Last week, Days of Our Lives star Kristian Alfonso sent shockwaves through the soap community with her surprise announcement that she was leaving the NBC daytime drama after 37 years. Through Deadline, Alfonso revealed that she had already filmed her last episode and would not be returning when Days resumes production Sept. 1.
In an interview with ET released today, Alfonso shed light on how her decision to leave came about. While she had been contemplating leaving for the past couple of years, her abrupt exit was triggered by a plan for her character, Hope Williams Brady, relayed to her by Days executive producer Ken Corday, which involved Hope being written off for 4-5 months before coming back to have a storyline with a Navy Seal.
“And 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, he and [co-EP] Albert [Alarr] 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… I just thought, you know what, it’s time to really write a new chapter. I’ve had an incredible run there.”
Alfonso does not know how Hope will be written off. That’s because she left before the end of Hope’s originally planned storyline was filmed as production on the show was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic-related shutdown. (Days has episodes in the can with Alfonso to run through the beginning of October.)
“In the storyline, I still have scripts that were supposed to be shot,” she told ET. “Of course, everything is being probably rewritten because of COVID and guidelines that they have to adhere to. But that was not supposed to be the end.”
Alfonso also revealed that she is leaving Days for good and not planning to make guest appearances. She also shared that Corday had told her they would never recast her character.
After taking a breather for the first time in decades, Alfonso will contemplate her next move but hinted that she may stay in the business, noting that she has “been getting calls and some interest on some projects.”