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Exclusive DAYS Preview: Cherie Jimenez On Gabi's Return!

cherie jimenez



Stefan goes to the prison to visit Gabi and delivers some big news to his incarcerated wife: EJ and Rafe are working to help free her, and she should be released that day.

The big scenes mark the debut of Cherie Jimenez in the role of Gabi. “I’m so excited. It’s been a wild seven months,” gushes the actress, reflecting on how long she had to keep her casting a secret.

Understandably, Gabi feels a rush of emotion when she sees Stefan and hears his life-changing news. “I think there are two parts to it,” Jimenez notes. “There’s seeing the love of her life; Gabi loves Stefan so much that just having him be there in front of her is everything. So there is that want and desire to jump over the table and to just be with the man that she loves. And then, when it comes to him telling her that he is possibly going to get her out, there’s definitely some skepticism about it, because of everything that has happened with her being in prison. It’s like, ‘But how are you going to get me out?’ Gabi is struggling with accepting the fact that she might be free. On the one hand, she wants to believe it. But on the other hand, she’s just not sure if this is actually going to happen.”

Although Stefan insists that EJ has decided to put family loyalty above their differences, Gabi isn’t buying it. “Because of the relationship that Gabi and EJ have, she’s convinced that, ‘Okay, well then you must have something on him,’ ” says Jimenez. “ ‘EJ would never do this for me. It doesn’t make sense.’ So she’s trying to figure out what Stefan has on him.”

Stefan tries to distract Gabi with plans for what they’ll do when she gets out of prison. “She’s very cautiously optimistic,” reflects Jimenez. “I mean, like I said, she wants to hope. But at the same time, she’s been in prison for so long. She’s thinking, ‘Is it really going to happen?’ ”

Once her freedom is imminent, Jimenez offers, “I feel like at that point, everything just falls [away] – all of the worries, all of the stress, all of the fear… Everything that she’s been going through — being away from her daughter, being away from her family, everything. She’s finally able to accept, ‘It’s here, it’s happening.’

“It’s funny,” Jimenez continues. “I can picture myself in that moment of that scene. There was just this beautiful, ‘Ahhh.’ It was like a weight had been lifted, like, ‘Okay, I’m free now.’ Now she gets to be with Stefan, and she gets to see her daughter and she gets to be with her family. And also, most importantly, is her name gets to be cleared. She had been accused of this crime that she didn’t do.”

Expect Gabi to have undergone some personal transformation due to her latest stint behind bars. “The Gabi that gets out of jail is a changed Gabi in that she has just gone through an incredibly difficult time of being away from her daughter and Stefan, specifically,” explains Jimenez. “That has changed her in so many ways. It’s allowed for her to see what’s really important and to wade through all the bulls–t. She wants to make the most of the time that she has now to really be with the man she loves and to have these relationships in her life that she really cares about and to grow these relationships because there has been so much time wasted.”

So, Jimenez reports, “First off, she wants to go see her daughter. That’s number one. Then, of course, she wants to be with Stefan again, just be in his arms and love him. She also wants to get back into business, start focusing on getting herself back into the world of who she is, and kind of building her world back up again.”