"That was the plan from the get-go," she says in the September issue of Harper by Harper's Bazzar -- which she guest-edited. "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."
Dobrev portrayed Elena Gilbert for six seasons on TVD, shocking fans of the vampire series when she announced in 2015 that she would be departing the show. Since then, she's taken roles in films such as Crash Pad and xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
"The things I want to do aren’t necessarily the things that are expected of me," Dobrev confesses. "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.”
Her decision to make a big move in her career also stems from her love of living an adventurous life.
“My rule of thumb is, I’ll try anything once," she expresses. "I have a healthy -- or possibly unhealthy -- obsession with trying things for the first time. Nobody imagines me to be by myself backpacking, so they just think, ‘It can’t be her.’”