Hilarie Burton Recalled a Traumatizing Intimate Scene on 'One Tree Hill' That Made Her Cry
Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Lenz are giving us all the nostalgia with their new One Tree Hill podcast, Drama Queens, but this week's episode came with some behind-the-scenes details that were pretty heartbreaking to hear. While talking about an episode from the show's first season, Burton revealed that filming an intimate scene was traumatic for her—and even years later, it sounds like it's still tough for her to remember.
The scene in question involved Burton making out with co-star Chad Michael Murray during a party and required her to take his clothes off, which was pretty uncomfortable since, at the time, she said they'd only known each other for a couple of weeks.
"I was so whacked out about it. They wanted me kissing all the way down his body, down to his belt. I don't know that you see it, but I had to undo his belt," she said.
Filming the scene resulted in Burton, who was in her early 20s at the time, crying in her trailer, where she was comforted by the hair and makeup team.
"All the women in the trailer got together and they're like, 'You may feel like you're in this all by yourself. We are here. We are standing right behind the monitor. Cheers to you being a badass, kiddo,'" Burton said. "It was such a moment of sisterhood that really solidified my friendships behind the camera, because I knew we were going to continue to do stuff that felt weird."
She also admitted that filming the scene made her feel "like a prostitute."
"It was the first moment that I was, like, 'I'm kissing someone for money. I'm getting paid to do this,'" she said. "There's a morality thing where you're like, 'Am I a sex worker in a way? Is this OnlyFans in 2003?'"
Burton took to Twitter after making these comments to clarify that she didn't want anyone to think she was slandering sex workers. While replying to someone else, she wrote, "What is the difference between sex workers (whom are wrongfully vilified in our culture) and the moms who join OnlyFans to pay the bills , and ACTORS who win awards in jobs that require performative sex acts?We're all strippers, babe!"
Burton's comments about this scene come almost four years after she and other women who worked on the show (including Bush, Lenz, and writer Audrey Wauchope) came forward to accuse One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual assault.
"In my particular fairy tale there had been a villain who pitted female actors against one another, pushed us to do gratuitous sex scenes that always left me feeling ill and ashamed, told young female actors to stick their chests out, put his hands on all of us, and pushed himself on me, forcing unwanted kisses," Burton wrote of Schwahn in her book, The Rural Diaries, which was released last year.
Good for Burton for continuing to speak out about her experiences—even though not all of her memories from her time filming One Tree Hill are pleasant.