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"One Tree Hill" Star Hilarie Burton Recalled Filming An Intimate Scene That "Felt Dirty" And Left Her Crying In Her Trailer

"I'm like, ‘I don't want to do this. It feels dirty.'"

Posted on August 10, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. ET

Hilarie Burton is reflecting on her early experience acting in One Tree Hill, recalling one scene opposite costar Chad Michael Murray that left her "crying in [her] trailer."

Jim Spellman / Getty Images

During Monday's episode of the Drama Queens podcast, Hilarie — who played Peyton Sawyer from 2003 to 2009 — told cohosts Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz that filming Peyton and Lucas's first intimate scene felt "inappropriate."

The CW

There was one particular moment during the scene where Peyton had to kiss Lucas's chest before taking off his belt — something Hilarie says she thought wasn't necessary, but went along with because she felt she "couldn't question it."

"Chad was cool to leave a white tank top on underneath his button-up shirt so I wasn't just kissing his bare body," Hilarie recalled. "Because that's weird. We'd all known each other for a couple of months, a couple of weeks?"

"I was so whacked out about it, you guys," she told her cohosts.

The 39-year-old said she expressed her concerns to the director of the episode at the time, and told him she would do a maximum of three takes for the scene.

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images for AMC

"I was, like, crying in my trailer. I'm like, 'I don't want to do this,'" Hilarie remembered. "'It feels dirty. It feels like they're trying to sex everything up.'"

Ilya S. Savenok / FilmMagic

"I felt like a prostitute," Hilarie went on. "It was the first moment that I was, like, 'I'm kissing someone for money. I'm getting paid to do this.'"

"There's a morality thing where you're like, 'Am I a sex worker in a way? Is this OnlyFans in 2003?'"

However, Hilarie said she received support behind the scenes from her hair stylists and makeup artists — and the experience was an important lesson in sisterhood.

In fact, Hilarie revealed she found the courage to go back on set after taking a shot of vodka with the women behind the scenes.

"All the women in the trailer got together and they're like, 'You may feel like you're in this all by yourself, but we are here,'" she recalled. "'We are standing right behind the monitor. Cheers to you being a badass, kiddo.'"

"It was such a moment of sisterhood that really solidified my friendships behind the camera," Hilarie acknowledged. "Because I knew that we were going to continue to do stuff that felt weird."

Back in June, Hilarie's former costar and Drama Queens host Sophia Bush told the Chicks in the Office podcast that she found working on the early seasons of One Tree Hill to be "scary and intimidating and confusing."

The CW

"We didn't get to grow up on a set where people wanted to answer our questions or help us navigate any of the madness of the early aughts," Sophia said at the time.

"Looking back on it, we can see the ways in which we were fetishized," she admitted. "We had this lens of adultification put over us — this idea that we were supposed to know everything and have answers, and be, ultimately, professional when we didn't even know what the technical terms were."

"We had grown-ups who we trusted, who now we understand were being really controlling and manipulative," Sophia said.

In an open letter published in 2017, 18 One Tree Hill cast and crew members — including Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush — accused showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment.

Peter Kramer / Getty Images

"Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be," read the letter, published by Variety.

"We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware," the letter went on. "The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable."

Mark Schwahn has not addressed the allegations made against him.

Listen to the Drama Queens podcast here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.