It’s been a little over a week since we said a sad so long to Nathan Scott & Co., and — since we’re still in the early stages of mourning (aka denial) — we decided a trip back to One Tree Hill was in order.
Here, creator Mark Schwahn and star James Lafferty relive the series finale and answer your lingering questions, which likely include “What about Peyton?” “Why Bevin?” And, of course, “How come no one in Tree Hill ages?!”
Were any scenes cut from the series finale? | Schwahn tells us that, thankfully, the network agreed to air the uncut OTH finale, so we’ve seen it all. Ready to be shocked? Had the edited version been broadcast, the “I Don’t Want to Be” singalong would have been scrapped! “[That edit] was really odd,” he muses. “We went right into the U2 song ‘One Tree Hill’… and then the jump ahead.” Also edited out originally was “all of the twintern stuff with Chase and Chris Kellar.”
What was it like shooting the entire cast singing along to “I Don’t Want to Be”? | “It was cool,” Lafferty recalls. “We were all just shouting out the lyrics at the top of our lungs.” But for all you eagle-eyed viewers, go back and take a closer look — you might notice a little continuity error. “There’s one shot where you can see us in our old spots in the background, and then it cuts to us actually in the crowd,” the actor shares. All that said, Lafferty just hopes “it looks like we were having fun, because we were absolutely having every bit as much fun as it appeared.”
Why was Bevin chosen to return to the series in such a major way? | Explains Schwahn, “I didn’t want to use a day player…. [This character at the courthouse] works in Tree Hill, so I thought, ‘Is there someone [from the past] that would fit that?'” The showrunner adds that he and his trusty team “were also trying to maximize our opportunities to see old faces, so I thought that [Bevin] would be perfect there.” Plus, “Then there was the Skills payoff at the very end, so it just flowed.”
In retrospect, is there anyone else the show wanted to bring back, but wasn’t able to? | As if there was any question, Schwahn says he would have loved to see Peyton back in Tree Hill. “That character was so significant,” he shares. “I loved [her] so much, and I think a lot of fans loved that character. So, it was a little odd not to see Peyton.” But, says Schwahn, showbiz is exactly that, and had circumstances been different, he “would have [brought her back], creatively.”
Why did no one age in the series-ending flash forward? | “We all had been taking really good care of ourselves at the exact moment and using the same anti-aging face cream,” Lafferty explains, with a laugh. “Contrary to popular opinion, our kids growing up actually made us look younger. It’s kind of an anomaly.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)