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Sophia Bush: What I ‘Really Cherish’ About My Friendships With ‘One Tree Hill’ Costars Hilarie Burton and Joy Lenz (Exclusive)

Sophia Bush Details Hilarie Burton and Joy Lenz Friendships
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Joy LenzShutterstock (3)

It’s like they never left. Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Joy Lenzs bond has only grown since starring together on One Tree Hill — nearly 20 years ago.

‘One Tree Hill’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

“We’ve known each other for almost two decades now. Our friendships have changed immeasurably,” Bush, 38, exclusively told Us Weekly. “We’ve been through so many stages of life together. But I think something that we really cherish — Hilarie and I were talking about this not too long ago — is just having, interestingly enough, as we’ve all gotten older, having our friendships deepen even more.”

Bush, Burton, 38, and Lenz, 39, starred on the teen drama for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012. (Burton exited the series in 2009.) They played Brooke Davis, Peyton Sawyer and Haley James Scott, respectively.

“We all got to go through this wild ride together and it’s a thing that’s ours. No one else can really share it with us in the way that we can,” the Love, Victor actress added to Us. “It’s such a special thing to leave a journey like that and maintain really deep and trusted connections and we all are able to support each other and inspire each other and it’s something I just really cherish.”

Sophia Bush’s Dating History

Since the show wrapped, the cast has reunited several times over the years. The former costars often attend fan conventions, Bush and Lenz watched as Burton married Jeffrey Dean Morgan in October 2019 and Burton even starred in Lifetime’s 2018 film The Christmas Contract with fellow OTH alums Robert Buckley, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner and Tyler Hilton. The gang also always get together for Burton’s annual bash.

“Hilarie throws the best Halloween party ever. Like, that will just stand in the record books. She loves Halloween more than anyone I know. And those were always kind of our best times,” Bush told Us. “It’s interesting when you have to move somewhere for a show because you’re together 10 months a year, but the holidays are the only time you really get to go home and see your family. So, generally, we’re all apart for the holidays, but now it’s obviously so sweet no matter where we are — east coast, west coast or anywhere in-between — our cast is kind of all over the place. But we have a big group thread, and everyone is sending around pictures of their dogs and their kids. It’s always really nice to have that touch point no matter where we’re at.”

Celebrity BFFs

Although it’s unknown whether One Tree Hill will ever get a reboot, the activist already knows where Brooke would be today.

“We were actually talking about this not so long ago because I asked the girls to do a video with me for Register a Friend Day, which we do with my nonprofit that I cofounded, I Am a Voter. We called up our friend Audrey [Wauchope], who was a writer on the show, and Audrey and I wrote this little scene together. And then Joy and Hilarie and I filmed it on Zoom,” she explained. “And we were laughing because I still have this pin from the show from when Brooke Davis ran for class president. It literally says, ‘Brooke Davis for President.’ And in the sketch, I’m working on a campaign, Joy’s writing music and Hilarie’s running her school board, ’cause she’s like, ‘That’s totally what Peyton would be doing.’ I was like, ‘OK!’ And it’s just hilarious because everyone was like, ‘100 percent Brooke Davis would be the governor. Like, that’s what she would be doing.’ And I was like, ‘Honestly, I’m here for it.’ So, I think that would most likely be her trajectory and it would feel pretty authentic because she’s always had the mind to run for elected office. Even if just in school.”

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