It's a stunning end of an era for Days of our Lives. Fan favorite Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady) has announced that she will not be returning to Days of our Lives when it resumes production later this year. The actress, who has played Hope Williams Brady since 1983, has decided to walked away from the show after being told that she'd be written out of the show for five months.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight that aired more than a week after news of the Emmy-nominated actress' exit from DAYS, Alfonso revealed that she was "taken aback" when DAYS head honcho Ken Corday told her that her character would be "off camera for four to five months."
"It was not something that had ever been discussed, but that's what it was, and to come back in five to six months, or four to five months -- whatever that timeframe was -- I just thought, you know what, it's time to really write a new chapter," Alfonso explained. "I've had an incredible run there. I've had so many amazing friends and memories. I cannot say enough how I'll miss so many people working there and working with them, but they are in my life, and we do socialize, but like I said, I think it's time."
In her initial statement on social media, Alfonso made no mention of what ultimately led to her decision to walk away from the show that she called home for 37 years. Instead, Alfonso focused on thanking the fans, praising the show's cast and crew, and expressing gratitude that the show's co-creator was willing to take a chance on her.
"Days of our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey," the actress said in a statement on Monday, July 6. "I am forever grateful to NBC and the late [DAYS co-creator] Betty Corday, who took a chance on me many years ago and changed my life. I have built some lifelong friendships with my extraordinarily talented castmates. Days has one of the hardest working crews in all of television, many of whom have become part of my extended family. I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people's homes for over three decades."
Alfonso also admitted that the coronavirus pandemic played a part in her decision, but perhaps not in the way that most might think.
"This time during COVID, which has been so horrific for our country, the world, it really made me pause and think about life and to really appreciate our health every single day and never take it for granted, and that was part of my decision, also," she noted. "Through all of this horror of COVID, it's the first time in my life I was actually able to exhale, because I've been so busy with my life, and really enjoyed just being home and really doing nothing. Maybe cooking. But just enjoying my family, my friends. Catching up. I don't know if you realize or not, but I used to have a jewelry line also on top of working on Days Our Lives, and I miss it."
Now that the decision to part ways with DAYS has been made, Alfonso acknowledges that she's felt a "roller coaster of emotions." She is unsure if she will continue acting but admits that she's "been getting calls and some interest on some projects."
Late last year, as Days of our Lives was awaiting word on its renewal, the entire cast was released from their contracts. The move was a cost-saving measure and one that many envisioned would allow the NBC soap to renegotiate its contracts with the show's talent. Upon its renewal, a handful of stars, including Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith as well as Alfonso's on-screen love interest Galen Gering revealed that they'd been let go. It is unclear if any of those departures were designed as the lengthy hiatuses that Alfonso had been pitched.
Alfonso has already taped her final scenes -- but those scenes were not meant to be her character's final scenes. Those scenes, which were taped before DAYS halted production due to the pandemic, will air sometime in October. Alfonso kept her decision private -- even from her costars -- until she announced she was leaving DAYS on June 6. As for why she spoke up about her exit months ahead of her actual on-screen exit, Alfonso once again mentioned the fans.
"You know, I felt that I owed it to the audience," she explained. "The viewers who have watched for so long, I didn't want to hide anything. I've always been up-front, very honest, sometimes I get in trouble for being so honest, [but] I just felt that I really wanted to share what my decision was. I didn't want it to be a shock or a surprise when all the sudden, you know, Hope just appears in the attic, or she's off looking for someone, or maybe she's taken a trip, or she's, I don't know what they would come up with."
Alfonso has been playing Hope Williams Brady since 1983, outside of two brief breaks in the late 80s and early 90s. The character was originally introduced as Hope Williams, the daughter of Doug Williams (Bill Hayes) and Addie Horton (Patricia Huston/Patricia Barry), who eventually fell in love with and married Bo Brady (Peter Reckell). Hope's had many storylines over the years, including her long-lasting romance with Bo, a presumed death, being brainwashed to believe she was Princess Gina Von Amberg, and murdering Stefano (Joseph Mascolo).
To read reaction from the daytime community to Alfonso's exit, please continue reading here.
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