One of the best things about the new season of One Tree Hill is that Skills finally has his own compelling storyline.  Instead of popping up to give Lucas sage advice and then disappearing into the shadows, Skills has been creating some scandal by hooking up with Deb.  Nathan found out about the romance in Monday night’s episode, and his upcoming confrontation with his friend is bound to be volatile.

I had a chance to sit down with Antwon Tanner yesterday to discuss his character’s evolution throughout the series.  In the interview below he talks about what happened to Bevin, his thoughts on his character’s relationship with Deb, and some of his other upcoming projects.

This is Don from BuddyTV, and today I’m talking to Antwon Tanner, who plays Skills on One Tree Hill.  You’ve been part of One Tree Hill since the very first episode.  Did you have any idea back then that Skills would become such an important character?

At first I did, but then I didn’t.  My character was originally on the thing as recurring, possible series regular, and I was told that once we got picked up my character would become a series regular.  Then when I didn’t and the show went in a different direction, I was kind of like, “Uh-oh.”  I didn’t think the fans took to him at first, so I thought maybe that’s why the studio did it like that.  But now he’s doing his thing, so I ain’t mad at it.  They need to write me in more!

How did you find out about the relationship between Skills and Deb, and what was your initial reaction to that?

I was so excited.  I hadn’t read the script, and everybody was on the set like, “Hey, did you read the next episode?”  And I was like, “Nah, I haven’t read it yet, I just got it,” and they were like, “You need to read it.”  I had always been saying, when are they gonna give me a love interest to where I actually got some good stuff?  Even though me and Bevin had our thing, ours wasn’t really a love story, ours was more comedy.  It was cute for people to look at and kind of laugh at.  It wasn’t as sensual as a Lucas and a Peyton, a Lucas and a Brooke, or Naley.  With Deb, Deb is kind of like the MILF, and Skills is kind of like the womanizer, so it’s kind of like the womanizer hooking up with the MILF.  It’s kind of taboo, so it’s kind of sexy.  Now I have older chicks [telling me] like, “Oh, you’re hot!”  Women seem to look at you differently once you have love scenes where both people are really attractive and it’s not all funny.

Was it awkward to film those scenes with Barbara at first, considering you’ve worked with her for five years?

Nope!  I always thought Barbara was fine.  When they told me it was my turn, I was like, “Word! I’m there.”  I was at work early that day.

Where do you see that relationship heading in the future?  Do you think it’s going to get more serious, or is it just a fling?

I think Skills cares about her, but doesn’t know how to care about her because they’ve been sneaking so long.  I’ve heard that they have a lot of good stuff for Skills and Deb coming up, but I haven’t read it.  We haven’t got any of the scripts with that information in it yet.  I like the whole storyline.  At least it gives me something to do instead of me just coming in, being the friend who comes in, says something real spiritual and I’m gone.  I like walk in and I’m like, “Lucas, look at the light in the sky!”  And then I’m out, you don’t see Skills no more.  Skills has something going on where he could probably go to someone for advice now.

Do you want to see Skills end up as Nathan’s stepdad?

I think that would be really funny.  To go to some family functions and Skills is there?  I think that’d be really funny, and cute at the same time.

A lot of fans want to know what happened between Skills and Bevin, because we never really found out after the time jump.  Do you have any idea what happened there, or will that ever be resolved?

I don’t think so.  I don’t know.  I don’t write the show, I just work.  I think what happened is that their relationship was kind of funny, so there wasn’t really an emotional bond there.  I think when we skipped ahead those five years, Bevin kind of did her own thing.  As you’ll remember, Bevin had the baby by Tim.  They named the baby Nathan.  I don’t think it’ll be rekindled, just because they showed that part.  I think Bevin and Skills were just convenient at the time.

In the last episode Nathan found out that Skills and Deb are hooking up.  How do you think he’s going to react to that?

In the next episode he puts her out of the house, then he lets her back in.  I think the one that pretty much rules everything, that kind of talks some sense into the adults, is the kid.  So when Jamie says, “I think it would be cool.  I like Uncle Skills, and I like Uncle Skills and Nanny Deb together,” he kind of tells the adults they’re acting like kids.

Is there anyone on the show you wish you had more scenes with?

Peyton.  I don’t have a lot of scenes with Peyton.  I had a big scene with Peyton a couple episodes ago, and when I have those it’s really fun.  To me it’s kind of weird, because it seems like the girl that’s in love with my best friend never has any scenes with the best friend.  She has scenes with the other best friend, with Haley, but she never has scenes with Skills.

You used to get a lot of basketball scenes on the show.  Do you miss doing that, or do you like how Skills has evolved?

I like how Skills has evolved, because they’re giving you more to do.  Before it was River Court, River Court, River Court, then I finally started going to school.  The first few seasons I never was in school.  I didn’t go to school until season 4!  That was the first time you ever saw my character in school, and other than that I was at the River Court.  I like the way that he’s evolved.  I really don’t miss it too much, it’s cool.

Is there anything else you’d like to see Skills get involved in?

I think if he got more into Peyton’s life or Brooke’s life, maybe if he hung out with some of them.  Deb and Brooke are close now, because she’s dealing with what she’s dealing with, so maybe Brooke and Skills hang out, or maybe Skills and Peyton hang out and do some stuff.  As far as evolving, he’s out of sync with them.  He’s only in sync with Jamie, Nathan and Haley.

What’s in the future for you?  Do you have any other projects you want to talk about?

I got a movie coming out called 7eventy 5ive, a horror movie.  You can YouTube the trailer for it.  It’s a really good movie.  It’s my first horror movie, and I’m the black guy and I actually live a really long time.  I don’t die in the first 10 minutes.  It’s a really good story.  Also, this movie called I Do, I Did, it’s a romantic dramedy, and I’m supposed to start doing a movie called Free Agents this year.  I’m also writing my own show right now, trying to get it sold.

What kind of show is it?

It’s an hour drama.

Thanks for talking to us today, Antwon.

No problemo.  Tell the fans I said it’s a good thing I got a love interest now.  It at least gives me something to do, it gives Barbara something to do, and once you have a love scene girls tend to look at you a little bit different.  They take you a little bit more seriously and you become sexy.

Most fans really seem to love that relationship.

The first couple weeks when we looked on CWTV, they didn’t like it.  They were like, “Oh my god, that’s gross!”  Now after episode two they’re like, “Oh, we like it!”

– Interview conducted by Don Williams
(Image courtesy of the CW)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV