‘Awkward And Awful': Hilarie Burton Reflects On Last Day In One Tree Hill Set

Created by Mark Schwahn, One Tree Hill premiered in 2003 and ran for 10 years till 2012 starring Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray, among others.

Published on Jun 28, 2024  |  12:50 PM IST |  44.6K
Hilarie Burton’s Last Day In One Tree Hill Set ‘Felt Like A Funeral’
One Tree Hill (PC- IMDb)

It’s been over a decade since the American drama series One Tree Hill has ended. But, it has stayed in the mind and heart of every fan’s heart till date. And Hilarie Burton’s podcast has contributed majorly to it. In her latest episode, she shared how her last day on the set was “awkward and awful.”

Burton’s Drama Queens podcast features her OTH costars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz who sit and dissect every episode of the nine seasons of the show. Created by Mark Schwahn, the show premiered in 2003 and ran for 10 years till 2012. However, Burton’s character Peyton Sawyer bid goodbye to the show in its sixth season. In her latest episode titled Final Chapter, the women discuss their experience of Burton’s last day on the set.

Hilarie Burton’s last day on OTH set “felt like a funeral”

Burton’s character Sawyer was last seen in the last episode of Season 6. The scene was in a hospital with a prosthetic belly to shoot the delivery of her and Lucas Scott’s (Chad Michael Murray) daughter. “Everyone was saying goodbye to me, but it felt like a funeral,” Burton recalled. “I’m literally laying there like I’m in a coffin.”


Burton revealed that her costar James Lafferty, who plays Nathan Scott in One Tree Hill, approached her as she laid in the hospital bed setup and said, "Hey, uh, have a good summer." She continued, “It was awkward and awful.” She further recalled that people would lean on to her head and say “Well, I’ll see you next season,” and she would have to constantly tell them that they won’t. But, none of the cast and crew members would believe her that she won’t be returning to the next season.

It didn't seem like the end, so they even sent everyone home while she and Murray shot their farewell scene. “It was an out-of-body experience, [like] being at my own character’s funeral, knowing I wasn’t going to see a lot of you [for years],” Burton said with tears in her eyes. But, Murray managed to get back their co-stars back to the set to say goodbye.


However, Bush was the only person who believed that this was Burton’s last. She gave her a wrapped gift, which Burton treasured "like a time capsule." It was a ring that had a message on it describing it as "a 1920s piece, perfect for Paris," alluding to Burton's post-show vacation to Paris. “Having Moira (Kelly) say it was really important, and having you believe it was really important. It was a bad time and you did something really nice in that moment. I’ve moved houses 8 million times and that has always stayed in the drawer next to my bed,” Burton said.

ALSO READ: James Lafferty Says One Tree Hill Series Was His 'Last Shot' At Acting; Talks About How Show Revived His Career

Hilarie Burton now has a closure for One Tree Hill

“The closure feels cool,” said Burton. After 15 years of her leaving the show, she said, “I think I can walk away with the narrative of Lucas and Peyton and feel so good about it in a way that I wasn’t allowed to for a long time.”


Later, she acknowledged that her departure meant she could use the knowledge she gained in her new ventures. To Birton, One Tree Hill was like a “graduate school” where one just learns how “not to do” things so that every other project you work on can be enjoyable.

ALSO READ: James Lafferty Talks About Working With His Former One Tree Hill Costar Stephen Colletti; See What He Had to Say

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About The Author

Namrata Ganguly is a Hollywood and pop-culture writer at Pinkvilla. She has a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the


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