Hilarie Burton Celebrated 16 Years Of ‘One Tree Hill’ With A Tribute To Peyton
Peyton Sawyer will forever be a favorite One Tree Hill character. On Monday, Hilarie Burton posted a One Tree Hill tribute in honor of the drama’s 16th anniversary. The series first premiered on Sept. 23, 2003. Burton couldn’t help but reflect on her time playing Peyton and just how much the character really meant to her.
While chatting with her husband, The Walking Dead and Supernatural star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Burton realized exactly why taking on the role of Peyton still means a great deal to her. "Last night @JDMorgan and I were talking about the roles that will live with us forever," she tweeted. "He has his. Mine is Peyton Sawyer. I poured so much of myself into her. And I love all my brothers and sisters from OTH that did the same with their characters. Family. Forever. 16!"
Burton proved throughout her time on the show (both she and Chad Michael Murray, who played Lucas Scott, left after Season 6) how perfect she was as Peyton. As she recently revealed, this is the one role that will stick with her until the end of time — and understandably so. As much as Peyton was a part of Lucas Scott and vice versa, there was a so much more to the character than her love for Lucas.
Peyton turned out to be a great role model for young women. From opening her own club to following her music dreams to standing up for herself when she was pretty much all alone without any parental guidance, Peyton was a fighter. Between losing two moms, almost dying giving birth to her child with Lucas, and fighting off a stalker who pretended to be her brother, well, Burton definitely put her heart and soul into playing Peyton.
Even more so, Peyton knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to say her true feelings, even if when it meant having to let go of Lucas. For example, in Season 5, Episode 5, a flashback showed Lucas proposing to Peyton, but she wasn’t ready to get married. As Peyton explained to Lucas, she wanted to wait a year and continue pursuing her dream of music in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Lucas wasn’t on the same page as her and they went their separate ways for awhile. As difficult as the episode was to watch, Peyton followed her heart and knew getting engaged to Lucas right then wasn’t the best choice. In this moment, Peyton showed how important it is to do what’s best for yourself, no matter how hard it might be.
One of the other reasons Peyton will probably always be with Burton is because of the real-life friendship she formed with Sophia Bush. As fans know, Bush portrayed Brooke Davis, Peyton’s best friend on OTH. The two were thick as thieves both on and off screen. In a January 2017 with Refinery29, Burton opened about her friendship with Bush while explaining why she believed their characters’ friendship was able to endure so much drama.
"I think, underneath, there was an understanding between the two of us, like, ‘we’re in this to win it,’" Burton said. "And we’ve got all these male bosses telling us how teenage girls should act and feel, and we’ve got all these different variables coming at us. And I think now, as grown-up women, we can look back, the same way Brooke and Peyton could, and be like, ‘Man, we survived some stuff together, huh?’ And that’s a good feeling. I think when you’re in the trenches with someone, whether you agree with each other at the time or not, once you’re past it, there’s a bond there you can’t deny."
Burton was truly lucky to play an influential character for six seasons that also led to her creating life-long friendships. It’s no wonder Peyton has left a lasting impression on the actor.
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