Nina Dobrev of the CW's "The Vampire Diaries" earned some affirmation from her fans on Sunday at the Teen Choice Awards and dished it right back.
In an emotional speech, the Choice TV actress: Sci-fi/Fantasy award winner spoke up about her departure from the series after six seasons. That is, once she removed her fake vampire fangs from her mouth.
"The last few months have been a big change for me," the 26-year-old said. "Change. It's a scary word, or 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 up and learn and to better yourself, because everything in life comes to an end and as this chapter of my life comes to an end, I look back at it with a grateful heart and I smile."
Dobrev, who was the fantasy series' female lead since the show's nascent, played human-turned-doppelganger-turned-vampire-turned-human again Elena Gilbert. She played several other characters too before announcing her exit in April and Season 6 closed with Elena sacrificing herself to a deep sleep for a few decades.
"Just like my character Elena, I started the show as a young girl, and together we grew up," she continued. "We've grown up and over the last six years we've become women. These were six incredible years that I've had the pleasure of sharing with all of you guys. We wouldn't be here without you. I wouldn't be here with you. I wouldn't be here without [executive producers] Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. They changed my life with this role. Sorry. Three roles. Four roles. It's hard to keep track these days."
After that, the "Degrassi: The Next Generation" alum closed the speech by furthering her message about growing up.
"Thank you for coming along with me on this amazing journey," the "Let's Be Cops" star said. "So remember, change is coming! So hold on and enjoy the ride, all right? It's going to be fun."
Dobrev, along with costar and former boyfriend Ian Somerhalder, also won the award for Choice liplock again, though that win was announced as Dobrev left the stage, preventing awkwardness from years past.
During the Television Critics Assn. Press tour last week, showrunner Plec said that the door was always open for Dobrev to return to the show, and CW chief Mark Pedowitz praised her work.
"She did a great job for the six years she was on the show. She is welcome any time she wants to come back," Pedowitz said.