|Days of Our Lives|
|Portrayed by||Sal Stowers|
|Current status||Present; Regular (Contract)|
|First appearance||September 25, 2015|
|Created by||Josh Griffith and Dena Higley|
|Introduced by||Albert Alarr, Ken Corday and Greg Meng|
|Born||November 10, 1987|
|Occupation|| Police Detective (2015-present)|
Police Officer (formerly)
Casting and creationEdit
The series released the casting call for the contract role in September 2014, then known as Maya. The character was due to start filming in late 2014 and expected to air by Spring 2015. On June 30, 2015, it was announced that model and actress Sal Stowers, known to daytime audiences for portrayal of Cassandra Foster on the short lived online reboot of All My Children. Stowers was the season 9 of the reality television series America's Next Top Model. The actress was slated to make her first appearance in September 2015. "So beyond excited and honored to announce that I have joined the Emmy-winning cast of Days Of Our Lives!" Stowers said in celebration of her new gig. Stowers filmed her first scenes in April 2015. On September 2, 2015, Stowers confirmed through Twitter that she would debut in the role of Lani on September 25. Stowers auditioned opposite Galen Gering and beat out 8 other actresses for the coveted role. Stowers described the casting process in an interview with Soap Opera Digest. "It was 6 a.m. and there was this huge adrenaline rush right before the test." She was instructed by the casting director Marnie Saitta to do push-ups to help calm her nerves. Stowers booked the role the same day. She was still a bit nervous but then the actress told herself "There was a reason why I got the job." She taped three episodes on her first day. The casting reunited Stowers with her All My Children co-star Robert Scott Wilson. To celebrate her new gig, Stowers planned a brunch to coincide with her first airshow. "I love playing Abe's and being apart of his family" Stowers said of the role. "I'm so passionate about Lani" she continued.
Lani is introduced as a new police cadet at the Salem Police department and later reveals herself to be the illegitimate daughter of Mayor Abe Carver (James Reynolds) and his ex Tamara Price. Lani is very driven and focused on her career. Lani forms a close bond with her younger half-brother Theo Carver (Kyler Pettis) and also falls for Shawn Douglas Brady (Brandon Beemer) who has recently separated from his wife. She is also instrumental in bringing down Ben Weston (Robert Scott Wilson), the "Necktie Killer." Lani leaves town when Shawn Douglas reunites with his ex-wife. The character returns to town in December 2016 to visit her father Abe who has recently been shot by Clyde Weston. A paranoid Theo ropes her into investigating their father's new love interest Valerie Grant (Vanessa A. Williams). Later she entered into a relationship with her partner, Detective J.J. Deveraux.
In Christmas 2017, after she believed her boyfriend J.J. was having an affair with his ex Gabi Hernandez, she had a one night stand with Eli Grant. Through her one night stand, in January 10, Lani discovers she is pregnant with Eli's baby.
Lani first arrives in Salem as a new police officer.She begins looking at a picture of Abe Carver. She also started a flirtation with police detective Rafe Hernandez. Abe saw the photos of him on Lani's laptop and soon realized that she was his daughter with Tamara Price. Lani and Rafe attended the Bicenteniall where Abe confronted Lani about his suspicions, and Lani confirmed she was his daughter. Abe said he wants to tell Theo before everyone else. Soon after, Theo asked Lani for help when Joey Johnson collapsed.
Lani was very helpful with realizing that Ben Weston was the actual necktie killer because almost all the murders looked staged. Lani and JJ went to mammoth falls to arrest Ben. When Theo found out that Lani was his sister he threw a fit and did not talk to anyone, except her. Theo saw Abe and Lani eating and talking, and Abe wanted Theo to join them, but Theo said no and Lani realized he was upset. Theo confide in Lani that he was being bullied. Lani kept trying to seduce Rafe even though it was obvious that he was not interested That became official after Hope Brady killed Stefano DiMera and Rafe became close with her. Lani got a new partner Shawn Douglas Brady at the police force and the two became close. Shawn and Lani started flirting and eventually kissed. Lani and Shawn went to a café on a date during Shawn's sister Ciara Brady's birthday Theo and Claire saw Shawn and Lani kiss. Lani, joined Shawn, JJ, John Black, Rafe, and his father Eduardo Hernandez on infiltrating the compound of Yo Ling. A gunfight broke out, before they were driven back, and John was captured by Yo Ling's men.
Shawn and Lani continued their relationship and Lani tried seduce Shawn almost every possible time. Lani and Shawn kissed and almost had sex on the interrogation room table. Lani revealed to Shawn that she had a relationship in Miami that ended in disaster and that Shawn was the only real love she ever had. Lani and Shawn went to a motel, but ended up busting up a drug deal that was taking place in the room next to theirs. Shawn and Belle reconnected and got back together, and his relationship with Lani ended as a result. Lani was said to be in Miami Florida, but returned to Salem near the end of the year. She agreed to help Theo investigate Valerie Grant, who had gotten close to their father, and on New Years Eve, revealed to J.J. that she was the woman he had slept with while in Miami.
