Aidy Bryant said she left 'SNL' "with so much love"

Aidy Bryant was one of the big names who left SNL at the close of this past season -- along with Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney and Kate McKinnon -- and now she's explained why.

To Variety, Bryant revealed she actually wanted to leave sooner.

"If it weren't for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier," said the Emmy-nominated star of the sketch show and of her own Hulu comedy series, Shrill.

"But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit, it was so jarring that we were all like, 'I'm definitely going to come back next year.'"

She added, "And then I had to shoot Shrill for half of last season, and so I missed a lot. And then it was like, 'Well, now I should go back one more.' I kept trying to seek one last normal year. This year wasn't the normal year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that."

Ultimately, Bryant said of her years on the show, "10 felt like a nice, solid round number."

That said, the actress admitted she was "scared" to break the news to SNL's executive producer Lorne Michaels.

"I was scared because I feel close to him and so grateful to him. I didn't want it to come off like I was leaving angrily. I am leaving with so much love," she explained. "He was like, 'I understand, and it makes sense for you.'"

Bryant is working on an animated series for Peacock, called Cheeky, about our relationships with our bodies. "I'll probably always be writing to work through my own shame about my body or parameters of gender and womanhood. Those are the things that interest me in ways I find funny and insane," she said.

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