Maurice Benard, Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC StudiosLos Angeles05/24/11©sean smith/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 12342U.S.Airdate 07/07/11

Sean Smith/JPI

“I really cared back then” whether people liked me, she said.

In a video interview published to Instagram on February 21, Vanessa Marcil not only shared her vision for a super-sexy Sonny/Brenda reunion on General Hospital, she revealed why she had been so anxious to leave Beverly Hills, 90210 after just two seasons.

“I was so hurt when I was working there,” she said, “that I felt like I was sideswiped by the cattiness and not being liked. I wasn’t expecting it.”

Castmate Jennie Garth took her aside on the set one day to make a suggestion. She “said, ‘Maybe it would help if you didn’t walk around like somebody who isn’t liked?’…  So I realized maybe I had taken it so personally… that now I was walking around like someone who isn’t liked.”

If Marcil stopped doing that, it was, in a way, “leaving the door open for it maybe to get better,” she continued.

More: GH characters who should still be alive [PHOTOS]

Of course, were the General Hospital alum to find herself in a similar situation today, it wouldn’t faze her. “When people don’t like me now, it doesn’t really bother me as much,” she said, “but I really cared back then.”

At the time, she also lacked the perspective that she has today. When people are ugly to you, “it’s just a reflection of how they feel about themselves,” she theorized. “It doesn’t even mean that they’re bad people. They just don’t have room for you in that moment.

“I took it too personally,” she added, “to the point that I quit.”

For one, leading man Luke Perry, the late TV icon who’d played Dylan to her Gina, was sorry to see Marcil go. “Right before I left, Luke left a note in my dressing room… In the message, he wrote, ‘Don’t go.’”

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, from left: Vanessa Marcil, Luke Perry, 'Marathon Man', season 9, ep. 10. aired: 12/16/1998, 1990-2000. ph: Carin Baer / TM and copyright © Fox Network. All rights reserved. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Even at the time, Marcil “knew our connection was special… In some ways, it became almost too intense. Now I realize why: The universe knew we were gonna lose him early.

While you’re here, check out the below photo gallery of stars like Marcil who left for primetime, then pulled a Uey and came back.