Ever since One Tree Hill began in 2003, Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush have been best friends. However, their friendship didn’t always come easy.
“I thought the story line between Peyton and Brooke was the love story of the show. The love stories with all the boys, those were fun, those were important, but Sophia and I had to fight for our own friendship,” Burton revealed on the Wednesday, May 6, episode of the Chicks in the Office podcast. “A lot of people wanted to pit us against each other. You know, it’s like, ‘Oh, Hilarie won’t do this, but Sophia will,’ and ‘She’s the pretty one,’ and ‘She’s the this one.’ There’s so much comparison that, as a young person, it’s hard to navigate.”
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But, as time moved on, Burton and Bush learned to shake the comments off. “She and I now can look back at it and be like, ‘All those bastards. No, no, no. We’re the love story,’” Burton said. “The female friendships were important on that show.”
The Rural Diaries author joined One Tree Hill when she was only 20 – Bush was seven days younger than her. “We literally turned 21 together, and just, like, had our first big break on this TV show and she and I hit it running,” Burton said.
While Burton is busy with promoting her new memoir, she also reflected on some of her favorite and least favorite storylines that her character, Peyton Sawyer, was given. One of her least favorite ones was the “psycho Derek” story arc, in which Peyton had a stalker who attacked her multiple times.
“That story line is not one of my favorites. I remember being told as a young 24-year-old actress that, ‘The ratings and male viewership went up so much when you got punched in the face by a man,’ [and] ‘Boys like watching you get brutalized,’” Burton recalled. “That was really upsetting to me that it was something that my bosses were celebrating. The actor that I was working with was so sensitive and so lovely and just a gentleman. So even when they brought him back to brutalize me all over again, I was just happy to see Matt [Barr].”
The actress recently opened up about her decision to break her silence against creator Mark Schwahn. In the wake of the 2019 #MeToo movement, Burton, Bush, and 16 other women who worked on the One Tree Hill set accused the showrunner of sexual misconduct in an open letter. Burton also detailed her personal claims against Schwahn in an in-depth interview. Afterward, the actress feared she would never work again.
“I have this bad habit of saying what I think and that’s not always well received. So yeah, I still think it,” Burton told Us Weekly. “I hope that that’s not the case, but I don’t know. I don’t know how many jobs I’ve been up for that I didn’t get the call because they were like, ‘Hmm, that one. She’s trouble.’”