Image Credit: Miranda Penn Turin/ABCSomeone better pour Nora Walker a tall glass of pinot, because her beleaguered clan is about to sustain another loss: As first reported by, Emily VanCamp is parting ways with Brothers & Sisters and her role of Rebecca. In the following exclusive interview, the Everwood grad sets the record straight about the circumstances surrounding her departure and teases the “traumatic” event that leads to Rebecca’s goodbye.

Is it true that you’re leaving?

EMILY VANCAMP: It is true. I’m going to go back for a couple of episodes, which I’m really excited about. I really feel like Rebecca has run her course. And the deal I was offered this year was for two more years, and I just felt like since renegotiations were happening that maybe it would be the right time to move on. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and other opportunities have presented themselves that I haven’t been able to do. I’ve had such an amazing four years on the show and I felt like maybe it was time. It was a big risk, but I’m really excited about it.

Isn’t a six- or seven-year contract standard practice when you join a show?

VANCAMP: It is. I think [ABC] decided that they wanted to renegotiate with me and, I think, different cast members. All I know is what was happening with me. They [wanted to] renegotiate for the next couple of years and the idea of doing two more years was slightly daunting —not because I haven’t appreciated every single moment on that show. I’ve had such a brilliant time, and I had the opportunity to work with some of the best — I’m so grateful for that. But with family dramas, it’s hard to keep those stories alive. I just felt like it was time to move on.

There’s speculation that you were a casualty of widespread budget cuts at the show. Not true?

VANCAMP: I’d like to think that it was a mutual agreement. I don’t really make decisions based on [money]. For me, it was really a creative thing….I did a lot of soul-searching. It’s a big risk for me to take. [B&S showrunner David Marshall Grant responds: “We love Emily. Everyone here loves Emily. She wanted to try other things and I don’t think anyone here wanted to stand in the way of her dreams.”]

Are you concerned what your fellow cast members might think of your decision? Like, “Who does she think she is, leaving the show?”

VANCAMP: No. I think everyone sort of knew what was happening with my character and the relationship between Justin and Rebecca. There was a lot of fighting [between them]. It wasn’t moving forward in a way that was productive or exciting. I think this will give Dave Annable [Justin] an opportunity to do some different things, which will be exciting for him. I don’t think that anyone will disagree with what I’m doing. I think mostly they’ll be happy for me. It really is not an ego thing whatsoever….With such a huge cast, all I’m doing is opening up more time for them. [Laughs] Anyone who knows me knows that my ego really does not drive me. It’s about being happy and creatively fulfilled. I’ve been doing television for a long time. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to go off and do movies. I’d love to do some theater. I’ve thought about going back to school. There are so many things that are going through my brain. I’m 24 now, and I want to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.

How many episodes are you going back for?

VANCAMP: I’m definitely going back for two or three episodes at the beginning of the season. I’m really excited about the story. I spoke to our showrunner, David Marshall Grant, and he’s come up with some great story lines for the next season. I’m very excited about what’s happening for Rebecca.

I’m guessing the yearlong separation between Justin and Rebecca caused even further distance.

VANCAMP: I think so. I also think that when families go through traumatic situations — like a massive car crash — there are a lot of emotional issues to deal with. No one really knows what happened to Holly [Patricia Wettig] yet. Everyone knows what happened to Robert [Rob Lowe]. I think there are going to be a lot of emotional implications as a result of that event.

What’s next for you professionally?

VANCAMP: I’m working on a Hallmark movie right now called Let Them Shine. I’m playing a teacher, which I always wanted to do. When my character was young and out of college, there weren’t a lot of job opportunities for her in the middle of the school year, so she ended up teaching homeless children and she essentially changed their lives. And then after this I’m going to do Brothers & Sisters, and then who knows? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s a really exciting time for me right now.

What say you, Brothers & Sisters fans? Will you miss Rebecca? Or do you agree with EVC that her character has run her course? Sound off below!

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