Kristian Alfonso

Kristian Alfonso has been known to television audiences as Days of our Lives' Hope Brady since 1983. This past year, the actress launched Believe, a jewellery line available exclusively on Canada's The Shopping Channel. While other celebrities often lend their names to certain products, Alfonso's line is her own as she is heavily involved in the crafting of her jewellery. "There's not a piece that I would make if I was not as passionate about it as the others. A tremendous amount of love, dedication and passion goes into each piece," she shares with MSN from her dressing room at The Shopping Channel in between showtimes earlier this month.

The design process is something that Alfonso takes her time with noting that her vine ring, a popular item, was a piece that took her a period to perfect. "When you look at my line, you can really see my personality in it. Much like my fashion sense, I'm not limiting myself to just one area, I like to branch off and try different things. I think there's a real diversity in the pieces: from the tear-drop blue topaz necklace, to the Maltese cross earrings or the fleur-de-lis necklace, which is set in black rhodium with diamonds and white topaz."

Alfonso is enthusiastic for the upcoming storylines at Days of our Lives. The soap recently underwent another regime change by welcoming back Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell as co-headwriters. "I have to say, I'm enjoying the scripts! I love the dialog; it's snappy, quick and heartfelt."
The actress confesses that she's also fascinated with storylines across the board, "Something happens with Daniel, so I was talking to Shawn [Christian] about it and said 'Oh my gosh! I can't believe that happens with Nicole!' He's like, 'What?' I haven't read it yet! It tells you how much we're all enjoying the writing and stories."

Alfonso also praises the work of the recently ousted headwriters, Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr., "I enjoyed their writing. I loved the story that they wrote, keeping Alice Horton very front and center because she was so pivotal in Hope's life."

While regime changes have been quite common at the NBC soap, the biggest change coming up will be the exit of Peter Reckell, who plays Hope's leading man Bo Brady. While Alfonso inked a new deal to stay on, Reckell decided to leave when the actor and Sony could not agree on salary. While it came as a shock to fans, Alfonso knew Reckell's exit was a possibility. "Peter told me four months before he was leaving. We had many conversations about it. One day he was staying, then he wasn't...then it was a maybe. We have all had to take cuts. This was his choice and he seemed happy about it."

Reckell is set to exit later this fall. Alfonso admits she can't exactly say when, as the show tapes three months in advance, but Bo's exit is coming up. "He was really emotional on his last day. I remember holding him during our last scene, and I could feel the emotion in his body and his eyes filled up a little bit with tears. I said, 'Do you want to take five minutes?' He replied, 'No, I'm good.' So we did our last scenes together and they were beautifully written. Peter did a phenomenal job. I will definitely miss Bo and Hope."

While most fans can't imagine Hope without Bo, Alfonso is looking to the future. "We've worked individually before, without one and another, so I think it's going to be okay. I'm excited about stories that are going to come into fruition [because of Bo's exit]. They have a lot of great ideas. I'm excited to see what lands on the pages."

Could Hope be getting a new leading man?

"I leave the writing to the writers, she says. "They haven't let me down yet! The thing is there's so much history with Bo and Hope. Hope was a teenager when I first started on the show. She was in high school and a candy striper at the hospital. It was so long ago! He was a merchant marine, either in his early or mid-20s. I think that what the viewer struggles with is the history of these characters together and why they wouldn't want to see them with anyone else. Bo has been with other women when I haven't been on the canvas."

As Bo exits Salem, there are a few familiar faces popping up. Nadia Bjorlin will return as Chloe for a guest stint early in the New Year. "How exciting is that? I recently saw her looking as gorgeous and stunning as ever." Eileen Davidson (who recently vacated the role of Ashley on The Young and the Restless) will also be returning as Kristen.

Alfonso shares that she loves having Davidson her back, "She's so much fun. She's so funny and giggly! I think it's wonderful that she's back. She's a great addition to the show." Alfonso also teases that she'll have some scenes coming up with Greg Vaughan (ex-Lucky, General Hospital; ex-Diego, Y&R), who takes over the role of Eric Brady this November. Eric Brady was last played by Supernatural's Jensen Ackles from 1997-2000.

Alfonso is not unfazed by all the "Plans to Save Days" that the fans have had to endure over the years, "I sincerely and humbly thank the fans for their support and loyalty through all the transitions that we've been going through. Stay tuned, because the best is yet to come!"

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC and Global. Canadian fans can also keep up to date with DAYS on and through On Demand and mobile devices. For more on Kristian Alfonso's Believe line, visit The Shopping Channel.