Monday, July 15, 2024

Here’s What The ‘One Tree Hill’ Cast Looks Like Then Vs. Now

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Then: Sophia Bush

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Sophia Bush was the glue that held One Tree Hill together. She played Miss Popular Brooke Davis, the dynamic, bubbly cheerleader that turned out to be everyone’s favorite. OTH was Sophia’s breakout role, and she starred in every season. But get this: Her character almost wasn’t named Brooke. Instead, it was supposed to be Tara (um, what?!). Sophia shares the backstory of the name change on the Drama Queens podcast.

Upon arriving on set, Sophia fell in love with co-star Chad Michael Murray. After dating for two years, the couple tied the knot in 2005 only to split up five months later. Here’s the kicker: They still had to work with each other, and producers exploited it for viewership, Sophia said on Armchair Expert.


Now: Sophia Bush

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One Tree Hill launched Sophia’s career—and she’s still thriving. During the show, she landed the role of Beth in the sleepover classic John Tucker Must Die. Sophia’s post-OTH career was made on NBC’s Chicago trilogy. She played recurring character Erin Lindsay from 2013 to 2017, but left due to “abusive behavior” on set. Now, she stars in the wholesome Hulu series Love, Victor and made an appearance in the unsettling horror film False Positive.


Then: Chad Michael Murray

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Chad Michael Murray had already established himself as the teen heartthrob of the time. (Hello, don’t you remember him as Tristan on Gilmore Girls?) After an arc on Dawson’s Creek, Chad landed the role as the brooding, misunderstood jock Lucas Scott on OTH. Along with his aforementioned relationship with Sophia Bush, Chad made the rounds in iconic rom-com favorites like A Cinderella Story and Freaky Friday during his time on the TV series.

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Now: Chad Michael Murray

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Following his success on OTH, Chad picked up performances in smaller TV productions and TV movies before settling into a recurring role on the now-canceled Agent Carter. Nowadays, Chad is known for starring in Hallmark movies and another teen drama: Riverdale. (He played a charismatic cult leader.) He has a few projects in the works, including Fortress and Fortress 2, which stars Bruce Willis and fellow 2000s heartthrob Jesse Metcalfe.


Then: Hilarie Burton

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Hilarie Burton was made famous by playing the artistic Peyton Sawyer, a character who was known for placing herself in front of a webcam for people on the internet to see—which is kind of like how Hilarie got her start. Before playing Peyton, Hilarie was a VJ on MTV’s Total Request Live. She even portrayed herself in an episode of Dawson’s Creek, which marked her acting debut.


Now: Hilarie Burton

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Coinciding with the end of her six-season stint on OTH, co-star Daneel Ackles (neé Harris) set Hilarie up on a blind date with her now-husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Now, that’s a good friend! Jeffrey starred alongside Daneel’s husband, Jensen Ackles, on Supernatural. The couple has two children together and live on a farm in New York.

Since OTH, Hilarie has spent most of her career guest starring in various shows, including Extant and The Walking Dead on which her husband starred. She has also followed some of her co-stars to the Hallmark Channel. In 2020, she released her memoir, The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm.

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Then: Bethany Joy Lenz

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Bethany Joy Lenz played the girl next door Haley James for every season of OTH. From her early arc as a good-girl-gone-bad to exploring her music career on screen, Bethany showed the full breadth of Haley as a character. Prior to landing the role, she was known for playing Michele Bauer on the soap opera Guiding Light.


Now: Bethany Joy Lenz

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Shortly after the series finale of OTH, Bethany was featured in a four-episode arc in the final season of Dexter. She has continued to pursue her music career, releasing a Christmas album called Snow in 2020. Most of her acting credits nowadays are Hallmark Channel original movies.


Then: James Lafferty

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He started off as the douchey jock, but James Lafferty’s character Nathan Scott slowly started to melt hearts—especially when he and Haley took it to the next level. OTH was James’ breakout role and his sole project for most of the production. During filming, he dated co-star Sophia Bush (after she split from Chad Michael Murray).

