James Martin Lafferty (born July 25, 1985) is an American actor, director and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of Nathan Scott on The CW television series One Tree Hill.
James Martin Lafferty was born in Hemet, California, to parents Jeff and Angie Lafferty, who own a local construction company. He has a younger brother, actor Stuart Lafferty. At age ten, he received his first acting role in his school’s play. After attending Hemet High School (during which he played basketball for the high school’s team) until 2003, Lafferty enrolled in California State University, Long Beach. But at the age of eighteen, he moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, after he was cast as Nathan Scott on the teenage drama One Tree Hill on the CW.
In 1997, Lafferty made his acting debut in a voice role in made for television film Annabelle’s Wish. Lafferty has since made guest appearances on television shows such as Once and Again, Get Real, and Boston Public. In 2002 Lafferty starred in the ESPN Made-For-Television film A Season on the Brink a film-adaptation based on the book of the same name by John Feinstein. The film centered on the 1985-1986 season of Indiana University’s college basketball team.
In 2003 Lafferty found his breakout role when he successfully auditioned for the role of Nathan Scott on The WB Teen Drama television series One Tree Hill. The series centers on two estranged half-brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott whom are both put on the same basketball team jeopardizing Nathan’s position as the star player. Initially the series premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers but viewership continued to rise progressively as the remainder of the first season continued to air. Critical reception was mixed. The series suffered a network transition as both The WB and UPN both emerged into The CW and was one of the few television series picked up for the 2006-2007 television season with its fourth season. For his role on the series Lafferty has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Teen People and Elle Girl.
In May 2011 The CW renewed the series for a ninth and final season which Lafferty returned on a recurring-basis. The series finale One Tree Hill aired on April 4, 2012 to 1.43 million viewers. Over the course of the latter seasons Lafferty directed four episodes of the television series. Lafferty has received four Teen Choice Award nominations for his stint on the series.
In February 2008 Lafferty was cast in the Straight-to-DVD sequel to the cult film Donnie Darko. Production began on May 18, 2008 in Coalville, Utah and Magna, Utah on a $4 million budget. Elizabeth Berkley, Ed Westwick and Briana Evigan was confirmed to star as well as Daveigh Chase who appeared in the original. The film S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale was released in May 2009 to extremely negative reviews from critics.
In April 2011, Lafferty was confirmed to star alongside One Tree Hill cast mate Stephen Colletti and brother Stuart Lafferty in a planned Adventurous Reality Television series Wild Life: A New Generation of Wild in which he is an Executive Producer. Initially the series pilot was to serve as a possibility to be picked up by a television network but due to creative differences the series failed to find a network. The pilot eventually was premiered via online in May 2011 and can be seen on YouTube.
Lafferty currently resides in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is an ardent basketball player, and played for the New Orleans basketball team at the 2008 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game alongside Ne-Yo, Terrell Owens, Taylor Hicks, and Master P. They defeated the Hornets 51-50 with Owens being named MVP. He is a supporting partner of the professional basketball team, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, part of the Premiere Basketball League. From 2003-2008, he hosted a yearly charity basketball event in Wilmington. However, in 2009, he announced that he was canceling the event, stating: “As a result of constant harassment and gross invasions of privacy via e-mail and telephone, targeting myself, my friends and even my family, I no longer feel comfortable holding a fundraiser in such an intimate setting with fans.”