Like a stake through our hearts! Nina Dobrev said an emotional goodbye to her Vampire Diaries character Elena Gilbert at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Taking the stage to accept the surfboard for Choice TV Actress in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, the TVD alum, 26, jokingly sported a pair of plastic vampire fangs, which she tossed to the side as she began her speech. "That's right, I don't need these anymore," she said, as the crowd let out a collective "aww."
"The last few months have been a pretty big change for me," she continued. "Change…it's a scary word, or at least I used to think that, because it meant new beginnings. New beginnings with a future that was unknown. But change is necessary — necessary for you to grow and to learn and to better yourself."
Dobrev grew and learned a lot on the set of the CW series, but now she wants to see what else is out there.
"As this chapter of my life comes to an end, I look back at it with a grateful heart and I smile. Because just like my character Elena, I started the show as a young girl, and together we grew up," she told the Teen Choice crowd with a catch in her voice. "We've grown up, and over the last six years we've become women."
She went on to acknowledge the fans who've supported TVD since it's premiere back in 2009. "These were six incredible years that I've had the pleasure of sharing with all of you guys," the Degrassi alum said. "We wouldn't be here without you. I wouldn't be here without you. And I wouldn't be here without [TVD creators] Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. They changed my life with this role."
Indeed, TVD catapulted Dobrev to widespread fame, and opened several doors for her in Hollywood. It also led to a romance with costar Ian Somerhalder, whom she dated for more than three years. Us Weekly broke the news of their split back in 2013; he has since married Twilight actress Nikki Reed.
Dobrev concluded her speech on Sunday on an optimistic note. "So thank you guys — each and every single one of you," she said. "I love you, and thank you for coming along with me on this amazing journey. Change is coming, so hold on and enjoy the ride. It's gonna be fun."
The Bulgaria-born star spoke more about her future plans in the Teen Choice Awards pressroom, telling Us Weekly and other reporters that she has a few things in the works that she "can't talk about."
"I don't know [what I'm doing next]. I don't think I can talk about that yet," she teased. "That's what's exciting, not knowing. I took the fangs out, so I'm going to try and do some other things."
Asked the scariest part of starting over, she replied, "I like to turn that around. I think it's exciting and there are infinite possibilities."
Dobrev first announced her departure from TVD back in April. Her final episode — the Season 6 finale — aired this past May.
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