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Now: James Lafferty

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OTH remains James’ most well-known role. He’s since starred in smaller series like Crisis and played a secondary character in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. 2021 brought him back into the spotlight as one of the main characters in Hulu’s Everyone is Doing Great, which stars fellow OTH cast mate Stephen Colletti and James’ fianceé Alexandra Park.


Then: Jana Kramer

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Prior to stepping onto the OTH scene as the chaotic Alex Dupré, Jana Kramer held several recurring roles on teen dramas like Friday Night Lights and 90210, as well as having a part in Entourage. Jana joined the cast of OTH during season seven. Initially, Alex was set as a recurring character but was upgraded to a series regular. Jana stayed on through the beginning of season nine.


Now: Jana Kramer

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In the eighth season of OTH, Jana started her country music career and ended up leaving the series to pursue singing full time. Shortly after her departure from the show, she released her first top-10 single, “Why You Wanna.” Jana competed in season 23 of Dancing With The Stars with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko, where she placed fourth.

In 2021, Jana finalized her divorce with NFL player Mike Caussin, with whom she has two children. The couple was coming up on their sixth wedding anniversary when Jana cited “inappropriate marital conduct, irreconcilable differences, and adultery” as the reasons for their separation. That followed a rocky patch the couple had in 2016 after Mike was seeking treatment for sex addiction.

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Then: Lee Norris

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Lee Norris played one of the most lovable characters on OTH: Marvin “Mouth” McFadden. Mouth was known as the commentator for the River Court Gang and the one guy all the ladies trusted. Before landing the role and staying on the show for all nine seasons, Lee got his big break as Stuart Minkus in Boy Meets World. During his run on the show, he was also in the Jake Gyllenhaal-led film Zodiac.


Now: Lee Norris

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Lee hasn’t acted much since OTH ended. His biggest credits include reprising his role as Stuart in the Boy Meets World spin-off, Girl Meets World, and portraying one of the officers in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl.


Then: Danneel (Harris) Ackles

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Danneel Ackles (who used her maiden name Harris at the time) portrayed the sexy troublemaker Rachel Gatina primarily in seasons three and four of OTH. Danneel’s character stirred up trouble for the people of Tree Hill, but it all masked her insecurities. With the time jump at the beginning of season five, Danneel didn’t return as a series regular. She did, however, return in season seven in a shocking reveal that she’d married Dan Scott, the villainous father of Nathan and Lucas.

Prior to OTH, Danneel entered show biz on the soap One Life To Live and kickstarted her modeling career.

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Now: Danneel (Harris) Ackles

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Being on The CW lot had its perks for Danneel, including meeting her now-husband, Supernatural star Jensen Ackles. The pair became friends during their time on their respective shows, but that turned into romance after they starred in the 2007 rom-com Ten Inch Hero. The couple tied the knot on May 15, 2010 and have three children together.

Danneel has made small appearances and held recurring roles in series like How I Met Your Mother and Supernatural. She reunited with her fellow OTH co-stars in the Hallmark movie The Christmas Contract.


Then: Shantel VanSanten

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Nearly everyone fell in love with model Shantel VanSanten’s character as soon as she sauntered onto the screen as the free-spirited photographer Quinn James. Shantel’s three-season arc marked the beginning of an insane run of TV roles.


Now: Shantel VanSanten

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Following OTH, Shantel continued to land major TV roles in the shows Gang Related, The Messengers, CW’s The Flash, and Shooter. However, her career is reaching new heights as she holds lead roles in Amazon’s The Boys (she plays Karl Urban’s wife, Becca Butcher) and AppleTV+’s revisionist series For All Mankind.

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Then: Robert Buckley

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Robert Buckley portrayed Nathan’s hunky, tormented agent Clay Evans in the last three seasons of the series. OTH wasn’t his first role, though. Robert got his start on the soap opera-like Fashion House and the telenovela American Heiress. He also was a recurring character in the short-lived Lipstick Jungle.


Now: Robert Buckley

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Immediately after OTH, Robert picked up a role in the sexy, fantasy series 666 Park Avenue, but the show only lasted one season. After that, he found more success as Major Lilywithe in all five seasons of CW’s iZombie. Most recently, Robert has taken to starring in Hallmark Channel movies.

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