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One of the best parts about One Tree Hill was the unwavering friendship between Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Peyton (Hilarie Burton). Yes, they got in fights and sometimes went weeks without speaking; however, they always found their way back to each other—as true friends do. These two went through some pretty heavy stuff—remember when they were actually kidnapped on prom night by Peyton’s stalker?—but they emerged stronger and more unified. (Well, except for the era when Brooke hated Peyton for “stealing” Lucas from her. Let’s just blaze past that, shall we?) Not to get all cheesy, but Peyton and Brooke were truly #FriendsForever.
And so are Burton and Bush in real life. In a new interview with Refinery 29, Burton reveals that she and Bush will always remain close, just like Peyton and Brooke. The actress, who is currently filming Fox’s Lethal Weapon reboot and has a new film (Growing Up Smith) out February 3, explains that she and Bush were trench-mates on One Tree Hill. They were each other’s rocks as they dealt with the craziness of the show, including male producers who tried to influence their personas. This experience, Burton says, will bond her and Bush for life.
“I think, underneath, there was an understanding between the two of us, like, ‘We’re in this to win it,'” Burton told Refinery 29. “And we’ve got all these male bosses telling us how teenage girls should act and feel, and we’ve got all these different variables coming at us. And I think now, as grown-up women, we can look back, the same way Brooke and Peyton could, and be like, ‘Man, we survived some stuff together, huh?’ And that’s a good feeling. I think when you’re in the trenches with someone, whether you agree with each other at the time or not, once you’re past it, there’s a bond there you can’t deny.”
Burton’s confession speaks to the power of female relationships. It’s inspiring to know that Bush and Burton didn’t spend their time on One Tree Hill hating each other but instead forming a sisterhood that helped them deal with the pressures of fame. Let this be a lesson to all: Women are stronger when they empower each other and fight issues side by side. Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush’s friendship is proof of that. (Also, please see the Women’s March and the newly formed friendship between Olivia and Mellie on Scandal.)