eileen davidson
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

“I’m very happy for Kristen in this alternate universe.”

The countdown is on — there’s only three days left until Christmas! Well, there’s only three days left until Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas, that is. Take a breath before you keep reading, you still have time to get shopping done.

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We’re so excited about this very special Christmas movie that we sat down to talk to Eileen Davidson. She’s bringing Kristen back to Salem once again, and just like Deidre Hall’s Christmas Marlena, it’s in a way you’ve never seen her before. And no, we don’t mean as a manifestation of the devil!

Believe it or not, that surprise appearance had nothing to do with this one. Her possession appearance was filmed back in August, while the movie was shot in early November. In fact, Davidson says she had no idea anything was in the works when she called to check in with Days of Our Lives.

Inside Brady's Pub, Kristen side-eyes Johnny and Allie
“I was just calling the executive producer to check on something completely off topic,” she explains, “and he said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re thinking about doing a Christmas movie and we’d like you to be a part of it.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, I love that. How fun.’”

And when she found out what the premise was, she was all in. It would be a movie written by Will (with Sonny’s help) and featuring “real” Salemites that he knows, loves and, in some cases, hates. A story within a story? That gave Davidson and Kristen something new and juicy to sink their teeth into.

“Well, obviously it’s a fantasy,” Davidson observes. “So it’s like that It’s a Wonderful Life thing. What if these people turned out in a different way? What if things had gone a different route? It’s the choices that they would make under those circumstances.”

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In Kristen’s Wonderful Life, she and John are together, running a bed and breakfast and wearing ridiculously festive matching sweaters. It’s almost like Kristen finally gets the happiness she seems to crave but can never quite get out of her own way long enough to obtain. Think heavy doses of Hallmark Christmas magic — until some good soapy drama kicks in!

“It’s like if Kristen had not gone bad,” the actress notes… to a point. Kristen’s still a DiMera. Chances are she’d end up on Santa’s naughty list one way or another, which Davidson acknowledges.

In fact, she laughs about when she first got the script, saying, “I thought, ‘OK, so this is wholesome.’” Then after she kept reading, that turned into “Whoa, it’s not! But it’s also kind of fun.”

John in a black Christmas sweater. He stands at a desk answering a phone with a staircase and Christmas tree behind him.

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And really, she enjoyed pretty much everything about playing Kristen 2.0. One of her favorite moments is a Love Actually callback that we guarantee you will never forget. But also, “I just loved the fact that [headwriter] Ron Carlivati and the whole crew over there are just thinking outside the box these days.”

“I’ve spoken about it to Greg Rikaart,” who plays Leo as well as Young & Restless‘ Kevin to her Ashley, she continues, “and we both are just having a lot of fun because you get put into a box when you’re on a soap. You know you’re this character, and in this, I’m my character — but I’m not. It’s been a real treat.”

And we’re pretty sure you’ll find it a real treat, too. Keep an eye out here, because we’ve got more exclusive Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas interviews coming your way! And while you wait for the movie that seems like a definite slam-dunk of an idea, why not take a look through some photos of some of the worst daytime ideas of 2021?