When Kristian Alfonso tendered her resignation from Days of Our Lives in 2020 after 37 years, the actress seemed rather emphatic about it being a permanent departure.
Cut to July 2022, Alfonso is set to reprise her role of Hope Williams Brady opposite former leading man Peter Reckell in the second installment of Days offshoot Beyond Salem (premiering July 11 on Peacock). But the soap legend insists her return does not contradict her previous statements.
“I don’t think of this as going back to Days of Our Lives,” Alfonso tells Soap Opera Digest. “[Beyond Salem] is, I feel, a branch of it.”
Regardless, Alfonso insists that her comments two years ago came with an asterisk.
“I have seen online where viewers have stated that I said, ‘Never’ regarding [returning someday] — I never said never,” Alfonso maintains. “I said that I will not be popping in and out like other actors have done in the past. I didn’t say I’m never, ever coming back. I was not absolute.”
(Fact check: While Alfonso did leave some wiggle room about a potential comeback in one post-departure interview, she was decidedly more firm in a subsequent exit Q&A with Soap Opera Digest. “I’m not coming back,” she told the magazine at the time. “I’ve had a great run and so many wonderful moments on the show and worked with so many wonderful people. It’s time for me to start a new chapter professionally.”)
Ultimately, Alfonso says the opportunity to play Hope again was one she could not refuse. “It always has to be the story and the characters,” she explains to Digest. “And [the Beyond Salem storyline] made me excited. That’s why I decided to come on board.”