Oliva Rose Keegan from Days of our Lives

Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

Days of our Lives actress reflects on her daytime journey.

Soaps.com recently reported that Olivia Rose Keegan’s final episode as Claire Brady on Days of our Lives is July 9. The actress recently spoke to Soap Opera Digest about her exit from the NBC soap, which was difficult for her. “I started when I had just turned 15 and was just a child. I grew up with the people there. They’re my family. I have so much love for everyone working at Days of our Lives and for Claire. It was the greatest three-and-a-half years ever.” Keegan also enjoyed her character’s transformation, which she said was, “an actor’s dream. I got to play a thousand characters in one. I am so grateful for my last storyline and the last six months on the show. It was so challenging. I’m so glad that they trusted me with that material and gave me something I could really dig my nails into. My exit storyline was the most fun I had on the show the whole time I was there.” Her character holding Ciara (Victoria Konefal) hostage and trying to set her and the cabin on fire again was one of her favorite moments. “Obviously, it was sad to shoot. And it was emotionally demanding and bittersweet because Victoria and I are best friends. I’m glad we got to spend the last couple of days filming together. That sad, bittersweet energy of my leaving the show definitely had a positive effect on the emotional demands of those scenes.”

More: Days alum Blake Berris welcomes child with wife

Keegan admits she will miss “getting to work with Victoria… and getting paid to work with my best friend was a literal dream. I didn’t ever think that that could be called a job because it didn’t feel like a job. Driving to the set at 5 in the morning. I loved driving when it was dark out and there was no one else on the road. It was peaceful and therapeutic.” She insists that everything she has known about acting she has learned from Days of our Lives. “People say this all the time and it’s true. [Soap operas are] an acting boot camp. You get to do so much. One day you’re getting kidnapped. One day you’re setting someone on fire. One day you’re crying because you had a miscarriage. The opportunities are endless, and it’s such great practice. You’re working off an adrenaline rush a lot of the time, which helps you. And it’s also fun.”

Claire’s exit from the show, to seek help at a mental hospital, leaves the door open for her return. Keegan is thrilled about that. “[I’m] glad that Claire is getting the treatment she needs. Like her family tells her, there is hope. There’s always hope because she has a mental illness. I’m so glad it ended that way because I think she will get better.”  Keegan’s final day was a celebration with her friends. “Victoria and a lot of other people surprised me in my dressing room and threw glitter everywhere. We all just hung out all day and cherished our last moments together on set.” Since wrapping up at the NBC soap, Keegan has been focusing on her music. “I’m in the studio writing and creating music every day that I can be. I’ve also been auditioning. I’m honestly falling back in love with acting in so many ways. I’m getting the chance to play new characters and read new scripts.” However, she is sure one day she’ll be back in Salem. “I miss the show and visit the set often. I’m sure I’ll be back.”