Alison Sweeney Talks 'Days of Our Lives ' Christmas Special — and Why She Won't Return 'Full-Time'

Alison Sweeney tells PEOPLE about her love for Days of Our Lives character Sami Brady and excitement for her full slate of Hallmark projects including next year's Wedding Veil trilogy

alison sweeney
Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty

Alison Sweeney is happy to return to her fan-favorite Days of Our Lives character Sami Brady as often as possible.

Audiences can see her again in the role very soon in the holiday-themed special Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas (streaming on Peacock Dec. 16), which Sweeney, 45, says involves "a fun twist on the character."

"I love playing the role of Sami," Sweeney tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. "For me, what I love about the character and what keeps me coming back for more is just how she's the kind of woman who... she's crazy, right? She can do anything. And I love this character because she is definitely willing to do anything to get what she wants."

The special follows Sami's son, Will Horton, as he works to finish writing a screenplay before his Christmas Eve deadline, and involves some classic holiday movie tropes inspired by his friends and family — but with several twists and turns, naturally.

Sweeney hints that Sami might be involved in the twists.

Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas -- Pictured: (l-r) Drake Hogestyn as John Black. Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady, Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans
Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock

"I love Ron [Carlivati, Days' head writer] and his perception of this character," the actress says. "Just when you think she's going to zig, she zags. She definitely has an unusual way of looking at life. So for this Christmas special he really came at me with a different, fresh perspective. And it was just such a fun twist on the character, and on the situation, on her, and what the fans want to see. So I really loved this idea from the get-go."

With her appreciation for the character and frequent "visits" to Salem, might a full-time return be in Sweeney's future?

"I love playing Sami but no, full-time is not the plan for me," she says. "Because I produce and develop content for Hallmark, and for other streaming services. I love getting to do my own projects: I love producing."

The star continues: "It's really been such a joy, and such a new, fresh, fun challenge for me. I do feel so blessed to be able to have the best of both worlds. The opportunity to go back to Days, it feels like going home again, to be honest with you. It's like visiting my family during the holidays. I get to see everyone. I get to play Sami. I get to go home. But then I get to go out and develop these projects and do other things, and expand myself, and push myself."

Alison Sweeney
Chris Haston/NBC

For more on Alison Sweeney, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday

Busy as ever with her slate of TV movies and series for Hallmark, fans can still catch her Christmas movie Open By Christmas airing throughout the month and next year, Sweeney stars in the trilogy Wedding Veil with other familiar Hallmark faces Autumn Reaser and Lacey Chabert.

"I'm working on the third movie now, where my character's sort of the featured love story," says Sweeney. "It's so fun. I can't tell you what a joy it's been to work with Autumn, and Lacey, and to develop this story and these characters. It's amazing to support other strong women and to tell these really beautiful stories. I just have really enjoyed it."

Sweeney's family members have also gotten a kick out of her Hallmark projects.

"My kids [Benjamin, 16, and Megan, 12] love the mysteries. It's so cute," she says. "My daughter's very skeptical of every character that walks on. She's like, 'I think they did it.' I'm like, 'No one's been murdered yet. In the next act.' So she's ready to solve the crime."

Sweeney adds, "And my husband [David Sanov, 49, a former highway patrol officer], he always lends a hand and gives me advice on some of the cop dialogue in the scene. So I get inside information on that. My mom's a musician, so she always weighs in on the music in all the movies."

Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas is streaming on Peacock Dec. 16 and Sweeney's Hallmark Christmas movie Open By Christmas is playing on Hallmark Channel all month long.

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