Miley Cyrus is ready to say goodbye to Hannah Montana.
"What I am sure about is I'm going to rejoice and be happy to finally not have to be … well, to not be somebody I'm not exactly," the 17-year-old star tells Parade magazine (on newsstands Sunday).
Why is she so happy about ending her blockbuster run as the title character on the Disney show?
"As I've grown into it, I've grown out of it," she says. "When I was 12, I thought, 'I want to be famous all the time! I want everybody to recognize me!'"
But now, the star — who began filming the fourth season, which will run until early 2011, in January — says she has "to grit my teeth" when she is forced to wear "sparkles" and the pink costumes of her alter ego.
"I can't breathe looking like that anymore," she tells Parade. "A friend came by the set one day and said, 'You don't look very happy.' I said, 'I'm feeling claustrophobic in all these frills."
She's also hoping that distancing herself from Disney will change people's perceptions of her.
"I hate being thought of as a product," she says. "I am not a doll, and people want to treat me that way… I'm older now. I have an opinion. I have my own taste."
She says she was able to grow up and got "focused on her career" when filming The Last Song this past summer, but she also found another surprise — new beau Liam Hemsworth.
"The last thing I was expecting to do was to fall in love," she says of the 19-year-old Aussie actor. "I went there thinking the summer was about me … but I guess God was like, 'Girl, here is this amazing guy!'"
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!