Neighbours' Bonnie Anderson has elaborated on her decision to quit the show.
The star has played Bea Nilsson for three years, but finished filming her final scenes this week. At the time of her original announcement last month, she said she was looking forward to focusing on new projects.
Appearing on co-star Sharon Johal's podcast We Are the Real Ones, Bonnie discussed her exit further and explained why she felt now was the right time.
"I'm feeling excited," she told Sharon. "It's very daunting, of course. We've spent a lot of the years and a lot of time and a lot of energy on that show. For someone like us, it takes a lot of your time.
"They're every day, it's a second home, you spend more time there than your own home, and the people become a big part of your life.
"For me, I felt like I grew as much as I possibly could there. The decision was a little bit difficult, but I knew I made the right decision for myself and my future. I feel like I've always been somebody that wants to challenge myself, somebody who wants to take risks, and I feel like that's the way I grow."
She continued: "I feel like I ticked off all the boxes that I needed to tick [on Neighbours] and now I'm at a place where I want to continue soaring and enjoying other parts of my life and challenging myself."
Bonnie added later in the podcast that she was keen to try "lots of different things" – including going back to songwriting and her music as well as auditioning for new acting roles.
"In April especially, I'm just going to lock myself in there in a studio and do lots of work, lots of writing, and other things," she said. "There's some opportunities that I can't talk about now but I'm excited I'm doing a bunch of different auditions, which is good for me, because I never really did that back in the day.
"So I'm just opening up my mind and I really want to do things that I've never done before."
While Bonnie didn't say anything about how Bea would be written out, she mentioned that she would have loved a dramatic exit.
"I didn't have a say, really," she said. "[But] I always thought it'd be so cool to do a real big death or something like that. It would be really good, but we just have to wait and see."
Sharon, who also recently confirmed her exit as Dipi Rebecchi, agreed that a death scene would be fun to play.
"I wanted a long protracted death, like maybe being shot and then moving backwards in slow-mo and really playing that," she said on the podcast.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).
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