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Kristian Alfonso shocked Days of our Lives fans when she announced previously this month on Instagram that she to be leaving the iconic soap after ~ 37 years. ET"s Matt Cohen newly spoke to the 56-year-old actress about her decision, and she opened up up around the exact moment that motivated the large move.

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Alfonso said she do the choice to action away from Days of our Lives, i beg your pardon airs weekdays on NBC, after she was told by executive producer Ken Corday the they to be planning to compose her character, hope Williams Brady, off of the show for four to 5 months. Return she to be told that her character would come earlier and have a storyline through a navy Seal, she decided it was time because that a brand-new chapter in she life.

"And at that moment I assumed to myself, you know what, it"s time because that a change and it to be the perfect minute to make the decision," she tells ET. "I was taken aback when he stated that they wanted, he and also Albert wanted to take me off camera for four to 5 months. It was not something the had ever been discussed yet that"s what the was, and to come back in 5 to six months, or 4 to five months -- whatever that time framework was -- I simply thought, you recognize what,it"s time to really write a new chapter. I"ve had actually an remarkable run there. I"ve had so many amazing friends and also memories. I cannot say sufficient how I"ll miss out on so many human being working there and also working through them, yet they room in mine life and also we carry out socialize, but like i said, i think it"s time."

She said the existing coronavirus pandemic also led she to reevaluate details things in her life.

"This time throughout COVID, which has actually been for this reason horrific for our country, the world, it yes, really made me pause and think around life and to really appreciate our wellness every single day and never take it because that granted and also that was part of my decision also," she notes. "Through every one of this fear of COVID, it"s the first time in my life i was in reality able come exhale since I"ve been so busy v my life and also really appreciated just gift home and also really act nothing. Maybe cooking. However just enjoying my family, my friends. Capturing up. Ns don"t know if you establish or not,but I offered to have a jewel line additionally on height of functioning on Days our Lives and I miss it."

Alfonso recognized she"s had a "roller coaster of emotions" because her decision, but ultimately, she doesn"t have any regrets.

"I phone call my kids all the time, if you feel it"s time because that a adjust then it need to be, and take the leap that faith and also believe in yourself," she shares. "I don"t know if ns will proceed in this business, yet possibly.I have actually been obtaining calls and some interest on some projects, therefore we"ll see."

Interestingly enough, new Days of our Lives episodes featuring Alfonso"s character room still scheduled to run until October. Alfonso defined to ET why she decided to make her announcement now rather of waiting till after she episodes finished airing.

"You know, i felt that i owed it come the audience," she shares. "The viewers who have watched because that so long, ns didn"t desire to hide anything. I"ve always been upfront, an extremely honest, periodically I get in problem for gift so honest. ... But I simply felt that ns really wanted to re-superstructure what my decision was. I didn"t want it to be a shock or a surprise once all the sudden, you know, expect just appears in the attic or she"s off searching for someone or possibly she"s bring away a expedition or she"s, ns don"t understand what they would certainly come up with. ... I had actually really thought about leaving, mulling it end I"d say most likely for the last couple of years."

"But it was as if Ken had opened that door for me just a little bit and I opened it every the means and made the decision come depart Days of ours Lives, which, you know, to be my family for such a long time," she continues. "So numerous milestones in my life occurred on the show and I have so numerous incredible memories."

Alfonso common that nobody knew of she decision to leave the present until a week earlier this past Monday.

"In the storyline, ns still have scripts that were an alleged to it is in shot," she reveals. "Of course, every little thing is being probably rewritten since of COVID and also guidelines the they have to adhere to. However that was not claimed to it is in the end."

"I mean, I need to say, therefore many human being on our show and also on our set have got to out come me personally, have actually called, emailed, textme, and the beautiful comments that they have actually left on mine Instagram web page as well," she adds. "I need to say that few of them have actually really, certainly choked me up due to the fact that I didn"t establish that certain people, they got me and they understood that everything I did to be to better Days of our Lives and also not necessarily myself, personally, however whoever remained in the scene with me or something the was happening. ... It"s not simply a workplace, however we"ve mutual so countless moments in ours lives. ... However I"m an extremely grateful for every one of it."

Alfonso claimed that unlike other soap stars, she plans on leaving the show for good and no making any kind of guest appearances. She likewise said Corday told she they would never recast her character, despite ultimately, the wouldn"t be she decision.

"I think the that chapter has closed and a brand-new one requirements to it is in started," she notes.

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Alfonso did gain seeing footage ET verified her of once we to be on the set of Days of our Lives during a significant moment top top the soap in the "80s -- when Hope first married the personality Bo Brady. She shared that the tremendous wedding dress by designer Lee blacksmith actually expense over $30,000 and also was handmade.

NBC/NBCU picture Bank

"I to be a really lucky -- I would certainly say girl, but people would say, well, you"re not a girl anymore, you"re a mrs -- but I would certainly say I"m simply a an extremely lucky girl," she now says, looking earlier at she iconic soap opera run. "I mean, ns truly operated my tail off however I was an extremely lucky to get the opportunity. Did I ever before think the I would be top top a display for so countless years? No, i didn"t. I didn"t establish that, no. I never took anything because that granted. Ever. Ever, ever."