His roots will forever remain in Tree Hill! Chad Michael Murray said in a new interview that he will always be grateful for his role on beloved TV drama One Tree Hill.
"Are you kidding me?" the former teen heartthrob, 33, told Cosmopolitan.com. "It was a large part of my life, so every day that goes by, at some point you'll see something that refers to it, or at least I will, in my life."
Murray played Lucas Scott, the beloved basketball-playing protagonist on the WB and CW series, from 2003 to 2009. (He also returned for one final episode in 2012.)
"Playing the moral compass for that show, which is what Lucas was, was a great way for me to learn as an artist," he mused of his early 20s. "And to start understanding emotions and understanding myself."
The Agent Carter actor also appreciated that the show was shot in North Carolina rather than Hollywood. "It gave me the opportunity to grow up as a human being… which was incredible," Murray remarked. "And the fan support — they still are there every day, and I can't be more grateful for them. So yeah, of course, the show was a huge experience in my life, and I'm just happy that I got to have it and live in those shoes for six years."
During those years, Murray acquired many mementos from the show's set. "It turns out I kept too much," he revealed to Cosmopolitan. "I had a closetful of different memorabilia, and I was, like, 'Okay, I've got to find something to do with some of this stuff.' And so I ended up giving it back to the fans."
He did, however, hold on to several special items. "I still have the hoodie and I still have a jersey and I still have a couple other things," Sophia Bush's ex-husband remarked. (Bush also starred on the series as Brooke Davis, the love interest of Murray's character.) "But I thought that it would be best back in the hands of the fans who have just lived for it, and they bleed for it."
Before his big role on One Tree Hill, Murray guest-starred in several WB shows including Gilmore Girls, where he played one of Rory's high school love interests Tristan, and Dawson's Creek, in which he portrayed Charlie.
"Oh my god, we're going way back," he joked, adding of the shows: "Man, they were great ways to walk into this industry." Murray noted that he took pointers largely from the cast of Dawson's Creek including Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, James Van Der Beek, and Michelle Williams.
"I had the opportunity to learn from people who had been doing it for a couple of years longer than I was when I walked into the Dawson's cast," the Freaky Friday star said. "They really kind of guided me, because they'd already been around for five, six years, maybe longer. And if they had the time, they were showing me the ropes. I had no idea what lighting was, I had no idea about a lot of the technical aspects of what we do, and so I'm grateful for that experience."
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