James Lafferty entered California State University in Long Beach, but later dropped out to pursue an acting career. He made his acting debut in 1997, and his first regular television role in 2000, in the short-lived series Emeril. He then held a recurring role in the drama series Once and Again, and appeared in the ESPN TV movie A Season on the Brink.
Lafferty got his big break in 2003, when he was cast as Nathan Scott in the WB teen series One Tree Hill. Despite being the youngest member of the main cast - he was a teenager as opposed to his colleagues - he still earned the attention of fans. His success on the show led to a role in the film S. Darko, the 2009 sequel to the film Donnie Darko.
- He holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
- His hobbies include snowboarding, skiing, snorkeling, horseback riding, playing basketball, football, video games, and going to the beach.
- Boys on the Run (2003)
- S. Darko (2009)
- Once and Again (recurring, 2001-2002)
- One Tree Hill (regular, 2003-present)
"I don't get a whole lot out of the romance thing, but I realize girls do. So I'll go out of my way to make them feel romanced."