Samantha Giles felt "stifled" and "a bit frustrated" towards the end of her latest Emmerdale stint.
The 48-year-old star has played Bernice Blackstock on and off since 1998, most recently from 2012 until November last year.
She decided to depart the Dales to try out other parts and didn't feel as though she was getting many "big, juicy storylines" on the ITV soap because of her "comedy character".
Speaking about her final scenes, she said: "It was very tiring. It was full on, filming all those emotional scenes. It really takes it out of you.
"It felt like the right time to leave. It's scary because, as actors, regular work is the dream, but I want to play other roles.
I was starting to feel a bit stifled and I needed to move on
"You get that creative itch and I was starting to feel a bit stifled and I needed to move on.
"I got a bit frustrated because often when you're playing a comedy character you're not going to get big juicy storylines. I want to get my teeth into something."
While Emmerdale didn't kill off her character, Samantha "wouldn't have minded" if Bernice had been bumped off.
"They didn't want me to leave but I got the urge.
"This departure is my second from the show - the first was after three years, then this stint was from 2012 to 2019. But I'm ready to move on."
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Sam recently admitted she had been considering departing the soap for "a couple of years".
She said: "I've been thinking about it for a couple of years and, like a lot of actors, I've got itchy feet and I just thought, 'I need a change, I want to play something a bit more gritty, I want to do some other stuff.'
"There's so many other things out there, so hopefully I will."
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