April 20th, 2013  |  Leave a comment

The Kristian Alfonso Interview – Days of our Lives

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Over the last month, soaps have had much to celebrate! First there was The Young and the Restless turning 40, then came General Hospital turning 50 years old on April 1st! And now comes another stunner: Days of our Lives long-standing fan favorite and heroine, Kristian Alfonso, celebrated her 30th anniversary this week with the NBC daytime drama, playing Hope Williams Brady.

Who can ever forget when Kristian first burst on to the scene as the feisty and beautiful rich girl who stole the heart of anti-hero Bo Brady (Peter Reckell)!  Their love story is truly one for the ages that will go down as one of the most popular in the history of soap opera culture.  But things have changed for this 30th anniversary for Alfonso; no longer does she have Reckell by her side, after his decision to leave the series.  That in turn leads to new possibilities for Hope for dramatic story and a potential new love interest!

This week was a trying week for all Americans with the bombings in Boston during the Boston Marathon, and the deadly explosion in West, Texas.  Kristian is a Massachusetts native, and while at the time of our interview the 2nd bombing suspect had not been captured, Kristian wanted to let every one in Boston know, “I’m terribly saddened by this horrific tragedy.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this nightmare.”

We hope you enjoy this very special On-Air On-Soaps interview as we look back and look forward with Kristian, from her favorite storylines, to her first days on the set at NBC Studios in Burbank, to working with many of her beloved cast mates, to the time she exited the series and returned, and more.  While Bo Brady always nicknamed Hope “Fancy Face”, Kristian is after all … soap opera’s “Fancy Face” as well.  Here now is what Kristian had to say, as we celebrate her accomplishments!

MICHAEL:

So, I hear you got something very sweet and special from the fans to celebrate your big 3-0!

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/NBC

The fans sent over this cake with the hourglass on it, with pictures of me on it through the years.  And, what the hourglass would sit on, at the top of the logo, was chocolate frosting with Rice Crispy treats!  I got that, and of course I dug right in!  I love chocolate. This was a white cake with lemon filling and marshmallow fluff.  It was amazing!  I have it next to me.  I am lying back on my sofa right now on a sugar high. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Talking about 30 years on Days of our Lives, your fans have stuck by you for three decades!  You have an amazing fan base!

KRISTIAN:

Oh, my Lord!  They are the most loyal, supportive, loving fans in the world.  I appreciate all of their support.

MICHAEL:

When I think back on your career, I remember this beautiful young girl, coming on to Days of our Lives, who just took the soap world by storm.  Do you recall those early days?  Were you awestruck knowing you would be a major character on a top rated soap at that time?

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/NBC

I was a bundle of emotions.  I remember it so clearly.  I had just gotten my driver’s license to be out in California, because I had to be able to drive to work.  I was living in New York at the time.  Days of our Lives was bringing me out west.  I was so excited that I passed the driver’s test that I went to say “Yay” to the instructor and I ended up on the other side of the road and popped a wheelie!  He said, “Ah, we are not in London!” (Laughs) When I arrived on L.A., I was a nervous wreck, but excited because I could remember arriving in New York City at Grand Central Station with my mom to meet with Wilhelmina (famed modeling agent) and looking up and seeing Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes on the cover of Time Magazine.  And I remember thinking, “Oh what a gorgeous couple.”  And then I went, “And I am going to play their daughter?” Seriously?”  I was a nervous wreck because everyone was so talented and seasoned.  Here is this new green newcomer with a Boston accent, which is why they wrote, “Hope is in boarding school in Boston!”  But I felt incredibly welcomed, and every one was incredibly patient and took time to explain things to me, and of course, they must have seen my little hand shaking holding my script.  Over the loud speaker I would hear, “Kristian, find the light! Find the light!”  I go, “There are five million lights above me! Oh, my God, which is the right light?”  I remember like it was yesterday, which is why it is so incredible.  I can not even get my head around that it has been 30 years.  It is almost as if I have been transported in time thirty years and not sure how I got here!

MICHAEL:

During your 30 year run, there was also a time you left DAYS and went on to star on the hit nighttime soap Falcon Crest, where you played the alluring Pilar!  Was the real reason you decided to leave DAYS at that time, that you wanted to go do other things, and play other roles within your career?

