From January 2014 to 2018, Sophia Bush was playing Detective Erin Lindsay on the NBC's police series Chicago P.D. But despite those 4 years on the show, their true friendship was forged in another series long before the Police drama and still stands in force.
Way before Chicago P D, Sophia Bush starred alongside Hilarie Burton for six seasons in the popular teen drama "One Tree Hill" (which in turn lasted nine seasons), starting 2003. Created by Mark Schwahn, the series follows the life of teenage half-brothers Lucas. Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty), two high school basketball players with a derogatory relationship, as well as their friends, all of whom live in the fictional Tree Hill, North Carolina.
Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton play best friends Brooke Davis and Peyton Sawyer, respectively. The two remain close throughout the series, despite the fact that they both have feelings for Lucas and, at various points, dating him.
At the end of Season 6, Lucas and Peyton were married and had a child together and left town to raise their baby elsewhere (since Burton and Murray decided to leave the series). After Peyton leaves, her friendship with Brooke, who remains a main character during the rest of the show, is still mentioned in subsequent seasons.
Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton not only play best friends in One Tree Hill, but they are also good friends in real life, something both actresses have been open about over the years. In December 2020, Bush spoke to Us Weekly about her close friendship with Burton, as well as her other co-star Bethany Joy Lenz, who played Haley James, another friend of Brooke and Peyton.
The three actresses even host a podcast together called Drama Queens, in which they rewatch episodes of "One Tree Hill," discuss them and share some behind-the-scenes memories. Sophia Bush explained that they have naturally stayed close after their shared experience of starring in the teen drama, which is something they can't connect with other people about because they didn't go through the same experience.
"We've known each other for almost two decades. Our friendships have changed tremendously. We've been through many stages of life together. But I think one thing we really appreciate — Hilarie and I were talking about this not too long ago — is just having, oddly enough As we all get older, our friendships deepen even more."
Hilarie Burton, for her part, spoke about her friendship with Sophia Bush and even delved into the challenges they've faced over the years within their friendship. Both actresses agree that they came together under specific conditions of being a young actress on the set of a television series.