Today marks Kristian Alfonso's last appearance as Days of our Lives' Hope Brady, but just because the actress will no longer be in Salem doesn't mean that she won't continue to affect viewers' lives. In fact, she's opening up about some of the lessons that she has learned during her 37 years on the NBC soap opera, and it's valuable advice that could change fans' personal work situations for the better.
As anyone who loves DAYS knows, Alfonso made the incredibly difficult decision to end her near-four-decade run as Hope earlier this year. A lot of thought went into whether or not it was the right time and the right decision, but in the end, she trusted her gut -- which is one of the most important lessons she has ever learned.
"When my contract was up for renewal in the mid-'80s, I remember not knowing whether to stay or go. I asked my dad for advice. I was like, 'Should I stay, should I leave? I just don't know what to do,'" she recalls in a recent Glamour article. "And he asked me if I was happy, and I said, 'I am happy.' And he said, 'Well, there's your answer.'"
Another major career lesson that Alfonso has learned is to always give your job your absolute best, no matter how successful you become. She had been playing the role of Hope for decades and could have dialed it in at any point, but she shares that she always gave DAYS 100 percent of her effort, 100 percent of the time.
"Sometimes, on the weekend, I'd be sitting at the kitchen table all weekend thinking about how I'm going to learn all this dialogue, because it would be so much. But I have to be prepared. DAYS was paying me a very generous salary, so I wanted to make sure they got even more for their money," she says. "And because it's a total workout to memorize all that dialogue, I even hired someone to come to the house and run dialogue with me the last few years. That way, when I walked onto set on Monday mornings, I knew all eight and a half episodes."
However, Alfonso warns that there is a fine line between giving a job your all and letting it define you.
"None of my identity is wrapped up in playing Hope. When they say cut, I'm out. I'm Kristian. Ultimately, a job is a job, and a lot of relationships -- great relationships, even -- are created [from those jobs], but never assume anything," she says. "Just show up prepared. Be professional. And always be respectful of your coworkers, regardless of who's been there for how long. It doesn't matter. We're all trying to accomplish the same thing."
For more from Alfonso on what she's learned about negotiation, loyalty to employers, nerves on the job, and more, check out her full interview with Glamour here.
As Soap Central previously reported, due to the timing of Alfonso's decision to leave, DAYS writers didn't get the chance to write a proper sendoff for Hope, as the actress had already filmed her final episode prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Therefore, Hope will unfortunately disappear today without any on-screen fanfare. However, that doesn't mean that she has to disappear without off-screen fanfare! Be sure to share your thoughts, well-wishes, and goodbyes in the Comments section below and on Soap Central's social media channels.
What do you think about the work and life lessons that Kristian Alfonso has learned from her 37 years at DAYS? How do you feel about a Hope-less Salem? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.