Soap opera veteran Kristian Alfonso shocked fans when she announced the end of her 37-year stint on NBC's "Days of Our Lives." The actress announced her departure earlier this month just days after the show announced its production restart date.

Kristian Alfonso, who has played the role of Hope Williams Brady on the long-running soap opera revealed that she will not be returning to the show for its new season 56. Now, the actress has opened up about her decision to call it quits from the show in the Aug. 3 cover story for the print version of Soap Opera Digest.

She revealed that the show's executive producer Ken Corday informed her about the showrunner and writer's plans about writing off her character for a short time. They reportedly had a plan to bring her back after four-five months for a storyline involving Navy SEAL, her new love interest.

"Our executive producer, Ken Corday, and I had a conversation prior to my announcement. During the conversation, Ken told me that Ron Carlivati, our head writer, and Albert Alarr, our co-executive producer, wanted to take me off the canvas for four to five months then bring me back for a storyline involving a Navy SEAL, who would be a new love interest for Hope," Alfonso said in the interview as quoted by People.

"I said to Ken, 'Oh, this is the storyline that you mentioned to me a while ago.' I know Ken was really looking forward to telling this story. When he originally told me about it, I got chills. I thought, 'You know what, this could be a great story. This could be so fun,'" she added.

She noted that it was during this conversation she realised that her time on "Days" was over.

"And during our conversation, he reiterated that they felt like I needed to be off canvas for four to five months. In that moment, I thought to myself, 'I think it's time to leave,'" she explained.

Even though her decision of departing the show seems spontaneous, she has been thinking about leaving the show for four years. The first thought to exit the show occurred in the year 2016 when she lost her father. However, her discussion with Corday convinced her to stay.

She goes on to explain that the current pandemic gave her time "to really think and mull things" and has realised that she's "been really enjoying my time home with my family and catching up with my friends." And now, Alfonso feels a "sense of relief." She describes her journey as a "roller coaster."

Alfonso's last episode is scheduled to air on Oct. 15. In addition, she specified that she would never return to the show in the future. And she is now ready to "start a new chapter professionally."

Days Of Our Lives
Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams in Days of Our Lives NBC

Alfonso made her first appearance as Hope in the year 1983. She was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 1985. For her role, she has also been nominated eight times for the Soap Opera Digest Awards and received four.