Jana Kramer and Former Costar Bethany Joy Lenz Open Up About One Tree Hill's 'Very Divided Set'
On Monday, Lenz, 38, appeared on Kramer’s podcast Whine Down With Jana Kramer, where the former costars discussed working on the hit CW series, which aired from 2003-2012.
Though both actresses had mostly positive things to say about their time on OTH, Kramer, 35, — who starred as Alex Dupré for the show’s final three years — and Lenz — who starred as Haley James Scott throughout its entire nine-year run — also claimed that there was some tension on set.
“It was hard for us because I felt like when we came on the show, just being so honest, it was a very divided set,” Kramer told Lenz, who agreed with her.
“I feel like everyone already kinda had their places and it was either, ‘You’re going to be on the A-team or the B-team?'” Kramer continued. “It was just tricky.”
The mom of two also said that OTH‘s creator, Mark Schwahn, had something to do with the alleged division on set.
“I think our creator kinda created that environment, as well,” Kramer said of Schwahn, who was accused of sexual harassment and physical/emotional manipulation in 2017 by more than a dozen female cast and crew members on the hit drama. (Schwahn has not addressed the allegations publicly.)
“I don’t know what he’s doing now,” Kramer continued, before adding, “But that was probably the hardest part about [being on the show].”
Despite those challenging moments, the actress said she ultimately enjoyed playing the role of Alex Dupré.
“I loved my character, she was super fun and spunky,” Kramer explained. “I got to be super creative.”
Lenz also echoed Kramer’s sentiments about her character and shared how much she enjoyed having scenes with her friend.
“You were such a firecracker, you always had such a great energy,” Lenz said. “I loved being in scenes with you because there was a firecracker in the room and you never knew when it was gonna go off. It was great!”
As for whether or not she’d be interested in a reboot, the Pearson actress claimed it wouldn’t be in the cast’s best interest, due to Schwahn making money off the new episodes, but said she believes the set culture would be much better today.
“None of it would have to go to the showrunner,” she explained. “The problem is the creator of the show, on any incarnation of the show … that’s a big issue. And I think that would be the big thing standing in the way.”
“Unless he was willing to donate it all or something,” Lenz continued.
“It would be great to go back and not have it feel like it was divided in any way or when we were going through a rough patch,” she added. “I think we’re all older now, it’d be so much easier to really enjoy each other’s company and enjoy showing up at work, appreciate having a job, appreciate being someplace where we know we have such a huge fan base.”
Though Lenz said on Monday that she doesn’t believe a reboot would be beneficial for the show, the actress previously told PEOPLE that she would be willing to sign on if things came to fruition.
“I certainly would be [interested in a reboot],” she told PEOPLE last month. “I think there’s some politics with the showrunner that we might have to work through. I’m sure we all would love to see each other.”
Lenz also went on to gush about her time on the show and everything she missed.
“There’s a lot that I miss about One Tree Hill and Wilmington,” she said, referencing the North Carolina city they filmed the show in. “The camaraderie, I miss our crew, I miss being in Wilmington and being on the beach. I really love it there.”
And despite a reboot not being in the cards right now, that doesn’t mean the cast hasn’t found other ways to reunite.
In June 2018, it was announced that some of the original cast members from One Tree Hill would be reuniting to star in Lifetime’s The Christmas Contract, as part of the network’s annual It’s A Wonderful Lifetime holiday lineup.
Hilarie Burton (Peyton Sawyer), Danneel Ackles (Rachel Gatina), Robert Buckley (Clay Evans) and Antwon Tanner (Antwon “Skills” Taylor) all starred in the holiday film, which premiered on television Nov. 2018.
The cast also reunited two years earlier, in 2016, for the inaugural inside OTH convention in fictional Tree Hill, aka Wilmington.
Lenz, Burton, Chad Michael Murray (Lucas Scott), and more of the original stars of the popular drama made an appearance at the event.