Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; Denise Truscello/WireImage
August 31, 2007 01:00 PM

The jury is out on his custody battle, but the verdict is in on Kevin Federline‘s guest spot on One Tree Hill: He’s actually a nice guy.

“He was very kind and cordial with the whole crew,” Chad Michael Murray told PEOPLE Thursday night on set in Wilmington, North Carolina, where Federline began filming last week. “I think that he enjoyed it here, and I know he’s coming back again. We’re all looking forward to it.”

Although the two didn’t share a scene together, Murray said Federline was a pleasant addition to the team, and even helped celebrate Murray’s 26th birthday.

“We had a big celebration,” said Murray. “He was a nice guy … He talked to everybody.”

Federline arrived Thursday for the shoot on Friday, after which he joined the One Tree Hill cast and crew at Sin Sin Lounge for the birthday party. He stayed past last call, chatting with party-goers and playing Ms. Pac-Man downstairs, according to a bartender.

Federline’s character is a “cocky, enigmatic frontman” for a rock band, but a crew member told PEOPLE he was quite the opposite when the cameras stopped rolling.

“He was the nicest guy ever,” said an assistant who was on set when Federline filmed. “He was so professional and polite to everyone. He was way different than I expected.”

Federline’s character also appears in the next sequential episode of the CW series and he will be back in North Carolina to film that in the coming weeks.

The work will be helpful for the slacker-turned-actor who, according to documents released Thursday, “has no net income after business expenses.”

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