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Jen Lilley Reveals Why Her New Holiday Movie Is “So Special” To Her


Since exiting DAYS OF OUR LIVES full-time back in 2016, Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa) has become a staple in the Hallmark Channel family, starring in movie after movie. This Saturday, Nov. 28., the actress’ latest offering for the cable network — USS Christmas — premieres. And Lilley shared that this particular film, co-starring Trevor Donovan (ex-Jeremy, DAYS), holds a dear place in her heart.

“I have always been so in awe of our military,” the alum of DAYS and GENERAL HOSPITAL (where she played Maxie) confessed. “Those enlisted, those who have served, and their families. When I got the script for my Christmas movie this year, I cried. Tears of gratitude and tears of responsibility.”

The actress went on to explain that she has several family members who were in the military, and one of them was even her muse for her performance in USS Christmas. “My great uncle, John Tierney, served as a rear admiral in the Navy and was an exceptional fighter pilot,” she says of the man whom she used as inspiration for her dad in the movie. “My brother-in-law, Josh, is a Marine, and his wife is the strongest woman I know for holding down the fort for months at a time and being an incredible mom and nurse.”

Lilley added that she has other uncles and cousins serving in different branches of the military. “The point is, I will never know firsthand what it’s like to be in the core family united of an enlisted servant. This movie allowed me to step into that role and touch the surface of what it must be like and gave me more depths of empathy,” she confessed. “It’s so special.”

In fact, the actress was so inspired by the movie and the sacrifice made by those who protect our country that she partnered with Hallmark to create a special holiday contest, “Operation: Christmas Is Not Cancelled“. One lucky family will win the ultimate Christmas celebration, all while helping children in need through Toys For Tots and the United States Armed Forces with the USO.

USS Christmas will debut on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries at 10 p.m. ET. Before you settle in to watch the premiere, check out this gallery of photos from the movie that Lilley shared!

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