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James Lafferty Interview -- JustJared.com Interview

James Lafferty Interview -- JustJared.com Interview

One Tree Hill hunk James Lafferty opens up about his new co-stars Robert Buckley and Shantel VanSanten and what the set is like without Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton.

Don’t forget to tune into a new episode of One Tree Hill, airing TONIGHT (October 19) @ 8PM ET/PT on The CW. In the meantime, here’s what the 24-year-old actor opened up to JustJared.com about:

JJ: Hi, James! How are you, where are you calling from?

JL: I’m calling from my place in L.A. I just actually got in town from Wilmington (North Carolina) yesterday so I’ll be here for a little while. I’m not scheduled to film for a few days, so I just came back here to get some work done.

JJ: How many episodes are you shooting this season?

JL: This season, 24, I think. We were in the middle of filming episode 11. We’re almost halfway. Basically, we’re finishing up our first 13 episodes – we’re trying to finish by Thanksgiving and then after that we’ll continue with the rest of the season.

JJ: What is your character going through at the moment?

JL: Right now, Nathan is through the ceiling – he’s trying to get his professional act back together after going through the entire process with Renee accusing him of infidelity, having his reputation smeared – he’s trying to get that back at this point.

(Click inside to continue reading James Lafferty‘s exclusive interview with JustJared.com…)

James Lafferty Interview — JustJared.com Interview

JJ: What’s the new season like without Chad and Hilarie around?

JL: It’s actually been great – all the new faces on the show have really fit in and they’re really prepared and really, really dedicated. Shantel and Rob have brought a different energy to the show and their commitment to the characters and their work ethic is outstanding. We’ve done a really good job with moving forward and getting the audience to commit to these new characters. That’s a big testament to Rob and Shantel and the work they’ve done.

JJ: You and Rob seem like you would get along really well off-set – do you hang out together?

JL: Yeah! It’s cool – it’s kind of funny, because all the new characters on the show had been sort of trying to tie up all the loose ends of their lives before they got to Wilmington, so whether it’s getting rid of apartments or packing things up and bringing them out here, everybody’s been reading and kicking back a lot. But I’d say that Rob and I are good friends now and it’s a cool dynamic to have someone who has a lot of common interests, so we play a lot of video games and read a lot of graphic novels and just kind of hang out.

JJ: What kinds of video games do you play?

JL: We’ve been on a UFC kick for a while – there’s a UFC fighting video game that’s got us pretty addicted. (Ultimate Fighting Championship is a mixed martial arts organization.)

JJ: What’s been your favorite change on this season of OTH plot-wise?

JL: I think my favorite so far is with Nathan and the Scott family’s new life. It was funny – when we came back, they were building the set for the new Scott house and they hadn’t finished it yet but I went on the stage where the old Scott house used to be and there was actually another set – there was a Tree Hill High School set on that stage as well. But the new Scott house set was so massive when it was being built that it actually took up the entire stage, basically.

The Tree Hill High School stage is gone, the old Nathan and Haley house is gone, and basically it’s a dance studio and the Scott house. And when they finally finished it, I went in there again – we film in there all the time now – but it’s really cool to sit there and kind of soak it in and look at the house that we film in for Nathan and Haley – it’s so big and beautiful and we actually have a pool indoors on the stage we shoot at, so to look at that and then look back at where Nathan and Haley started in their shabby little apartment. It’s cool to let that soak in and see where we’ve taken the characters.

JJ: If the producers asked you to sign on for two more seasons, would you sign up?

JL: I don’t know – I really couldn’t answer that question right now! I’m definitely signed on for one more season after this. And so if they wanted to do an eighth season, I’d be there. Anything after that is up in the air. [Creator] Mark Schwahn has done such a good job of revamping the show time and time again, keeping it relevant and keeping the audience watching. And if there were more stories to tell, it’s always a possibility.

JJ: Do you have an opinion of where Nathan should be by the end of the series?

JL: I think Nathan belongs with his family, I absolutely think so – whether or not there’s another kid involved. Whether or not Nathan stays in the NBA, I think his foundation he’s built for himself is rooted in Haley and Jamie, so I think that’s where he belongs at the end of the show.

JJ: Do you have any other projects you’re working on right now besides OTH?

JL: Yeah, we’re shooting a documentary. I have this sports coordination company called SportsArc I started with my friend Brendan Kirsch and we’re tracking projects to do sports coordination for. (The company bridges the gap between sports and film production.) But also on the side, we’re producing a documentary about a high school football player here in southern California who’s trying to get a scholarship to go to school and start his future in football.

That’s entitled The Hopeful right now and it’s a documentary. so as things go, the story develops and we don’t know how long we’re going to be following him or when the story is going to end. But that’s something that we’re shooting right now and is continuously in development. But on the acting side, I’m focusing on One Tree Hill for right now and trying to keep my options open for when we have our hiatus.

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A new episode of One Tree Hill airs TONIGHT (October 19) @ 8PM ET/PT on The CW.

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