Long before viewers were introduced to Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, Euphoria, Riverdale, or even Netflix’s Stranger Things, there was One Tree Hill. This high school/teen drama ran for nine seasons, starting in 2003.
And more importantly, during its run, the show was hailed as one of the best teen dramas ever released on American television.
The show initially focused on two half brothers who end up playing on the same basketball team. But then, as it went on, fans quickly realized that there was more to the show than a sibling rivalry. In fact, one may even argue that cast members Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz eventually stole the show.
And even after One Tree Hill ended its run in 2012, fans still couldn’t stop talking about these three amazing women. Luckily, they’ve since reunited onscreen from time to time, but how close are they really?
After One Tree Hill, These Women Pretty Much Went Their Separate Ways
One Tree Hill certainly gave Bush, Burton, and Lenz a lot of exposure. And so, once the show ended, these actresses had no problem snagging other roles.
For starters, Bush went on to star in Dick Wolf’s Chicago P.D. as Detective Erin Lindsay. Following her exit from the show, the actress was cast as the titular character in the new CBS medical drama Good Sam.
As for Burton, she exited One Tree Hill sooner than Bush or Lenz. The actress then went on to star in shows such as White Collar, Grey’s Anatomy, Hostages, Extant, and Lethal Weapon. Burton went on to guest star in the hit series The Walking Dead where she joined husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan and played his onscreen wife Lucille.
“To work with my spouse, like the person that I go to sleep with, and brush my teeth with, and cook with, and do all the things with, that took it to a whole other level,” Burton told Comicbook of her experience on the show.
“And if anything, I really had difficulty restraining myself and getting emotional because Lucille is supposed to be this bad-a**, like she’s the tough one.”
As for Lenz, she continued to do more TV work over the years, taking on roles in shows such as Dexter, Colony, and Pearson. At the same time, the actress had guest roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Aside from this, Lenz has also become quite the Hallmark star, taking on the lead roles in films such as Bottled With Love, The Christmas Secret, Just My Type, Royal Matchmaker, and Five Star Christmas.
So, Just How Close Are Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz Today?
As busy as they may have been with onscreen work and their personal lives, Bush, Burton, and Lenz found time to reunite whenever possible. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be onscreen. In fact, they would typically get together for Burton’s annual bash.
“Hilarie throws the best Halloween party ever,” Bush told Us Weekly. “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.”
In addition, the actress also revealed that even after they stopped working on the show together, everyone stayed in touch. It’s possible that they’ve gotten closer as years went by.
“Our friendships have changed immeasurably,” Bush remarked. “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.”
The actress also later added that they continue to “support each other and inspire each other.”
More recently, the women started a podcast together called Drama Queens. The idea initially came from Bush who thought it would be a good way to “heal” from all the traumatic experiences they had while working on One Tree Hill (showrunner Mark Schwahn was accused of sexual misconduct, among other things).
“What if just me and the gals sat together to hear some of that conflict to heal some of those past wounds and traumas?” Bush told The New York Times.
“What if the O.G. girls got together and reclaimed our show, and by doing that together, shifted a power dynamic and took our power back and invited all of our friends and co-stars to come along with us as we do this?”
So far, the podcast (titled Drama Queens) has had a long list of guest appearances from other celebs.
Plus, it was recently announced that both Burton and Lenz will be making an appearance on Good Sam very soon. In one episode, Bush’s former co-stars will play sisters Amy (Lenz) and Gretchen (Lenz). They cross paths with Bush’s character when Amy gets admitted at Lakeshore Sentinel Hospital.
Bush revealed their upcoming guest appearances on Instagram with the caption, “Now vs Then + Always and Forever. People ask me “what’s the best part about producing @goodsamcbs?” Having my best girls come to play ranks up top! @dramaqueensoth fans, your girls are acting together again! Here comes trouble.”
Burton made her own Instagram post with the caption, “I don’t want to brag about how much fun we’re having…. but OH MY GAWD we are having a ball up here in Toronto celebrating our girl @sophiabush on @goodsamcbs!!!”
At the moment, there are no further details on the upcoming Good Sam episode featuring both Lenz and Burton.