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"I mean, eight years, you know eight years of my life, I feel like I spent more time as a character than I spent as myself," she told Entertainment Tonight at iHeartRadio Wango Tango.
"I feel like I gave that show, and hopefully the fans that watch it, eight years of my life and poured so much into it and sacrificed a lot of time with my family, even time doing work with the UN Refugee Agency, doing my activism. So much of that has to get put on hold when you're on a 22-episode series for eight years," said Graham, 32.
She continued, "So as grateful [as I am] — and I mean grateful, because I grew from that show, I became who I really am in my twenties from that show — for me, yeah, the door is closed."
Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Kat Graham in The Vampire Diaries
For now, Graham is exploring other passions, including her music, activism and future acting roles — such as the five movies she has coming out this year.
"There's a lot as an artist and as a human being I feel like I have to contribute and I want to contribute to the world," she said. "I just don't feel like that's something that I can really utilize in the strongest way to contribute to the world. I feel like I've got more to offer, so yeah, for now, the door's absolutely closed."
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In 2021, Graham shared a similar sentiment when asked about the possibility of a reunion.
"I feel like I've learned my lessons from that show," she told PEOPLE. "Eight years, if you can't get what you need out of a character in eight years… So I don't think so. I don't feel it, you know? I'm a soul person. I don't feel that that's my path."
Among Graham's many passion projects, she released her album Long Hot Summer this month and is touring Pride festivals around the country in partnership with GLAAD.
"#LongHotSummer, the album IS OUT NOW!!!!!!!," Graham wrote Friday on Twitter. "Before the fame and before I booked TVD, the LGBTQ+ community was literally the only community that believed in me, gave me a shot and made me feel accepted. This album is for you."