The news that Jennifer Morrison will be leaving Once Upon a Timeahead of a potential Season 7 rocked the fandom world on Monday morning. Following the announcement, the actress is opening up about why it felt like the right time to leave the role of Emma Swan behind after six years of being Storybrooke's savior.
"Obviously any decision like this is really tricky because I care tremendously about the show and about everyone involved in the show," Morrison told Entertainment Weekly. "I've loved being there, but six years is a very long time. I did six years on House, and then I did a year on How I Met Your Mother, and then I did six years on Once Upon a Time. I needed personally to move on to new things."
Filming Once also requires spending a lot of time in Vancouver, which is thousands of miles from both of Morrison's home stays in New York and Los Angeles. After more than half a decade of flying back and forth, the actress is looking forward to spending more time in her own bed.
"As much as I love the show, I ultimately had to do what was right for me, and I need to be home," she told TVLine. "I need to be in New York, in L.A., I need to be around my family and friends and have a chance at a personal life, and to have opportunities to do new things creatively."
Fortunately, Morrison's co-stars along with show creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis have been very supportive of her decision and no bad blood has been spilled on the fairy tale set.
"Obviously, it's bittersweet on both sides. We all love each other," she continued to EW. "I love Adam and Eddy, and I love everyone on the show, so it's tough. But it's also a family. We've become a family. We've worked so closely with each other over the last six years that you really do become a family, and you know each other very, very well."
The story of Emma Swan will mostly wrap up in Sunday's two-hour season finale, which will see a final showdown between Emma and the Black Fairy. If Once gets picked up for a Season 7, Morrison will return for an additional episode to help send the show off into a new direction. The actress is hopeful that fans will accept the happy ending that Horowitz and Kitsis have crafted for the Savior in the finale episode.
"I'm very pleased with the journey that they had taken Emma on through the whole six years, and I'm pleased with where they've taken her to at the end of the six years," she said.
Emma's last big hurrah airs Sunday, March 14 at 7/6c on ABC.