Talks with Renee Jones image

Renee Jones (NBC)

Renee Jones (NBC)

Playing Lexie Brooks Carver over the years has certainly had its share of ups and downs for actress Renee Jones. After taping the 4th of July episode for Days of Our Lives, where she "oohed" and "ahhed" over fake fireworks, the very friendly and open actress took some time to talk with me about the rollercoaster ride her character has taken her on.

Playing Lexie on Days since 1993, Renee’s job security was called into question when she was let go and rehired twice over the last year and a half. “When it first happened it shocked me,” she recalled. “I didn’t think it would be that hard to leave, but let me tell you, I bawled. I cried like a baby. As soon as they started rolling the cake out, the tears just started!”

When she was brought back and then let go for a second time, Renee had a different reaction. “I just got mad,” she laughed. So when the powers that be admitted they made a mistake and asked her to return yet again, Renee put her ego aside and agreed to step back into Lexie’s shoes. Coming back with a different attitude, Renee says she’s never been happier at Days, stating, “I’ve been having the best time since I’ve been there this last time around. I don’t take it so seriously anymore. It’s not life or death.”

With her current storyline amping up, it doesn’t look like Renee or Lexie is going anywhere anytime soon. But just what is up with the bickering Carvers? “It’s like reality. It’s what happens. [Abe and Lexie] have been married a long time,” Renee explained and then marveled, “You know, first off, I’m telling you, Abe is like a saint to take Lexie back. This is the third time, and even after she’s been like, ‘I’m pregnant and I think it’s your son’s baby.’ I’m mean come on!”

It looks like the couple will have even more to disagree about though, as in the next couple of weeks, the Carvers will learn their son Theo is autistic, and according to the actress, Abe will go into denial about the situation. Adding an element of realism, Renee shared, “I’ve been told they’re going to play it well. I believe one of the writers has a child who has autism.”

Incorporating more truth to the situation, before she even learned she would be involved in this heavy storyline, Renee found herself watching several television programs dealing with the disorder. One such show involved actress Jenny McCarthy explaining how she reacted to learning that her son was diagnosed with autism. When Renee heard the pain in Jenny’s voice, it struck a chord. “As an actress you’re always looking to see what people do with that kind of stuff and that’s so real. Her saying how she felt about it helped me when it was time for me to reveal that Theo had [autism]. It helped to take me to a deeper place than it would have.”

Watching these events unfold should provide some intense drama between Abe and Lexie, but that might not be the only threat to their marriage. We’ve all noticed the chemistry between Lexie and Daniel of late, but will Lexie actually cheat on Abe for a third time? Only time will tell, as Renee surmised, “As [actors] we’re always trying to create some sexual tension or some storyline. You want the producers to see it and say, ‘Ooh, they have chemistry!’ They won’t tell us though. I think they want to tease the audience and see what happens.”

If Renee has her way, Lexie and Daniel will take a cue from George and Izzie on “Grey’s Anatomy”, who in the early seasons of the show were simply close friends. “They had the best friendship. It was so cool and that’s what I would love to have with Daniel. You wonder if it’s ever going to go to something else and maybe some people wish it would, but I don’t know if I want to see it go anywhere else,” she mused.

Not that she would mind being a little bad again, as when I asked if she liked playing Lexie when she turned to the dark DiMera side, she exclaimed, "I loved it! Because it gave me something to sink my chops into. When you’re just a good girl, you don’t have storyline, so you’re hardly working. When you’re bad, people love to watch.”

For the time being, it would seem Lexie is staying on the good side of things and will work on her problems with Abe, but Renee hopes things don’t get resolved too quickly. “I like it still with us having tension. I think it’s more interesting than just seeing us lovey dovey all the time.” She added, “I would like to see some consistency to where we’re going though, as opposed to once a week or once every few weeks. It’d be nice to see how we’re dealing with the problems that we have. Maybe it could help people.”

We here at will certainly be watching and waiting to see how it all plays out! I'd like to thank Renee for our lovely chat and hope her good time on Days continues.

Lori Wilson