camila banus BTS shoot JJ
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Salem won’t know what hit it.

When Gabi and her brother were forced by their father to leave town for their own safety, the timing couldn’t have been worse. “Things were just getting interesting,” laughs Days of Our Lives‘ Camila Banus of her alter ego’s departure. “Especially with Jake.”

With Gabi set to return toward the end of the month, Banus can’t wait to share the screen again with Jake’s portrayer, Brandon Barash. “Working with him really reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place,” she admits. “We have so much fun together, even if it’s a particularly tough or dramatic scene.

“He has such a natural presence, and it translates into every character he plays, whether it’s Jake or Stefan or someone else,” she continues. “He brings a lightness and ease to his performances that make everything feel that much more natural.”

More: What’s up with this Jake/Gabi photo?

While it’s a bit too early to reveal much about Gabi’s return, Banus does tease that her first episode back is not to be missed. “Let’s just say she likes to make an entrance,” laughs the beauty, adding that a few things will have changed while Gabi was out of town.

Meanwhile, viewers who’ve missed seeing Banus on their screens can spend a little time with her in a gorgeous exotic location. “There’s a wonderful show on Amazon Prime called Global Child,” she says of the series in which host Augusto Valverde invites celebrities and influencers to join him on adventures during which they explore the world while focusing on positivity and giving back to others. “It’s such a simple, powerful message.”

More: Our exclusive Days 55th-anniversary photopalooza

Banus’ Season 2 episode finds her joining Valverde for a trip to Greece, during which she takes part in a glamorous photo shoot, helps gather pollution from the beaches and ocean, and attends a traditional Greek wedding. “You’ll definitely see me in some funny moments,” she reveals. “You’ll get to see what I’m like on vacation, that’s for sure.”

Now, however, it’s back to work as she dives back into Gabi’s world. More than ever, the actress feels like she’s exactly where she needs to be. “I think it’s important for young Latino women to see someone who is as strong as Gabi, someone who goes out and fights for her place,” she says. “And there’s not really a lot of that necessarily being represented out there right now.”

As we continue counting down to Gabi’s return, click on the gallery below to join us in remembering some of the character’s best (and worst) moments.