Sophia Bush says she put her foot down when she played a teenager on the TV series One Tree Hill. The now 37-year-old actress said she fought with her boss on the CW hit over scenes she deemed “inappropriate” for her underage character. Bush was in her 20s when she played Brooke Davis from 2003 to 2012, but the character was still a teen in the early seasons of the show.
The actress recently told Ashley Graham’s Pretty Big Deal podcast that she was ahead of her time when it came to standing up to her bosses.
After she was approached by an unnamed showrunner to film scenes in her underwear, Bush told her higher-up that it didn’t feel right for the 16-year-old character she was playing. She was told “Well, you’re not 16,” which angered her even further.
“I fought a lot with the writers,” Bush said. “I remember my boss kept writing scenes for me to be in my underwear. And I was like, ‘I’m not doing this. This is inappropriate.'”
After she told her boss to find someone else to shoot the underwear scenes, Bush said she was told, “‘Well, you’re the one with the big f*cking rack everybody wants to see.”
Bush ultimately refused to strip down to her skivvies and showed up on set wearing a turtleneck “to be spiteful.” The young actress also threatened to dress conservatively for the rest of her time on the series if the underwear scenes weren’t dropped.
Bush sees now that her defiance as a young actress was “really ballsy,” despite the fact that she didn’t even realize it at the time.
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Years later, several One Tree Hill cast and crew members, including Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, banded together to release a statement detailing alleged harassment by showrunner Mark Schwahn. The One Tree Hill stars alleged that the TV producer manipulated many of them “psychologically and emotionally” and that several of them are “still in treatment for post-traumatic stress,” The Hollywood Reporter revealed in 2017.
In 2018, Bush told Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast that she also later experienced “a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior” on the set of Chicago P.D. Bush played Detective Erin Lindsay for four seasons on the NBC police series before exiting the show in 2017.
Sophia Bush recently guest-starred on NBC’s This Is Us, and she is set to appear on the upcoming Disney Plus romantic comedy series Love, Simon later this year.