Standing with the women! Paul Johansson, who starred on One Tree Hill as Dan Scott for all nine seasons, is still close with many members of the cast, especially Joy Lenz. However, they had very different opinions about the set of the CW drama.
While appearing on the “Whine Down With Jana Kramer” podcast, Lenz, 38, agreed that the set could be “divided” at times. Lenz, who played Haley James Scott, and Sophia Bush, who starred as Brooke Davis, were the only two in the cast to appear in all 187 episodes of the series.
Johansson, 55, never experienced any divide.
“I think I was more isolated from that. I think people were more careful around me, because I was a different generation,” he told Us Weekly exclusively at the Los Angeles premiere of Zombie Tidal Wave on Monday, August 12. “I’m a big dog, you know what I mean? So I don’t think that would have gone on under my watch, had I seen any of it. I didn’t see anything on the set, but sets can become pretty familiar with each other. Boundaries can get a little bit blurry. You’ve got to check yourselves and help each other.”
In November 2017, One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn was accused of sexual misconduct on the set. After the initial claim, 18 cast and crew members of the series — including Bush, Lenz, Kramer and Hilarie Burton — came forward with more allegations. Johansson, while he did not witness anything firsthand, always supported the women.
“It was a super close set. We really all loved each other. I didn’t know about that — if there were any separations in that regard. I don’t think as an older character, I was involved in all that stuff,” the Van Helsing alum added. “What I do believe is that we have a tremendously powerful female contingent that really drove our show. My feeling is that that show is a female powerhouse-driven show and that we followed the girls much more than they ever followed us. Like, our leaders were Joy, Sophia and Hilary. They were our leaders in many ways and setting a lot of examples.”
During Kramer’s podcast, the women reflected on their time on set and Kramer stated that since she came in so much later, she felt an “A-team or B-team” vibe. “I think our creator kinda created that environment,” the Nashville singer added.
As for revisiting the One Tree Hill world, “the problem is the creator of the show” would profit off of it, Lenz said. “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.”
She 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. … 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.”
Following the women coming forward against Schwahn, Johansson sent his appreciation via Twitter. “With all my heart I stand with my sisters on One Tree Hill,” he wrote in November 2017. “This is a momentous time to look inside and begin a long needed change. I love you all and admire your courage.”