Occasionally, when we talk to “One Tree Hill” star Sophia Bush, the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. We mean that as a compliment — after nine years of watching the show, the place where Sophia ends and Brooke Davis begins has become less defined.
Sophia knows the feeling. “We were shooting a scene in the finale and Brooke was revisiting the high school hallways,” she says. (The high school sets were rebuilt for the final episodes… so prepare your kleenex and wine supply now.) “I walked in there and it was like everything I’d ever experienced as Brooke Davis and also as myself, all my best days… all my worst days… as a young girl making mistakes and a young girl having great success– whatever it was, it all came back to me and it was incredible emotional.”
When the director wrapped the scene and said, “Let’s move on,” the words hit Sophia hard.
“On the same side of the coin, most shows don’t last this long. Most shows don’t make it 6 years let alone 9, so I really feel like it’s all just been a gift,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m allowed to be very upset that it’s done, because it almost never happens that it continues like this did.”
In last week’s season premiere, we saw Brooke at a relatively stable place in her life, with her family safe and her career on an upswing. During driving scenes with her babies, though, we couldn’t help but worry that, in true Tree Hill fashion, a truck was going to come and mow her entire family off the road.
“No accidents for Brooke Davis,” Sophia teases. “But many metaphorical trucks are coming, yes.”
When deciding whether or not to sign on for Season 9, Sophia was particularly intrigued by a storyline with one of the babies — in fact, it was one of the driving forces behind her signing that contract. “Now what we see, particularly in the US, is that with the length of our work week, people are crumbling,” she says. “People are one misstep away from destruction, very often, because everyone’s running themselves into the ground. A lot of parents have that issue with their children. They screw up in some way.”
Julian, OTH fans, is about to screw up.
That “metaphorical truck” isn’t going to devastate the Brulian family forever, luckily. Sophia directed episode 912 — the penultimate episode of the series — and she promises that at least some of our heartache will have eased by then. “The nostalgia and happiness surrounding all the characters had me crying behind the monitor every day,” she says. “I just felt so wonderful for what I was watching.”
As for moving on from Brooke and finding another character to inhabit and to love, Sophia has earned the right to be picky. “If she’s the right one, she’s got to be someone who I love and someone who I want to fight for,” she says. “I’m reading a lot, and I’m looking to find what inspires me, and what really sparks my interest, and what’s going to make me want to give up my life the way I gave up my life for this… I’m already being pitched some really excellent material and I feel like whatever is supposed to happen, will. I know that’s a little hippie-dippy, but that’s me.”
Sophia recently watched the series finale — she and co-stars Bethany Joy Galeotti, Antwon Tanner, and Lee Norris did a DVD commentary on it. “It’s perfect,” she says. “My heart was just swelling and of course, I was bawling. It just is. It just worked. I felt really good about it.”
Don’t forget to tune in on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST for the final season of “One Tree Hill” — all 13 episodes are airing without repeats or hiatuses. As it should be.
Watch the video below for more from Sophia on everything from beating Seth Rogen in a recent nonprofit challenge (more on that here), shooting the final scene of the series, and Brooke’s upcoming troubles with her dad!