KRISTIAN:

Courtesy/CBS

Yes, I played Pilar Ortega.  I had made the decision to leave DAYS and the nest, and I was approached by Falcon Crest to join their cast.  I was thinking, “Oh, my Gosh! This is such an incredible opportunity and a show.”  The cast was incredible with Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, David Selby, Susan Sullivan, and it just goes on and on and on.  It was an incredible opportunity and they offered it to me, which I have to say, I have never been offered anything! (Laughs)  They believed in me, and so I joined the cast.  I have to say that every show I have worked on has been so welcoming.  I have learned so much from each experience, and of course my heart is with DAYS.

MICHAEL:

No matter what role you do, it is Hope Williams that has been the defining role for you.  You do realize you are sort of a pop culture icon?  Bo and Hope were so incredibly popular, in particular in the 80’s and 90’s.  I remember traveling to New York City and you were doing an appearance at Rockefeller Center, and the fans went crazy … like you were a rock star!

KRISTIAN:

No, hearing you say that, I am puzzled.  No, I am a working actress who is passionate about what she does.  Thank you so much, but I am grateful that I am able to do something that I do love, and that I want to get up in the morning to do.  My son Jack is ten years old, and in the school that he is going to he has been there since kindergarten … he is now in the fifth grade.  He changes school next year, and he runs through the gates every day to go to school, because he loves it there.  That is how I feel about DAYS!  I can’t wait to get here and work with the people I work with, and share different expeierences and be creative.  I have had our executive producer Ken Corday believing me, and the writing teams … and we have had so many … and producers, but they have given me an incredible opportunity, and NBC too!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/NBC

One of your best performances on DAYS came when Hope and Bo’s son, Zack died. I know that was a hard story for you to play.  I know I cried for months! (Laughs)

KRISTIAN:

I cried for months!  It was very hard to for me to do.  To lose a child and to play that out is incredibly emotional, and to go there and be there, and know that so many people have experienced what these characters are experiencing right now, it brought so much to it.  The writing was incredible, and it was such a complex storyline.  That is what I love about the writers we have had on Days of our Lives.  They don’t forget the past. Your character does one thing and then it parlays into something else, and that parlays into something else, and it continues.  It’s not a storyline that starts and then drops off, and then you never hear about it again.  There is always another road traveled and discovered.

MICHAEL:

Have you had a moment to celebrate your 30th anniversary with your TV parents, the wonderful Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (as Doug and Julie Williams)?

KRISTIAN:

I worked with Susan the other today, and I love working with both of them.  I was reminiscing with Susan about my 30 years … I don’t get to work with them enough.

MICHAEL:

Let me tell you something I am sure you know.  Susan Seaforth Hayes is, and always has been, an amazing actress.  While the younger generation of soap characters always seems to get more airtime in general these days, I believe the veterans need to be honored and have story, too!

KRISTIAN:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Both of them are amazing actors, and I completely agree with you 1000%.

MICHAEL:

What can you tease us with that is coming up for Hope?  What are they going to do about the status of Bo Brady, when there is no Peter Reckell on board to play him?

KRISTIAN:

I cannot divulge anything, and I wish I could, but I can’t.  Honestly, they don’t even tell us what is going on until we see the scripts, and they are so guarded.  I guess that is a good thing so the audience can be surprised, especially with social media where everything is out there immediately!

MICHAEL:

Has it been at all odd for you, months later, not having Peter there with you to play Bo and Hope’s story?  And after all, he has been your long time scene partner.

KRISTIAN:

It is not odd to not have Peter here.  Peter made a choice to leave.  I was not shocked when he told me, because we had many conversations.  He wanted to spend more time with his daughter and his family, and he needed a break.  He is having a great time, and traveling, and life is great.  Life is great for me, too; I just decided to stay on the show.  I have left the show before, and he had stayed.  Actually, that was when I was pregnant with Gino and I had just finished up at Falcon Crest, and he had continued on with other on-screen relationships, and I was not on the canvas.  We have both had storylines without one another.  Now, do I miss seeing him and him not being here?  And working together?  Of course!  There are many people I wish I was working with.  I wish Thaao Penghlis (Tony) was here also, and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla); I wish she was here all the time.  We all have such history together.  We have all grown up together.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/NBC

What do you think the late, beloved Frances Reid (Alice, DAYS) would say to you if she were alive to be part of your 30th anniversary with the series?

KRISTIAN:

She would look at me and say, “Did you ever think you would still be here 30 years later?”  And then she would make a comment about my hair, and then I would turn around and tell her how much I love her, and then I would say to her, “Do you want some cake?” (Laughs) That is exactly how the conversation would go.

