Fans were shocked earlier this month when Kristian Alfonso revealed she is leaving “Days of Our Lives” after 37 years on the show.
Now the actress, 57, is opening up about why she decided to say goodbye to her character, Hope Williams Brady, for good.
However, Alfonso saw this as an opportunity to go in a different direction.
"At that moment I thought to myself, you know what, it's time for a change and it was the perfect moment to make that decision," she told ET. "I was taken aback when he said that they wanted ... to take me 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 time frame was — I just thought, you know what, it's time to really write a new chapter.”
She added that the pandemic has given her a new perspective on life and her priorities.
"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 told ET. "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.”
“Cheers to a new chapter!!!” Olivia Rose Keegan, who plays Claire Brady on the soap, wrote to Alfonso.
Molly Burnett, who previously played Melanie Jonas on the show, commented, “A whole Queen @kristianalfonso It was an honor to get to work with you. Cant wait to see what’s next!!”
“You are an absolute legend,” chimed in Nadia Bjorlin, who played Chloe Lane on the show. “I remember auditioning for 'Days' and the only thing I knew about the show at that time was your beautiful face that I had seen on TV, since I didn’t grow up in the U.S, but your face was THE brand of the show... thank you for being so kind to me over the years and being such a loving person to so many of us on the show. You will be missed, gorgeous lady!”
Alfonso said she has made “so many amazing friends and memories” from her decades on the show, and said that although she may no longer be on set, the people on the soap will definitely still be part of her life.
She added that while she is not sure if she will continue acting, she has been getting some calls about future projects, so “we’ll see.”
But in the meantime, she feels confident she is making the right decision in leaving the long-running soap.
"I tell my children all the time, if you feel it's time for a change then it must be, and take that leap of faith and believe in yourself,” she said.