Nina Dobrev explains why she left 'Vampire Diaries'

The 28-year-old star left the hit show in 2015, surprising fans and co-stars.

— -- Nina Dobrev may have surprised fans in 2015 with her decision to leave the hit show "Vampire Diaries," but she insists that she had planned to leave all along.

"That was the plan from the get-go," the 28-year-old actress said in a new interview with harper by Harper's BAZAAR. "If anything, the fact that [leaving] terrified me drove me even more."

She told Harper's that even though her role as Elena Gilbert in the CW hit series made her a star, she felt she needed to leap into the unknown again.

"I needed to feel that fear of, 'Oh, my God, what if I never get a job again?'" she explained. "That just made me want to work five times as hard to make sure that didn't happen."

Since then, Dobrev said she has been "picky" about the roles she's chosen.

"The things I want to do aren't necessarily the things that are expected of me," she said. "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."

Dobrev stars in the upcoming films "Departures" and next month's "Flatliners," a sequel to the 1990 film of the same name.