Renee stars as "Lexie Carver" on NBC's soap opera "Days Of Our Lives". Born into a large family of five siblings in Opalacka, Florida, she grew up in Georgia and New York. She worked as a secretary before chucking her clerical duties, and at the age of 19, signed with the prestigious Ford modeling agency and later made her acting debut on the primetime series “The White Shadow.” Since then, she has guest-starred on a wide array of television series, including NBC’s “L.A. Law” and “Night Court,” as well as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Sunset Beat,” “American Dreams,” “21 Jump Street,” “Insiders,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Marblehead Manor,” “What’s Happening Now!!,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Bodies of Evidence,” “Jessie” and “Trapper John, M.D.” She had a starring role in the feature film “Talkin’ Dirty After Dark” and was featured in the Boyz II Men music video “On Bended Knee” with Lark Voorhies, Kim Fields and Victoria Rowell. Jones made her debut on “Days of our Lives” as the ambitious and alluring Lexie Carver in February 1993. Off the set, Jones enjoys reading, playing tennis and working out. She also takes self-defense classes. Renee Jones was born on October 15, 1958.
Renee Jones likes to improvise during her work
On Working With Her Co-Stars: "I'm finally getting to do scenes with so many other people. Before, it was basically Abe and Lexie. Or Lexie, Celeste and Stefano. But before this whole baby thing, Lexie rarely had scenes with Hope or John or Bo. I'm getting to have scenes with other actors and different actors bring different things to the table, which makes me have to be on my feet constantly. With Kristian [Alfonso, Hope], it's great, because she's a great improviser. As she's doing a scene, let's say one of us drops our lines. We'll just keep on going with the flow of what we're feeling. I love that. Each person works differently. That' what makes it exciting to be with a new person each time. When you're working with one person all the time, you understand their rhythm and you kind of as you're reading the script know how they're gonna play it. Because you've been working with them so long, consistently. But when it's all these different people, you don't know what they're gonna bring to the table."
On Lexie's Mental State: "I feel like she's going crazy now, because she's on a roller coaster emotionally with this baby. Every time she turns around, someone else is threatening to take him and she's having all these challenges to face and get out of. Again, Lexie's just always crying and hysterical right now, so I really feel like she's on the verge of just going over."
On Lexie's Attachment To Isaac: "I think had she known initially about the switch, before she got attached to the baby, it would have been so much easier to give Isaac up. But because it has been a year, it's enough time to really become attached. Like I said, Lexie is thinking of Hope, too. She knows Hope has become attached to J.T. Lexie assumes why ruin it? Let's just leave it the way it is. Lexie just loves Isaac so much. He's precious, how can you not love him? If it were me in my real life, I'm sure I would have gone and corrected it. However, this is the role, so you try to make sense of it."
On Memorizing Dialogue: "The dialogue is so similar from day to day. One day I was on the set and I had this speech and I went on and on and the director and Joe [Mascolo, ex-Stefano] had this glazed look in their eyes and I said, 'What?' They said, 'That's not in the script.' 'Oh, that's tomorrow's, sorry.' But it was the same thing just continuing on."
A Q&A with DAYS' Renee Jones
She's played it good and she's played it bad during her tenure on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, and Renee Jones is here to tell you that nothing compares to portraying a sassy villainess. "I loved it!" smiles Jones, who celebrated her 10th anniversary as Lexie Carver, this year. Jones reflects on her DAYS journey from her brief stint as Nikki Wade (1982-'83) to her beloved role as Lexie (1993-present) and the lessons she's learned along the way.
SOAP OPERA WEEKLY: How would you describe the Lexie of today?
Renee Jones: Lexie is definitely good. She regrets the things she's done in her past. That was just an episode in her life. She's gone back to being the good girl. It was only the baby situation that made her bad. There's no reason for her to be bad now -- unfortunately (laughs).
WEEKLY: Obviously you miss her naughtiness?
Jones: It felt SO good! I miss it tremendously. That was the most fun that I had on this show. There were so many different colors during that time. The other day, I was doing a scene with Steve Blackwood (Bart) and, as I was leaving, he said, "Goodbye, Lexie." I thought to myself: two years ago I would have said, "Don't you DARE call me Lexie. You call me Mrs. Carver."
WEEKLY: Still, you don't think Lexie will ever revert back to her meek old self, do you?
Jones: No. Never, never, never! She's a DiMera. And part of it is my maturing as an actor and learning to trust my choices. I feel more comfortable in my skin. When I first started, I didn't take chances. I interpreted the character differently. Now I'm giving Lexie more of me. I'm showing different parts of my personality.
WEEKLY: Is there anything you're still striving to learn?
Jones: [During the baby-switch story] not only was I playing evil, but I was constantly crying and freaking out. That can be so draining on your psyche. I let it totally overwhelm my life. It was just memorizing my lines, going to sleep, and going through all these feelings. By the weekend, there was nothing left for me to give. My biggest quest for myself, now, is to work a lot, but to still have a life -- to learn how to delegate and say, "OK. I'll give four hours to studying on the weekend; then, I'll put it out of mind and go have fun." In the past I never let it go. While I was doing whatever, I'd be thinking, I could play Lexie like this. I could do this scene that way. You have to have a life, too.
WEEKLY: You originally played another role on DAYS. Do you think many fans remember your first stint on the show?
Jones: Maybe one percent of the audience remembers me as Nikki, because it was so long ago. It was only a year in the early '80s. I remember my voice was so squeaky and high, back then.
WEEKLY: Any memories you can share from your first experience in Salem?
Jones: I remember it fondly, because, at that time, I used to watch Days with my grandmother. When I first came one the show I was like a kid in a candy shop getting to see everybody -- Marlena, Maggie, Doug and Julie....I had to keep pinching myself. During those years you had to share dressing rooms with other actors. They put me in a room with Deidre Hall (Marlena). I was like, "Oh, my God!" She was wearing Shalimar perfume. I'll never forget it, because the whole room smelled like Shalimar. When Deidre left, I went over and smelled her perfume. I was so excited.
WEEKLY: What has been the best part of this job?
Jones: All the people I've gotten to work with. Jim Reynolds (Abe) has always been my confidant. If ever I was confused or having a problem, he was the one I went to. He always helped make it easier and explained things. He's very generous that way. I loved working with Joe Mascolo (ex-Stefano) and Tanya Boyd (Celeste), when Lexie found out they were her parents. I'm so happy Tanya is back. We have a great connection. I don't want to say mother/daughter, because she's so young, but we do have a bond. The thing about working on this show is that you don't get to be friends with people until you're doing scenes with them. If I had not had that huge storyline with Kristian Alfonso (Hope), who I just adore, I never really would have gotten to know her. I like spice, the variety of working with different people, because you get different things with each person.