Fans of Once Upon A Time were dealt a shock yesterday when it was announced that Jennifer Morrison would be leaving the show at the end of its current sixth season.

In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Morrison has revealed why she felt it was time to leave the hit series.

"I spent six years year on House, a year on How I Met Your Mother and spent 6 years on Once Upon a Time, and collectively that's 13 years of network schedule, which is an amazing and incredible gift but it's a grueling schedule,Morrison said. I've been transitioning into doing more directing, I've had some opportunities that I've passed up along the years in order to fulfill these network schedules, and I really had to weigh where I was in my life. I'm just at an age and a time in my life where I want to be home, I want to be with my family and my friends, to have a chance to have a personal life for a while, and also wanted to be available to do other creative things."

Even though we've seen many shades of Emma Swan over the last six years, there's no faulting Morrison's reasoning for wanting to pursue new roles. One of those new roles Morrison has acquired a taste for is directing. Two years after her short film Warning Labels (co-starring Karen Gillian), Morrison has made her feature film directorial debut with the comedy-drama Sun Dog which is due out later this year.

As a consolation prize, Morrison will be guest starring in at least one episode of season seven should the show be renewed for another year. Beyond her one episode farewell, Morrison has no immediate plans to return to Once Upon A Time for the foreseeable future.

"All I can say is that I only negotiated for one episode, and that's all I can promise at this point."

You can read the full Deadline interview with Jennifer Morrison here.