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Days of Our Lives' Emily O'Brien Explains Why She Loves Playing "Outcast" Gwen

As Days of Our Lives newcomer Gwen, Emily O'Brien might be a fresh face in Salem. But she's well-known to CBS soap fans, as she played Jana Hawkes for years on The Young and the Restless. The Brit chatted with Soap Opera Digest about the many mysteries of the scheming Gwen, as well as bringing her Persian heritage to life in her other work.

Of Gwen, O'Brien mused:

Getting to play somebody who's kind of raw and scruffy, a misanthrope who doesn’t really fit in very well, feels extremely comfortable for reasons that I don’t know. I really truly enjoy playing the outcast.

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Gwen is an exciting character, she explained:

She’s different and quite unpredictable and much more dangerous, maybe I should say. She doesn’t look or behave like mot of the people in town, and that’s really fun. There’s more room to make a character colorful than if you’re playing an ingenue or a straight character, and it’s more interesting.


An accomplished voiceover artist, O'Brien has been able to channel her Persian heritages in that field. Most recently, she voiced Samira, the first Middle Eastern character  in the League of Legends universe. The actress noted:

There are many video games with Persian roles. In Telltale’s Batman game, I was a Persian character, and I recently did another video game where I was Persian. It’s been very nice to be able to integrate that side of myself, because it had been rare up until the past decade or so.