He may have played the villain on One Tree Hill, but Paul Johansson is no Dan Scott. The actor, who starred on The CW drama for its entirety from 2003 to 2012, opened up about his bond with the cast six years later. While some of the stars – Hilarie Burton (Peyton), Antwon Tanner (Skills), Robert Buckley (Clay) and Daneel Ackles (Rachel) – reunited this summer to film a Lifetime Christmas movie, Johansson has been keeping in touch the old school way.
“I saw Hilarie and I got to meet her new baby when I was in New York shooting a film. She didn’t live far from Kingston, New York, where we shot and she brought the baby,” he told Us Weekly exclusively at The Glenlivet & Malbon Golf Classic to Benefit Athletes vs. Cancer on Monday, July 16. “So I got to meet the baby and she told me all about the project, who’s in it. It’s fantastic.” (Burton welcomed her second child with Jeffery Dean Morgan in March.)
The Van Helsing vet also admitted he has a bit of FOMO when he sees photos of the cast all together, but feels so thankful he formed real bonds with them. “I miss my friends. L.A.’s hard. It’s harder than I thought it would be when we came back after nine years in North Carolina. I’m still kind of feeling my way through it,” he admitted. “We are all really close, we all support each other, we all still keep in contact. If something happens for somebody, we’re all in a text chain and we all encourage each other. We’re all standing behind each other in this time.”
Johansson stayed especially close with Joy Lenz (who played Haley James) following the show’s wrap and they now help each other in their careers. “Joy and I are really close and we collaborate on projects. We talk, we read each other’s scripts and stuff. If something comes up, that’s great, we’ll all be happy to work with each other and maybe collaborate on something one day,” he noted. “I think right now we’re all kind of happy to be on different paths and getting together when we do.”
However, he added: “I’m sad right now! It’s like your high school friends. When you get together it’s exciting, but you’re also happy. You have to be.”
All nine seasons of One Tree Hill are streaming on Hulu.
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