Lani and JJ eventually got closer and became an actual couple. In April 2017, Lani took on a tough assignment where she went undercover as a prostitution in order to catch a drug dealing pimp named Snake. Snake was dealing a dangerous and highly addictive drug called Halo. After Lani’s first encounter with Snake, she woke up on a park bench. JJ and Abe didn’t want Lani going undercover, but Lani went against their wishes, and met Snake again. Snake found out Lani was a cop, and forced her to take a bunch of Halo pills. JJ burst in and arrested Snake. Lani was hospitalized and suffered greatly while detoxicating.
Soon after, in May 2017, Lani went to Greece to help apprehend Deimos Kiriakis for kidnaping Nicole Walker. On the way back to Salem, on Chad DiMera’s plane, the plane crashed and left them stranded on a deserted island, and they spent most of May on the island. On the island, JJ and Lani finally consummated their relationship, but things took a turn for the worse when Lani found a skull, and a diary was located that talked about a couple that had been stranded on the island. The husband became afflicted with Jungle Madness, which made him violent, and he eventually ended up killing her. Eli went missing only to turn up later with a shoulder wound and revealed that Paul Narita had become afflicted with Jungle Madness. The group subdued a violent Paul, and were soon rescued by John Black and Marlena Evans.
In November, JJ and Lani’s relationship hit a rough patch when JJ and Lani were investigating a break in, and JJ shot the perp, who turned out to be Theo. Abe was furious with JJ for the shooting and wanted to punish him, and JJ was so wracked with guilt that he broke up with Lani. On Christmas Eve, Lani went to see JJ, and saw him and Gabi in bed together. Lani ran into Eli, and confided in him. Eli was furious, and during the conversation he revealed he had fallen for her a long time ago. To suppress their pain Eli and Lani ended up sleeping together. Lani was filled with regret, but Eli felt there was nothing wrong only to find out later that Gabi had stayed with JJ because JJ had been planning to commit suicide. In January 10, Lani discovers she is pregnant with Eli's baby.
The original casting notice described the character as "smart and drop-dead gorgeous" African-American woman between the ages of 25 and 30 who was a "confident, dedicated professional" with a "sensitive side." According to Stowers, "Lani is very smart." She is also "very driven and really good at her job." Stowers described Lani as having "a power in her." Of her character, Stowers said Lani "came with goal." Lani is "very determined. When she finds out what she wants, she goes after it and won't let anything stop her."
There was initial speculation that Lani would share connection with Billy Flynn's character, Chad DiMera. Upon her introduction, Lani is still settling into her new home "so we are seeing Lani on her best behavior" Stowers remarked. She is also trying to build a relationship with her father Abe whom her mother kept "hidden from Lani her whole life." Lani is determined to ingratiate herself into the Salem Police department and "she's putting everything into her work." In the beginning, Stowers said "there was a mystery to Lani." As the mayor's daughter, "Lani kind of walked on eggshells."
In March 2016, Daytime Confidential reported that Stowers was one of several cast members released from their contracts when the series once again replaced the writing team. Stowers had actually filmed her departure scenes at the end of 2015, only a few months after her onscreen debut. However, the series kept quiet about her impending departure. When the news finally broke, Stowers took to Twitter to thank fans for their love and support. Of Lani's unexpected departure in June 2016, Stowers said "I just went with what was happening."
In September 2016, rumors circulated that Stowers would reprise her role as the actress had appeared in the cast photo for the 13,000th episode back which filmed in July 2016. However, Stowers return was not officially confirmed by the network until the week before her first re-appearance on December 19. Stowers was hesitant when she was suddenly contacted by the casting director about returning to the role of Lani. "I was excited but at first, I didn't believe it" the actress explained. However, Stowers revealed that she expected Lani to come back at some point because the connection to Abe. Her return was kept secret so it was just as much a surprise to her co-stars as the actress herself. Of Lani's return, Stowers said "Now , she's taking more risks." Stowers revealed that the writers would explore her character's personality much more. Stowers also changed the way she portrayed Lani. "I wanted to approached her differently and bring a boldness to Lani, showing her as strong." Lani comes back to town with "secret." Though Lani's main reason for returning is to visit her ailing father, it is revealed that she is the woman JJ Deveraux (Casey Moss) had a drunken one-night-stand with whom he could not remember.
Trey from Rickey.org said of Stowers casting "Looks like Days of our Lives is about to get some well-needed diversity on their canvas!" Jamey Giddens said Stowers' firing "proves once again that while discussion of diversity are of growing important in primetime and film, daytime is completely regressing in this area." Ryan White-Nobles from TVSource Magazine said the lack of development for the character left him unable to feel anything for Lani. However, he continued, "I will say it’s disappointing that once again; an actress of color remains an afterthought in a genre that once placed a value on showcasing diversity." Michael Goldberg from Serial Scoop said "here is hoping that Lani works better as a character this time around then she did last time" and believed Lani's interactions with JJ Deveraux would benefit the character.
- ↑ Tamara was pregnant by Abe when she left town in May 1987. Lani celebrated her birthday onscreen in 2017.