‘Days’ Star Heather Lindell on Jan Using Her Pregnancy to Snare Shawn From Belle
Jan Spears, played by Heather Lindell, finally came out of her coma back in 2019 for the digital limited series Days of our Lives’ Last Blast Reunion. Soon after, she migrated back to the NBC daytime soap and has remained a thorn in Shawn’s (Brandon Beemer) and Belle’s (Martha Madison) side ever since.
Her latest stunt — with Satan’s help — was to morph into Belle and seduce an unknowing Shawn. As viewers have learned, Jan’s now pregnant, presumably with Shawn’s baby! TV Insider chatted with Lindell about her irrepressible character, what she did in between Jan falling into a coma, and when she revived her antagonistic character.
You were off Days of Our Lives from 2005, when Jan went into a coma, until 2019. Why’d that take so long?! Jan’s a hoot!
Heather Lindell: Thank you. I never thought I’d be back at the show. It almost felt surreal when they reached out. I don’t think I gave a lot of weight or put any expectations into it when I was asked to appear in the [digital series Days of our Lives’ Last Blast Reunion]. I went in very freely and was excited to inhabit Jan again without thinking it would mean coming back to [the broadcast] show. It’s been such a fun ride over the last few years and the storylines have been so fun. There’s been some real thought put into her character [by the writers] and how she’s fitting into Salem. They’re keeping it fresh and exciting. I’ve been having a really good time.
Jan and Belle are similar in that they each go full force even though they have different moral compasses. It was fascinating to watch Martha play Jan, who assumed Belle’s appearance.
Martha handled all that material beautifully. There’s no way to play Jan at 50% or be half-committed. The character is so out there. You never know what’s coming next or what she’s going to do. It helps to fully commit as possible — that’s who Jan is.
Martha said she reached out to you to see how you’d play certain scenes so she could bring that version of Jan to life with as much authenticity as possible.
We talked. [Laughs] And I don’t think I helped her even a little bit! Martha did all of that on her own. She wanted to hear from me how Jan would [seduce Shawn]. Martha’s always been such a great support system for me and such a big cheerleader for me both as a person and as an actress. We have a history with our significant others and children. It’s so fun to play opposite her in whatever capacity. I’m always happy and grateful when she’s my scene partner.
Even after all these years, we don’t know much about Jan’s background. She said that her parents were killed in a car accident.
Supposedly [they were].
Exactly. Jan said she had no one to answer to, which allowed her to go off her rocker and do things like kidnap Shawn and keep him in a cage. She could be somebody’s relative on the show and we just don’t know it yet.
I think the possibilities are limitless. The doors are wide open if the writers wanted to place her within a family. It’d be a dream to find out that Jan’s someone’s long-lost daughter or cousin…who knows?
We’ve known for some time that Jan was going to be pregnant courtesy of that promo video that went out around the time of the Olympics. That material in the promo is now being played out.
I read on a message board that some of the fans might have seen that coming while others actually have been surprised. It’s going to be so fun to see this storyline play out.
What kept you busy acting-wise before you returned to the Days digital series in 2019?
I had many stints on Broadway. I did Hairspray and also La Cage Aux Folles with Kelsey Grammer and Doug Hodge, who won the Tony. [Note: In La Cage Aux Folles, Lindell played Collette and understudied the roles of Anne, Jacqueline, Mme. Dindon, and Mme. Renaud.] We performed at the Tonys in 2010 and 2011. After that I did H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theater.
When did you start singing?
Singing started my performing arts career. That was a God-given gift from a young age. I started as a toddler. I studied at the UCLA Ray Bolger Musical Theater program, so moving to New York and doing Broadway was a lifelong dream. I’m so happy I did it. Having that whole experience, both living in New York and performing on Broadway, was a momentous chapter in my life.
What do you think Jan wants to gain with this pregnancy?
I think she’s hoping that this baby will connect her to Shawn in a new way. The best-case scenario is the baby will make him fall in love with her and he’ll forget Belle ever existed. They’ll become the family of her dreams: Jan, Shawn, and their baby. That’s her hope.
If Jan were to snare Shawn, I can see her wanting her own personalized ornament on the Horton family Christmas tree.
[Laughs] That would be another dream come true. It’d be a true Christmas miracle if they could ever figure out a way to redeem Jan — which I’m sure they could if they want to. But it might be more fun to keep Jan bad. Even if or when you turn good, you don’t have to stay good forever.
Days of Our Lives, Weekdays, NBC, check local listings