Peyton (One Tree Hill): What Is Hilarie Burton Doing Now?

By Cara Dudgeon

2nd July 2020

Peyton (One Tree Hill): What Is Hilarie Burton Doing Now?

Peyton (One Tree Hill) was the angsty blonde we didn’t know whether to love or hate – could anybody keep up with her on-again-off-again romance with Lucas?

It’s been nearly 20 years since the show started, so what is Hilarie Burton, who played Peyton, up to now?

Hilarie Burton as Peyton One Tree Hill

Image Source/ Bustle

A quick recap

Peyton Sawyer was one of the main five characters introduced to us along with Nathan Scott (James Lafferty), Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush), Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Haley James (Bethany Joy Lenz).

When we first meet Peyton she is an emotional, non-cheery cheerleader who is struggling to find herself in the world. She’s dating Nathan, but he seems more interested in basketball than her. Not long after that she meets Lucas, who has mentioned how much he likes her, which is when we get the famous quote:

‘First of all, you don’t know me. Second of all, you don’t know me’.

And the rest is history. There’s a lot of Lucas and Brooke, Lucas and Peyton, the girls with other guys before going back to Lucas – even at the same time – all of which naturally leads to best friends Brooke and Peyton fighting… a lot as well as the break down of their friendship.

But it’s when Peyton finds out about Nathan and Brooke hooking up whilst Peyton was still with the basketball fanatic which really puts the final nail in the coffin of their friendship – even leading to the BFFs having a physical fight!

However, when Peyton fails to show up to the senior prom, Brooke goes to her house to find her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know that Peyton has been kidnapped by psycho Derek:

Video Source/ YouTube

As can be imagined, this led to the girls reigniting their friendship with them even moving to LA together at the end of the fourth series.

Four years later

The TV show’s fifth season picks up four years after the gang left high school. They may be older, but that doesn’t mean they’re drama free. Even though Lucas told Peyton he wanted to be with her, when we return to the show they are no longer together, with Lucas becoming engaged to someone else!

However, Peyton admits that she has always loved Lucas and still does. And supposedly unknown to Lucas, he also feels the same way about Peyton as he writes a book all about her. Finally the pair get together for good!

Or so we think until Julian Baker (Austin Nichols) shows up. Julian comes to One Tree Hill to direct the movie version of Lucas’ book ‘An Unkindness Of Ravens’. We discover that Peyton and Julian actually dated when she was in LA and only knows about Lucas’ book due to Peyton always buying it when she saw it. Thankfully the couple don’t let Julian get between them, with Peyton’s ex actually one of Peyton’s best friends: Brooke.

Peyton and Lucas finally get married and even have a baby girl, Sawyer Brooke Scott. The sixth series is the final season that Peyton stars in One Tree Hill, for a very specific reason.

Wedding of Lucas and Peyton One Tree Hill

Image Source/ Pinterest

Peyton’s One Tree Hill most memorable moments

‘Your art matters’

Video Source/ YouTube

Friends With Benefit

Friends With Benefit (Peyton One Tree Hill)

Image Source/ YouTube

School shooting

Video Source/ YouTube

People always leave

Peyton One Tree Hill - People Always Leave

Image Source/ Pinterest

‘It’s you Peyton’.

Video Source/ YouTube

Sending Jake and Jenny away

Jake and Jenny One Tree Hill

Image Source/ One Tree Hill Wiki – Fandom

Telling Lucas she’s pregnant

Video Source/ YouTube

Setting up Red Bedroom Records

Red Bedroom Records One Tree Hill

Image Source/ Pinterest

When Lucas proposed… and she says ‘No’ – or does she?

Video Source/ YouTube

‘Dyke’

Dyke - Peyton One Tree Hill

Image Source/ One Tree Hill Wiki – Fandom

Going to Vegas with Lucas

Video Source/ YouTube

Mark Schwahn and #MeToo

Hilarie Burton announced that she would be leaving One Tree Hill at the end of season six.

Video Source/ YouTube

More than ten years later, Hilarie admitted the real reason why:

‘I had such strong relationships on the show and I still do […] There was so much good. But there was bad too’.

She has since admitted that she was groomed, had wanted sexual advances and was sexually harassed by the shows creator, Mark Schwann.

‘I was told that if you speak up, your career is over and you’ll be labelled a troublemaker.’

I didn’t say anything for a decade. And as a result of that, people were abused after me. The guilt that comes with that is really difficult’.

It turns out that Hilarie was not the only person this happened to. Other members of the cast as well as crew members were victims of the same behaviour from Schwann.

Hilarie spoke out about her experience after one of the crew members, Audrey Wauchope tweeted about it:

Image Source/ Twitter

Sophia Bush – who played Brooke Davis on all nine seasons of the teen show – has also spoken about Schwann’s behaviour:

Video Source/ YouTube

It turns out that Schwann continued with this behaviour even after Hilarie left, as documented by Shantel VanSanten, who played Quinn James from series 7-9.

Video Source/ YouTube

Mrs Hilarie Burton Morgan

After leaving One Tree Hill, Hilarie was romantically set up with The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan by their respective co-stars, Danneel Harris and Jensen Ackles (who are now married!). The pair began dating in 2009 and their first son, Augustus, was born the following March.

After years of secondary infertility, the couple’s daughter, George, was born in February 2018. After years of the media speculating that they were married, the pair officially tied the knot in October 2019 with their children, close friends and family.

Image Source/ Instagram

A lack of acting roles?

Hilarie has had notably smaller acting roles since starring as Peyton. She is known for starring in Lethal Weapon, White Collar and Grey’s Anatomy.

Since then she has starred in numerous Christmas Lifetime Original Movies, such as The Christmas Contract and The Christmas Wish with some of her previous One Tree Hill cast mates.

Another reason why she has perhaps lowered the amount of acting she does is that she now owns and runs a farm with her husband. Mischief Farm is the main focus of her book, The Rural Diaries.

Image Source/ Twitter

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