Maxie Jones Replacement Jen Lilley

Jen Lilley as Maxie Jones
Jen Lilley, replacing Kirsten Storms as Maxie Jones. ABC, Inc.

The Temporary Maxie

For Jen Lilley, who temporarily portrayed Maxie Jones on General Hospital, the glass is always full. The petite blond with the huge blue eyes and winning smile not only held a steady job on General Hospital until Kirsten Storms returned, but she appeared in one of the most heralded films of 2011 -- The Artist. It's a film very close to her heart because of her love for silent and classic films, and she is proud of her involvement.

A Roanoke, Virginia native, Lilley's father is a judge and her mother is a marketing and event planner. Her parents always believed that their daughter would grow up to be a teacher. 

She surprised them, first with the ambition of singing, then in high school with her interest in becoming a journalist or lawyer, and finally, the desire to go into acting.

Always industrious, during high school, she owned and operated a wedding cake business out of her parents' kitchen!  After graduation, she attended University of Virginia, majoring in drama with a minor in environmental science. While in college, she won a role in an independent film. Film acting became her first love.

L.A., Here I Come

After graduation in 2007, Lilley packed her car and moved to Los Angeles to begin looking for work. She landed two gigs, one as a production designer and the other as a production manager.

Then she was hired as a swimsuit model on Hannah Montana.

In 2008, more roles came her way, including an appearance on Two and A Half Men and a regular gig as Sirena in a TV series, Ingles Ya!, which ran for 19 episodes.

Lilley went on to appear on Criminal Minds, Castle, Rules of Engagement, iCarly, several short films, and in 2011, the TV series Disaster Date.

General Hospital

Also in 2011 came General Hospital. The role she initially auditioned for was Irina, the so-called Lady in White, a mystery woman living in Wyndemere. Attending the audition in a long white dress, since the character was described as ethereal and angel-like, she locked eyes with casting director Mark Teschner, and did her entire reading that way. 

Teschner liked her work but didn't feel she was quite right for the role. It was just as well; the story arc ended early with Irina being killed.

About six weeks later, GH was casting for a character that sounded like Lilley's description, and her manager submitted her comedy reel. Teschner studied 1400 audition reels (samplings of an actor's work) and chose eight young women to audition for the producers the next day.

The casting director and the then-producer, Jill Farren Phelps, loved her audition and called her back to read with Bradford Anderson (Spinelli). She was then asked to wait outside. Five minutes later, she found herself loaded down with twelve scripts and told she was replacing Kirsten Storms temporarily. She started taping the next day. Whew.

Lilley found the amount of work a challenge but also says that the memorization and the fact that the soap only does one or two takes has been very helpful in her development as an actress.

She adds that replacing Kirsten Storms wasn't easy for the fans. Her analogy is that if anyone besides Michael C. Hall had played Dexter, she would have been very unhappy. She is grateful for the support she ultimately received from fans and her fellow actors.

Beyond General Hospital

Since the return of Ms. Storms, Lilley, a self-described workaholic, has been going nonstop: A TV movie, parts in six feature films, the role of Theresa Donovan on Days of Our Lives since 2013, 42 episodes of a TV series, Youthful Daze, and eight episodes of a series in pre-production, Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths.  

Another film she is appearing in, Where Are You, Bobby Browning? is now in post-production, and she has completed another film, Crossing Streets.

When Lilley is not working, she's deeply involved in two charities – and by the way, this lady donates half of her salary to charity.

One, Charity Water, builds wells in impoverished areas, and her other charity is Generosity Water, which aims to end the clean water crisis in developing countries, one community at a time. 

And that is how Jen Lilley is conquering Hollywood, one role at a time.