We were “threatened” into the Maxim cover.

Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz open up about the not-so-glamorous moments during their time on One Tree Hill.

On the Monday episode of their podcast, Drama Queens, the actors delved into the story for Season 4, in which Bush’s Brooke Davis takes photos of Rachel Gatina (Danneel Harris Ackles) for the cover of Maxim magazine’s Hometown Hotties issue.

Just a month after the October 2006 episode aired, the three women from “One Tree Hill” landed on their own Maxim cover, which they didn’t want to be a part of — but they had no choice.

“We were told we had to do it,” said Bush, 40.

sophia bush a tree hill
In their Rewatch podcast, the actors delve into the story of Season 4, in which Brooke Davis (played by Sophia Bush) snaps photos of Rachel Gatina (Danneel Harris Ackles) for the cover of Maxim’s Hometown Hotties issue.

Bush and Burton, 40, claimed that the show’s creator Mark Schwahn – who was accused of sexual harassment in an open letter from the cast and crew in 2017 – threatened to fire them if they refused to do the shoot .

Bush said she didn’t want to do the magazine because her character Brooke, who was supposed to be 16 on the show, was “so sexualized.”

“I thought, ‘If the girls want to do that, that’s great. I don’t I went into battle to make Brooke less of this thing you guys were trying to force me to do. I don’t want to do it,” she said.

Sophia Bush on the cover of Maxim magazine
Sophia Bush on the cover of Maxim magazine.
Marcelo Krasilcic

“I was literally told, ‘If you don’t shoot this cover with your co-stars, we guarantee you’ll never be let out for a press day, movie, event or any of your charities – we’ll keep you here forever'” , continued Bush.

Burton, who played Peyton Sawyer, said Schwahn told her, “No [magazine] want you guys.”

“We got this very kind, gentle pitch, ‘Look, all the other shows have been on the covers of every single magazine, and no one wants you guys. You finally have someone who wants you and you’re really going to turn your nose up at it?’ shared Burton.

Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz
Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush in Season 2 of One Tree Hill.
Fred Norris / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“It was very much a ‘nobody wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show. If you don’t start making waves and attracting these male numbers, we’re dead and all your friends are going to lose their jobs,” she added.

When Lenz, 41, shared that she was replaced by Harris Ackles for the shoot because she was told she was “too fat” to be on the cover, she left her co-stars in shock.

“They told me they didn’t come to me because I was too fat,” said the actress, who played Haley James Scott. “I wasn’t a ‘hot girl’ on the show anymore.”

Sophia Bush, center, Hilarie Burton, left, and Bethany Joy Lenz on the set of the Toronto medical drama "Good Sam.".
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz talked about the background of “One Tree Hill”.
Danielle Blancher/CBS via AP

Bush and Burton were stunned – they admitted being lied to and said Lenz refused to attend.

“When I said I didn’t want to do this, I was like, ‘But Joy won’t do it! She said no. Why is she allowed to say no?’ They’re like, ‘Well, she said no, so you have to say yes. She said no at first.’ ‘ said Bush.

“They made you a scapegoat to tell the three of us we couldn’t say no. We weren’t mad at you, but we were mad about it.”

Bethany Joy Lenz as Haley, Chad Michael Murray as Lucas, Sophia Bush as Brooke;  (back row lr) James Lafferty as Nathan, Hilarie Burton as Peyton
Bethany Joy Lenz as Haley, Chad Michael Murray as Lucas, Sophia Bush as Brooke, James Lafferty as Nathan and Hilarie Burton as Peyton.
©The WB/Frank Ockenfels

The women also claimed Schwahn showed up for the Maxim shoot and gave Burton an iPod full of songs he thought she would enjoy — and he did it before Bush and Harris Ackles.

“He wanted Sophia to see it to put her in her place, and he wanted Danneel to see it because he was trying to make her jealous,” Burton said. “I was so embarrassed.”

Bush shared that this behavior made the on-set environment “such a threat to safety.”

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush
Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush claim they were forced to do a Maxim magazine cover shoot.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

“At the time I said, ‘No, I don’t want this,’ and I was told I had to do it. It was such a pervasive threat and a threat to be able – honestly, even to have the ability to escape for a weekend, a place where at this point, this season, I’ve missed any chance that I had,” Bush said.

“I would come to work, do my best [scenes] and I wanted out. I wanted to go home, I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to be with my friends. I didn’t want to be on our set. It wasn’t a safe place for me.”

https://nypost.com/2022/11/29/one-tree-hill-stars-we-were-threatened-into-maxim-cover/ We were “threatened” into the Maxim cover.

Emma Bowman

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