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Nina Dobrev Explains Why She Exited ‘The Vampire Diaries’

Mystic Falls would never be the same! Nina Dobrev opened up about her decision to leave The Vampire Diaries after six seasons in a new interview.

Related: TV & Movie Vampires Through the Years

“That was the plan from the get-go,” the CW star, 28, told Harper’s Bazaar in an article published on Thursday, August 17, of her decision to leave the hit show after her contract ended in 2015. “If anything, the fact that [leaving] terrified me drove me even more. I needed to feel that fear of, ‘Oh my God, what if I never get a job again?’ That just made me want to work five times as hard to make sure that didn’t happen.”

Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev Jennifer Livingston

Dobrev portrayed several different characters on the vampire series — including the lead, Elena Gilbert — and since leaving, she’s starred in xXx: Return of Xander Cage and the forthcoming films, Crash Pad and Departures. However, the Degrassi alum explained that her roles have been sparse because “the things I want to do aren’t necessarily the things that are expected of me.”

Related: Nina Dobrev’s Best Red Carpet Looks

She added: “I don’t want to play a teenager anymore. I want to play adult roles and be challenged and work with great filmmakers and tell incredible stories and that has meant being really picky.”

As previously reported, Dobrev accounted her exit in an emotional Instagram post. In May 2015, she told Self magazine that while filming the show had “been such a crazy, awesome adventure,” she knew that leaving “is a new exciting step in the right direction.”

Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev Jennifer Livingston

Dobrev would later reunite with her former cast in the season 8 finale, which aired in March. “It was easy to get back into character for the finale. I played Elena for six years, so I jumped right back into it,” Dobrev told Entertainment Weekly at the time. “There’s lot of Elena in me, so it was easy to join the family back up and pick up where we left off.” In the series’ final episode, Elena awakes from a magically-induced coma and reunites with her longtime love, Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder. (Dobrev and Somerhalder, 38, dated from 2011 to 2013).

Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder on The Vampire Diaries
Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder on The Vampire Diaries Tina Rowden/The CW

Related: Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder: The Way They Were

“This goodbye feels different than it did when I left the first time because I was leaving and the show continued and now the show’s ending for everyone. It feels more final. It’s more almost like closure. Everyone’s been very nostalgic; it’s a bittersweet ending,” she continued to EW. “I’m very happy that we were able to make it work out and that I came back because I really missed the whole family and wanted to be part of the final goodbye. It really has felt like the closure that I needed — that hopefully everybody needs — and I think it ends in such a beautiful way that everyone will be happy.”

Nina Dobrev on the cover of Harper's Bazaar
Nina Dobrev on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Jennifer Livingston

Dobrev landed the role in 2009 at the age of 20 and also starred alongside Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore), Candice Accola (Caroline Forbes), Kat Graham (Bonnie Bennett) and Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan). The series launched many of their careers.

“So much has changed for all of us. When I look back at everybody and see how everyone’s changed in such a positive way and grown into such beautiful adults, it’s great and it’s also kind of sad,” the Flatliners actress reflected. “I’m going to miss everybody, but hopefully, one everybody moves back to L.A., we’ll continue to hang out.”

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