One Tree Hill Podcast: Revelations From Episode 2 “Take Me to the Pilot”Published on June 28, 2021.
If you are a One Tree Hill fan who isn’t listening to the new podcast Drama Queens — you definitely should. Former One Tree Hill stars Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz have reunited for the podcast to rewatch the iconic teen series and share their own behind the scenes stories. After the first episode had the three ladies talking about how they ended up being cast on the show and what led up to it, the second episode is all about the pilot. Check out all the things that were revealed in the second podcast episode “Take Me to the Pilot”:
After watching themselves in the pilot nearly 20 years after its release, the three actresses revealed they noticed a lot about hair in the pilot. They noticed how James Lafferty and Paul Johansson, who played son-father duo Nathan and Dan Scott had the same hair and so did Chad Michael Murray and Craig Scheffer who played nephew-uncle duo Lucas and Keith Scott. Bethany Joy Lenz also revealed she was naturally blonde with curly hair, just like Hilarie Burton, so the minute she showed up they dyed her hair immediately and smoothed it out. Additionally Burton revealed one of the first things she fought with producers about was how unrealistic the cheerleaders’ hair was and how it wouldn’t be down and flowing, it would be in ponytails. They also referenced show creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn as “he who will not be named.”
The Original Ravens
After discussing how they had no control over their hair or their clothes, they also talked about the questionable scenes they had to do and in the pilot pointed to the part where Burton (as Peyton) comes out of the bathroom following Nathan wearing nothing but a towel and runs into Nathan’s dad and says “Hi, Mr. Scott.” While reflecting on this scene Burton revealed that the original pilot for Ravens actually had Barry Corbin’s character Whitey narrating the whole thing as he told the stories of the residents of One Tree Hill to his dead wife Camila. As One Tree Hill fans know, Whitey was a huge part of the show as was his ongoing grief over the loss of his wife, but the show never took that original angle. Burton added that, “Never in any of that was there a sexy element, so I felt totally safe.” But when The OC got popular OTH had to “up the sexy” and they never got a say in that and Burton joked it was like a “bait and switch.”
One of the most interesting things Burton revealed after rewatching the pilot was that after the episode aired, there was a very bad fan reaction to her character Peyton! Burton revealed they had to to talk to her about the “arc” of her character in hopes that it would help people understand Peyton and her attitude more. Burton then added that her very first day filming was the scene where her Comet breaks down by the lake and Lucas comes with the tow truck, and it was a horrible experience. Burton had never acted on TV before and didn’t know the lingo or anything about “hitting marks or finding her light.” She then revealed that during the first rehearsal of the scene there was an alligator swimming up to them that was distracting her and after the scene was over the director came to her trailer and made her cry because of how poorly she did. He accused her of not knowing her lines and told her to “never waste his or the crew’s time again.”
After One Tree Hill blew up in its first season, Hilarie Burton revealed she was still working for MTV where she was a host/VJ. She explained that she would work Sunday-Thursday filming One Tree Hill and then fly back to New York Friday morning and film three shows for MTV before flying back to Wilmington for Saturday night and she did that for the first two seasons of the show. Bush then added that the filming schedule was insane, especially when filming the basketball scenes in the gym. The girls had a two-hour pre-call which meant they would end up working 18 hours day and filming for 16 of those hours.
As they discussed in the first episode of the podcast, the character of Haley was recast with Bethany Joy Lenz after the original pilot had already been filmed. After Lenz came in as the replacement character for Lucas’s female best friend they had to do reshoots, but instead of reshooting the entire final scene of the pilot episode where Nathan and Lucas face off on the River Court, they just used footage from a different episode. Lenz revealed they used footage of her reactions from a different episode and inserted it into the pilot, and in fact in the final scene where his friends swarm Lucas after he wins, the original best friend character Reagan, played by Samantha Shelton, can still be seen. Burton also revealed that when they decided cut the Reagan character, they told her it was specifically because they wanted Nathan and Lucas’s best friend to fall in love and it just didn’t work with James Lafferty and Samantha Shelton’s age differences because Lafferty was only 17 when the first season was filmed.
Bethany Joy Lenz’s Crush
Fans of One Tree Hill know there were a lot of leading men to crush on inlcuding of course Chad Michael Murray as Lucas, James Lafferty as Nathan, Antwon Tanner as Skills and Bryan Greenberg as Jake, but it turns out Bethany Joy Lenz had her eye on Craig Scheffer who played Keith Scott. Lenz revealed that a few years after the first season she went to dinner with Paul Johansson (Dan) and Scheffer, and Johansson told Craig about her crush!
While Bethany Joy Lenz was crushing on Craig Scheffer, Burton revealed a funny moment that happened between her and Paul Johansson. She explained that her parents came to town to help her set up her apartment and she took them out to dinner with James Laffety and his mom. Afterwards they went to a French bistro and Johansson showed up and hung out with Burton and her parents. She said at some point he said something funny and she laughed and touched his knee and her parents’ moods changed “immediately.” Burton explained, “We left and they said you can not date him,” and she said she hadn’t even thought about it until they brought it up. While she never dated Johansson she did mention that her now-husband actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the same age as Johansson and the people playing the adults or parents were only 15-16 years older than the “kids.” Burton then revealed that Morgan actually auditioned for One Tree Hill! He auditioned for the role of Keith Scott.