Friday, January 06, 2012

Interview (Days): Renee Jones Takes a Look Back

As the old year draws to a close and a new one begins, I start to feel nostalgic, eager for a trip down Memory Lane. On this particular trip, I decided to take Renee Jones, who plays Lexie Carver on “Days of Our Lives,” down the lane with me. In part one of my interview with the gorgeous and talented actress, I asked her to reminisce with me about days past, and she was only too happy to oblige.

Daytime Dial: As you think back on the almost 20 years you’ve been on “Days of Our Lives,” what have been some of your favorite story lines to play?

Renee Jones: My favorite story line was Lexie finding out that Celeste was her mom and then trying to figure out who was her father — and then finding out it’s Stefano. That was a wonderful story line, and it went on for quite a few years — there were all these clues that lead to one thing to another, between the Parrot Man and all these different characters.

And then there was the whole baby-switch story line, finding out that the baby I was raising was Bo and Hope’s baby, thanks to my father. And then becoming attached to the baby and turning evil because I wanted to hold on to this child. The whole thing was maybe like a three-year arc, and it was the most exciting time for me as an actor because I got to play on so many different levels. It was the best story line that Lexie ever had, I feel, and the longest-running story line that she’s ever had.

DD: You mentioned Celeste, played by Tanya Boyd, and it makes me realize I miss her presence in Salem so much!

RJ: I know! I do, too. She brought such mystery to the show, and she was so exotic. I miss her so much. Recently I was switching my tapes from VHS to DVD, and I saw some takes between us and I thought: “Aww, I miss her. We were so good together, too.” Even though she was just five years older than I am, we were believable as mother and daughter.

DD: Speaking of mothers, now that Lexie is a mother to an autistic child, Theo, we’ve really seen her grow up and become a strong and caring woman, wife and mother.

RJ: An interesting thing that someone had asked me recently was, Isn’t it about time for Lexie to have another affair because that’s what she seems to do every couple of years? And I said that the thing that would stop her from doing that is Theo. She didn’t have a child when she did that in the past. Now her responsibility is to her child and making sure her child feels safe at all times, and her having an affair would not help the situation whatsoever. Another way that having Theo has changed Lexie is this whole situation with the mayoral race. If it were just a situation of me being pissed off at (her brother) E.J. because of how he’s being so underhanded against Abe, I would just wash my hands of him. But because Theo adores his uncle and his grandfather, I just can’t rip them out of his life, because it would affect him even stronger than a child who isn’t autistic. He’s so sensitive about things, and he likes to know that certain things are regular in his life. He’s definitely made Lexie more responsible.

DD: What can you tell me about the upcoming tensions between all involved in the mayoral race?

RJ: You’re going to see me having lots of talks with E.J., and it will seem like maybe my talks with him are getting through to him, that this is the kind of person he wants to be. Each time Lexie has a talk with him, it seems like it chips away a little bit at him and who he is, and it kind of softens the edges a little bit — although 10 minutes later he might go and do it again, but Lexie knows she softened him a little bit. I would love to keep their relationship intact, but I have to defend my husband.

DD: Lexie’s relationship with Abe is definitely getting stronger as a result of all of this. It’ll be nice to see a good, strong relationship survive all this election drama.

RJ: It’s so interesting, because I’ve had so many people, especially in their 20s, who say to me: “I want to see Lexie back with Tek or Brandon. The two of you were hot together.” And then you see people maybe mid-30s and older saying: “I’m happy to see you and Abe sticking together. I’m happy to see that somebody is sticking together.” They don’t know that as an actress, that can get boring.

DD: That’s true — it is a daytime drama, so we need some drama! Maybe just not the cheating-wife kind of drama.

RJ: Yes, if you can’t have me fool around on my husband, at least have me do something that’s fun and that I can get my teeth into. This election story line is something else that will get those acting juices flowing.

DD: On a personal note, I was astounded to learn that you recently turned 53! How do you stay looking so young, healthy and fit? Is there a secret pill, or do I need to start eating better, drinking lots of water and exercising?

RJ: That’s it. It’s the simplest thing — it’s what you put in your body. Big-time! If you put junk in your body — the chips and the sweets and the sodas — your outside is going to reflect what your inside is. I go through my time when I’m stressed and I want bad food, and so when I do indulge, I can literally see myself aging before my eyes. And I feel awful and sluggish, but then I get back on my routine — which is basically a lot of vegetables, fruit, chicken, fish and lean beef. I eat a gigantic salad every day for lunch. All the vegetables you can think of, I put together. I make sure I take my omega-3 fish oils, GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and primrose oils. I just recently found out about omega-3 oils that you can put on your face, and it’s amazing. I put it on my face at night just a little bit before going to bed, and I just have this glow the next morning.

You’ve also got to rest. For me, I need eight or nine hours of sleep a night. If I don’t get it, it shows. Caffeine ages you fast. It’s amazing how it just dries your skin up. I allow myself a cup of black tea every day. I love it with Silk (soy milk) and honey. And, like you said, drink lots of water.