MICHAEL:

Well many fans are wishing that Hope will have big story!  Do you think Hope will have a new man and romance coming soon, since Bo is not in Salem?

KRISTIAN:

Maybe? (Laughs) Maybe? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Tumblr

Hmmm.  I am wondering if it will be someone on the canvas already … or someone new will be brought on the canvas for her?  Speaking of Hope’s world, how is working with your on-screen daughter, little Ciara played by Lauren Boles?

KRISTIAN:

She is such a little sweetheart, and such a little professional.  Lauren probably knows my lines better than I know them.  She is delightful to work with, and she is such a little beauty.

MICHAEL:

Recently, DAYS revisited the John Black/Princess Gina story with this ill-conceived and badly received storyline.  Was it hard going back to play that blip in the story so many years later along with Drake Hogestyn (John)?  Was it odd?

KRISTIAN:

It wasn’t odd.  I was just really concerned, because of course, that was 15 years ago.  We don’t look the same (laughs) which is why they probably wrote … which is brilliant … “Newly Created Flashbacks”. (Laughs)  It was fun, though.  I am always asked, “What is your favorite storyline?  What did it for you?”   Truth is: they have all done it for me, because they have all challenged me in one way or another, and it has given me the opportunity to work with so many different people.  From when I first started on the show it was: Hope joining the police academy, to the ice skating storyline with the prism, working with Joseph Mascolo (Stefano) who I adore, whose nickname is “Cupcake” because he is such a marshmallow! (Laughs)  He will say, “Ah, good morning Kristian.” And I will go, “Oh, Cupcake.  How are you?”  He kind of giggles.  I love working with Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) and Lauren Koslow (Kate) it gives me such opportunity to act, or when I was Nighttime Hope!  That gave me an opportunity that I have never done, and I got to work with John Callahan in that, as Dr Baker.  It was fun!  I have to say, I don’t believe I have ever repeated a storyline.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

There was nothing more exhausting and exhilarating, I am sure, than when you were playing the original Princess Gina/Hope/ Gina-pretending-to-be-Hope storyline!  What can you say about that stretch of time for you on DAYS?

KRISTIAN:

It was so amazing, and I didn’t know if I was coming or going … and just trying to keep the information straight!  And, who knew what, when?  It was a tremendous challenge, and that is one of the things I appreciate and admire about Days of our Lives.  When I returned back in 1994, my contract said “Gina” on it, because they have to put a character name on there … of course, knowing that I would eventually come around to be Hope, and that she was Hope.  But it was a road traveled that if you turned right or left you never knew where you were going to end up.  Then it would settle down a bit, and then it would pick back up with, “Why is Hope having these memories?  How does she know how to paint?  Why does she know so much about art?”  Little by little she starts to transform.  It wasn’t “boom” here it is!  They really took the time to explain it.

MICHAEL:

I like Hope as a cop, actually.  I think you play “female cop” better than some women I see attempt it on a primetime television series.  You seem to have a knack for it and make it believable.  Do you like Hope’s profession?

KRISTIAN:

I do like playing the cop.  It is a little tricky some times with all the cop shop talk! (Laughs)  And, trying to make it seem as easy and fluent as it could possibly be as I walk around the house trying to learn my lines over and over and over. (Laughs)  I have some amazing scenes coming up that I am sharing with … oh, I can’t tell you, that’s right! (Laughs) And in them I am doing cop stuff and it involves … oh, I can’t tell you, sorry. (Laughs)  But I do enjoy that very much, and that all goes back to when I originally started on the show, and it was all by accident.  Hope becomes the cop…with the big shoulder pads!  Hope is tremendous fun, unpredictable, and spunky.  I love that she still has that fire.  She thinks a little bit more now, before she jumps into a situation.

Courtesy/NBC

MICHAEL:

Well yes, because Hope has got to, as we all do in life, mature.  And as you mature emotionally in real life, so should characters evolve and mature on soaps.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Otherwise, we all will be watching these characters just doing the same thing over and over again with the same goal or motivation.

KRISTIAN:

Of course, otherwise it’s like Ground Hogs Day … it is the same thing over and over. And you go, “Oh, my gosh.  I have had the same dish every day.  I want to change menus.”

MICHAEL:

I just have to tell you, it is a very big accomplishment that this past Sunday on April 14th was actually the 30th anniversary of your start date on DAYS.  You do understand that it is a really big milestone, don’t you?

