Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Kristian Alfonso

Everything you need to know about the "Days of our Lives" actress who plays Hope

Kristian Alfonso
Kristian Alfonso. Courtesy: NBC/David Beckner

Longtime “Days of our Lives” fans have followed the life and love of Hope Williams Brady since actress Kristian Alfonso’s joined the cast in 1983. They watched the romance between Hope and her late husband Bo (Peter Reckell) for years and mourned along with her when Bo died.

But what do you know about Kristian Alfonso? She’s a fascinating person both on and off the set. Here are 25 fun facts about the “Days of our Lives” star.

Kristian Alfonso Early Life and Career

Kristian-Joy Alfonso was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, which is also home to boxing champion Rocky Marciano.

Before she became a model and actress, Alfonso had an amateur career as a figure skater. She won the gold medal at the Junior Olympic Figure Skating Championships when she was 13. Unfortunately, a leg injury ended her skating career not long afterward.

Alfonso is a petite 5 feet 4 inches tall; she has green eyes and brown hair.

She is Italian-American; her grandparents hail from Sicily and Calabria.

The former Wilhelmina model graced the covers of numerous international magazines including Vogue, Glamour, and Bazaar, as a teenager.

Kristian Alfonso on 'Days of our Lives'

Alfonso turned down the original request to audition for “Days of our Lives” in 1981. She wasn’t ready to leave home and move to Los Angeles if she landed the gig, and she was afraid of earthquakes.

She was an acting novice when she joined the "Days" cast. "Frances Reid (Alice) and I used to sit and talk about our scenes, which was so foreign to me," she recounts. "I'd say, 'Don't you just say the words? Don't you just say what's written?' Frances would go, 'No, no dear... Look at the lines.' She was very patient with me, very giving."

Alfonso learned another important work lesson from Reid: always be prepared. "[She taught me] to be on top of things. Don’t come [to work] and call it in, because there are 10,000 people out there that can come in and do your job for you." On a personal level, Reid taught her "to enjoy life... She [had] such a great sense of humor. She never took anything too seriously."

Aside from the late Reid, Alfonso always had a special relationship with Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes. (Doug and Julie). “Watching them together is like watching my mom and dad,” she says.

As for the most difficult storyline she’s ever played on "Days," Alfonso cites the death of Bo and Hope’s son, Zack. She calls the scenes "gut-wrenching," adding that she was "crying for three straight weeks."

Her character Hope may abhor Stefano DiMera, but Alfonso adored the late Joseph Mascolo. She even nicknamed him “Cupcake.”

During her tenure on "Days." Alfonso has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy acting award, Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series, in 1985. She lost to Tracey Bregman (Lauren,  "The Young and the Restless.")

Kristian Alfonso Jewelry Line and Life Off Screen

She started a jewelry line called Faith Hope Miracles in 2006, featuring earrings and pendants in her favorite designs: fleur de lis and the Maltese cross.

Alfonso has always been enamored with all things fleur-de-lis. "They're beautiful and have always [symbolized] life to me," she says.

 The "Days" set designers even incorporated Alfonso’s love for fleur-de-lis into Hope’s home. 

Alfonso makes no secret of the fact she has an insatiable sweet tooth. Former "Days" producer Shelley Curtis dubbed Alfonso “Gummy” because the actress loved gummy bears candy.

Alfonso’s favorite singer is James Ingram, who, incidentally, sang one of Bo and Hope’s theme songs, Whatever We Imagine.

Her favorite band is the Gipsy Kings.

Her dream vacation spot is Rome.

Kristian Alfonso on Acting and Fan Encounters

Alfonso says that crying is one of her biggest acting challenges. "It’s like getting water from a stone. I have to dig really deep and go to that very dark place and stay there for such a long time."

When it comes to strange fan encounters, Alfonso recalls the time a "Days" viewer popped up in her dressing room. “I opened my closet door, and there they were. It scared the you-know-what out of me,” she says.

 Although she’s extremely fit and trim, Alfonso admits she hates to work out. So why does she do it? "Because it makes me feel so good when I’m done."

Alfonso and Peter Reckell once appeared in an Avon commercial as Bo and Hope.

When she discovered there was a nude scene for her character in the film "Joshua Tree," Alfonso knew she couldn’t do it and called her manager in a panic. "We finally convinced [the producers] that I would find and pay for a body double."

Throughout her career, Alfonso has been adamant about keeping her husband and sons out of the limelight. "I’m a very private person," she says. "They’re not part of my business. They’re not my publicity. They’re my family that I cherish."