Nathan Scott has certainly been involved in his share of drama during the fifth season of One Tree Hill. He started off the year extremely bitter and angry due to an injury, then moved on to a storyline that found him flirting with the diabolical and dangerous nanny Carrie. His marriage almost fell apart, and he nearly became the type of neglectful father he never wanted to be. Even when Nathan is going through rough times, actor James Lafferty always finds a way to make his character seem likable, relatable, and down to earth. He’s the type of guy you can’t help but root for, no matter how many mistakes he’s made.
We recently had a chance to sit down with James to discuss the future of his character, as well as the shocker that awaits fans in the season finale. Read on for the mp3 and complete transcript of the interview.
Hi, this is Don from BuddyTV, and today I’m talking to James Lafferty from One Tree Hill. Now I know that you had the One Tree Hill charity basketball game last weekend. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that.
Yeah, it was a success. We had a lot of people show up. The past couple years we sold it out, but this year we actually sold more tickets than the past couple years. I think we sold around 1400 tickets or something like that. People showed up from all over the country to support the charity and meet the cast and everything, and we raised a lot of money. It was a success.
That’s great. What was it in support of?
St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Wilmington Family YMCA, here where we shoot.
This season of the show, filming has probably been a little crazy. You’ve had the 100th episode, the writers’ strike, and the story is set four years in the future. What has the vibe been like on the set this year?
It’s been really positive. I think the cast is all really happy with the arcs that their characters are playing, or that we’re playing with the characters. As far as the crew and the overall feel of the show, everyone feels really good about it. We got an early pickup for the sixth season, and everybody’s really happy about that. We’re starting to feel like we’ve had a great run, and it’s gonna continue, and I think we’re gonna end it the right way. It’s been a really positive vibe lately.
At the beginning of the season we got to see Nathan broken down and in a wheelchair and everything. What was it like as an actor to be able to play that?
It was great. It was a challenge, and the kind of challenge that I think every actor sort of waits for and sort of hopes they can step up to when the time comes. It was definitely a challenge for me, but I had a great time doing it. I learned a lot about myself, I think, as an actor, and I think it was great for the character as well. I was really happy when I read the scripts and I saw that it was coming, and I was happy to play it as well.
Another big addition to the show this year has been Jamie, played by Jackson Brundage, who I think is awesome. What’s it been like to work with him?
It’s been awesome. He’s great. He’s every bit as sharp and smart as he looks on TV, and I think he’s actually better in real life. We all have a great time working with him, absolutely.
The show stirred up a little bit of controversy with the fans with the nanny storyline earlier this season. Do you like playing things like that, where Nathan might seem like kind of a bad guy? Or do you shy away from that?
I do like it. I think it adds to the complexity of the character a little bit. Nathan is a guy who I think makes a lot of mistakes, and basically I think that sort of comes from his upbringing, the fact that his parents were constantly making mistakes. He never really had a solid role model growing up, somebody who could tell him to do the right thing. And I think Nathan only recently, in the past six years of his life, is sort of learning how to do the right thing. I think it’s something he struggles with sometimes when he’s faced with a moral dilemma, and it just adds to the fun of playing the character when he makes a poor decision like that.
You’ve had a lot of scenes in recent episodes with Paul Johansson. Do you think that Nathan and Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) will ever forgive Dan and give him a break?
I don’t think so. I think it’s well past. . .I think that Dan’s sort of missed that boat with his two sons. Actually confessing to murdering his brother, I don’t think there’s any coming back from that, especially when the person he murdered was so close to Lucas and Nathan. Before that he might have had a shot, but now he’s going to have a tough time — a really tough time — getting back in touch with his family and his grandson.
Are there any cast members on the show that you wish you had the chance to have more scenes with?
You know, it’s funny, cause I’ve actually said it for years, but my good friend Lee Norris plays Mouth on the show, but sometimes I feel like — shoot, most of the time — I feel like we work on two different shows, because I hardly ever have scenes with the guy. I think it’d be fun to have more scenes with Mouth. The scenes that I have had with him have been funny and cool, and I really enjoy hanging out with him.
Can you give us any hints as to what we can expect to see Nathan doing in the rest of season 5?
I would say just keep watching, because it’s not gonna disappoint. We always end our seasons with some sort of a cliffhanger, and we always throw the fans for a loop. We want to make sure that they’re gonna tune in to the first episode of the next season by coming up with a little surprise, and we definitely have that again in our finale this year. Be watching on Monday, May 19.
When the show eventually comes to an end down the line, where do you think Nathan should end up?
I would like to see Nathan on his way back to restoring his career. I think some people might think that Nathan should sort of try another route and give up on his dreams for basketball, because they might not ever happen. I don’t really think that’s his character, I don’t really think that’s the kind of man he is. I think now that he’s restored the relationship with his wife and his family, I think he’s gonna want to go after his dreams, which I think he should do. I think it’d be great for the character to see him try again.
Is there anything coming up for you during the hiatus? Are you doing anything?
For me? No, not really. I’m just sort of buckling down and I’m gonna get ready to shoot season 6. We’ve got about five weeks off, so I’m gonna enjoy them.
– Interview conducted by Don Williams
(Image courtesy of the CW)