In January, Dynasty celebrated 40 years since making its on-air debut. The show, which initially premiered in 1981, has stood the test of time, but the same can’t be said for some of the show’s most prominent characters. Although the series was canceled in 1989, it was revived by The CW almost three decades later. And since the series premiere, we’ve been forced to say goodbye to several of the show’s cast members.
Along with Matthew Blaisdel (played by Nick Wechsler), characters like Mark Jennings, Trixie Tate, and Thomas Carrington have also been killed off the show. But one of the first actresses to make her exit from the series was a shock to everyone. Since the series debut, Cristal Flores has been recast not once, but twice. So, why did the original Cristal Flores leave Dynasty?
Why did Cristal Flores leave ‘Dynasty’?
In 2018, Baker and the Beauty actress Nathalie Kelley, who played Cristal Flores in Season 1, revealed that she would not be returning to Dynasty for Season 2. She was later replaced by Ana-Brenda Contreras, who was ultimately replaced by Daniella Alonso.
Nathalie initially announced her departure in an interview with E! Online. She explained, "I haven't read anything for Season 2. I know that I end up with a gunshot wound and in a fire at the end of Season 1, and I know that I won't be filming Season 2."
She added, “I don't know storyline[-wise] what they'll do. Is it a coma? Is it death? Is it who knows? I actually don't know. But I know that I'm not going to Atlanta in July, that I'm staying here [in L.A.], and I've got my life back."
Although Ana went on to leave Dynasty for personal reasons, Nathalie said she didn’t have much of a choice in her exit.
She told TV Insider, “I signed on before I ever read the script. There was a basic outline. I think I wasn’t up to the challenge of a nighttime soap. I wasn’t prepared for that genre. It wasn’t something I had experience in … I can say that as an artist, I didn’t dig as deep as I could have. I felt limited and I felt stuck.”
Nathalie said she was grateful for the opportunity to play Cristal Flores, but expressed that she was disappointed in the network's decision to recast her character.
She went on to say, “That’s obviously a hard phone call to get as an actor … It took me by surprise. It sent me into a lot of soul-searching and a realization that I could have dug deeper … I’m actually grateful to the execs at The CW who saw at the time what I couldn’t — that it was not the right fit.”
While showrunners maintained that a recast of Cristal’s character had always been part of the plan, it didn’t make Nathalie’s exit any less heartbreaking.
You can watch new episodes of Dynasty Fridays on The CW at 9 p.m. EST.