and Nicole’s Big Confrontation