Alison Sweeney Talks About Her Bad Girl ‘Days of Our Lives’ Role Sami & If She Would Come Back Ahead of New Hallmark Movie
Who knew that Alison Sweeney, who is playing a career woman with an affinity for Jane Austen in Hallmark Channel‘s upcoming Loveuary film, Love & Jane (premiering Feb. 10), is herself quite the Austenphile? Apparently, there was much to relate to in her newest role as Lilly, the leader of her local Jane Austen book club and an aspiring writer, who is happiest in a bookstore.
“It was just so much fun to get to really relish everything Jane Austen and try and really step out of the characters that I’m used to playing and doing something a little different,” Sweeney told us. “I’ve read all her books my whole life.”
It’s a far cry from her days as Sam Brady on Days of Our Lives, for which she still gets recognized daily, but a transition Sweeney enjoys. (Love & Jane is only the latest in a long list of recent Hallmark collaborations.)
“Sami in particular was always so emotional and so extreme and always just on the verge of mental breakdowns,” Sweeney added. “And on Hallmark, it’s the opposite. It’s people who, even when they’re sad, they’re not that sad. They’ve got their lives together. Sami was always living on the edge.”
“The hardest thing about playing her for so long was that even when there was a happy moment or a wedding, there was always something else looming, some other storyline. It just never ended. There was never a feeling of like, ‘Oh, good, we resolved that.’ You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. And so, it felt like you were living it, because basically, all those years I would have two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, two families. I have a whole other life in my memory of things I did that were Sami.”
Alison Sweeney played troublemaker Sam Brady for 21 years, from 1993 to 2014, with occasional returns in the years since. The daughter of Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), she had countless naughty storylines, such as kidnapping her sister, blackmailing other characters and breaking up couples, along with her own list of failed relationships.
“My favorite storyline was the storyline that the fans affectionately dubbed the Sydnapping, when Sydney, my child on the show, got kidnapped. That whole story arc was probably my favorite on the show, because it really was a huge transformation for my character. So much drama. And it led to so many great scenes. That was so fun to play out,” she said.
“I loved playing Sami. I had a blast. But it’s very hard to not know how it’s ending when you start a storyline, when you’re playing these emotionally fraught moments, and you don’t know, as the actor, if you’re going to find out that he cheated on you next week or six months from now, or never. There were some stories that kind of didn’t play out until years later like, who’s Will’s father? It was years in the development, which was amazing if you’re the writer, James Reilly. But if you’re me, just playing it out, it’s a different feeling, as opposed to doing a Hallmark movie, where you go in knowing how it’s going to end and there’s a lovely, you can really play out all the moments, because you understand the arc of the whole story. You know the beginning and the middle and the end before you start.”
And yes, she does stay in touch with her fellow former cast members!
“One of my dear friends is Kristian Alfonso, who plays Hope. She and I are still really good friends. And Deidre. She played Marlena.”
So, will Sweeney ever return to daytime television?
“The door is always open,” she said. “I have such a great relationship with everyone there, and if the time was right or they wanted a certain storyline, I would always love to go back and visit.”