KRISTIAN:

It is a really big milestone for me that I have been welcomed for so many years by the fans, by the network, and Corday Productions.  I sincerely mean, that I do not take things for granted and I do not take my job for granted.  That is something my parents instilled in me: never take anything for granted.  Always go in and concentrate and earn every cent and give them their monies worth every day.  I hope I have done that because that is my job.  I say job, but it’s not, because it’s so important to me to be able to go somewhere every day that I enjoy going to.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

Since you have been part of such an iconic brand and the longest running NBC scripted television series of all-time, Days of our Lives, do you think the key message is still the same in 2013?  And that message is … it is all about family?

KRISTIAN:

I think definitely that is still the message, that family overrules everything else whether it’s a Horton, a DiMera, or a Brady, or a Kirkiakis, it always comes back to family. Sometimes it is told differently, but it always comes back to family, as it should.  Family should always be number one.

  1. Joan Faist says:

    Have always loved Kristian Alfonso, she’s one of my favorites on Day’s. I grew older loving Bo and Hope.

    Reply

  2. leslie says:

    She is a class act! She had always been one of my favorites❗

    Reply

  3. Cathy says:

    A classy and beautiful women who I have been a fan of since she came on the DAYS scene for her 18th birthday n the love story of Bo n Hope began! happy 30th!

    Reply

  4. heidi says:

    Thanks Michael… nice interview!!! It is an incredible milestone… congratulations Kristian!!!

    Reply

  5. jimh says:

    Would love to see Julie and Doug more especially in scenes with Hope plus they should bring back Bill and Laura and move them in the Horton home as the new Tom and Alice. Whatever happened to John Clarke(EX MICKEY)…i know hes retired now but whats the update on him? BRING BACK BO! Love Kristen Alphonso and i ‘HOPE’ shes with the show for many years to come! Congratulations for your many years with Days! Thanks Micheal for another great interview! We always get the best from you!

    Reply

    Jesse replied

    Kristian Alfonso

    Reply

    jimh replied

    lol…i cant spell even when its right under my nose!

    Mary SF replied

    John Clarke the actor who played Mickey passed away in 2004.

    Reply

    Mary SF replied

    Sorry, my bad, someone at my house corrected me- told John Clarke retired in 2004; I thought he had passed. Have no idea then. Again, sorry for misinformation ,next time I will google before responding-

    Reply

    jimh replied

    Thanks for responding…i forget to google sometimes…i knew he retired…hard to believe its been that many years already…time sure flies.

  6. Scott says:

    Great interview, great beautiful actress, she needs a double cheeseburger ! Way to thin looking !
    Hopefully Bo/Peter will be back at some point.

    Reply

  7. Annie 1 says:

    Truly a lovely lady who adds so much to the show. Congrats on 30 years. Thanks as usual to Michael for another xlnt interview.

    Reply

  8. Beacon says:

    I feel the Hope/Bo/Carly triangle could have been amazing but the writing was just not there for them, not while Bo and Hope are treated less like human beings and more like superheroes. Sometimes with Days it feels like one is watching cartoon characters and not flawed and vulnerable human beings, which is the obligation of any soap opera that dares pride itself as a legitimate drama.

    In truth, Hope has not been a viable character in years. Why? Because she’s been defined by that damn supercouple slogan.

    Reply

  9. Sheila says:

    Kristian’s beauty has matured as she and her acting have. Too bad Bo is not there anymore, They were my favorite Super Couple.! They were the reason I first bought a VCR so I wouldn’t miss an episode of Days that they were in. I loved the Twin Oaks episode,

    Reply

  10. Frances says:

    I have been watching DAYS since the begining how different is was then, but always managed to capture me…even today its an amazing show, I remember I used to tell my mother to record the show for me every day so I would not miss a thing..Bo and Hope were and still are my favourite couple!! long live days!!!

    Reply

  11. Gail says:

    I watched Days as a child with my my Mum when it first started here in Australia 45 years ago and I’ve been watching myself for 25 years. Tomorrow is a sad day as it is the last time Days will be shown on Aussie TV, having been axed by Channel 9. We hope that a new home on another Channel will be found but who knows? I got to meet Kristian, Peter, Suzanne, and other cast members (Shawn D, Ciara, Abe, Chad …) last year while in LA and they were all so amazing and so friendly, had the best night!!! Please Australia bring Days back, you’re a part of our family here :( Congratulation Kristian on your 30 years, you are so beautiful and I will miss you and Peter and everyone, everyday xxx

    Reply

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