06/06/2013 10:01 am ET

'Parenthood' Star Monica Potter's Emotional Story About Leaving And Returning To Hollywood (VIDEO)

"Parenthood" Monica Potter is now a favorite in the TV world, with the NBC family drama going into its fifth season, but there was a time when the mom of three thought she was done with acting altogether.

In Variety's Emmy Studio Supporting Actress Drama panel discussion, Potter -- who plays Kristina Braverman on "Parenthood" -- opened up about circumstances surrounding her return to her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

"I took a long hiatus that I didn't really plan," she revealed in the video above at about the 8:40 mark. "And everyone was like, 'You're the new It Girl. What are you doing moving back to Cleveland?'"

Potter had consistently worked from through the late '90s and early '00s, appearing in films like "Con Air," "Patch Adams," "Saw" and more, but a divorce called for a change of plans, which lead her to Cleveland.

"Four years later, I woke up one morning and said, 'I have to go back to California because I have to work and support the kids,'" she said. "Within three months of being back [in LA], I got a phone call that my father died. So that was the purpose, just being back there for those years ... I would never, ever, ever, ever give up that time back in Cleveland with my parents, with my dad -- and my boys with my father -- for anything," an emotional Potter revealed. "It's kind of cool to have gotten a second chance to come back and do television."

Tragedy also struck Potter's "Parenthood" character in Season 4 when Kristina was diagnosed with breast cancer. As sad as it was, Potter made sure what her character went through was a true to life as possible

"I just wanted to make sure it was done in a really, really realistic way," Potter told The Huffington Post. "And adding humor and joy to it as well. I think, because the scenes are so heavy, those moments have to be there."

"Parenthood" returns for Season 5 in the fall on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.