It's the beginning of the end for One Tree Hill, and it's really official now that the last season is under way. No more denying it; soon we'll have no more OTH in our lives.
Lucky for you guys, we were on set while they filmed the final season last year, so we made sure to squeeze every last bit of scoop and nostalgia out of the cast. Here's part one of our exclusive sit-down with the stars of OTH where they talk about saying goodbye to Tree Hill and what's ahead for their characters…
Austin Nichols and Shantel VanSanten may be relative OTH newbies, but that doesn't mean season nine will put them on the sidelines. After all, one managed to marry the one and only Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) and the other is part of what we hear is a very intriguing storyline. We're talking about Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn, of course.
"I think that we've presented our characters with a lot of challenges in these 13 episodes," Shantel tells us. "I think that we have the strength to make it through these challenges that we're presented, but you never know where life leads you. And I think obviously the end goal that we both have in mind is that we don't see our life ending without each other. We see it being forever, but you just never know."
With OTH, you really never know. And creator Mark Schwahn told us recently that some couples may not be together at the end of the season. Could Clay and Quinn be in danger? Not if Shantel were in charge! "It would be awesome to get a wedding ring and I also love to see how creative people come up with proposals," she tells us. "I think that there is a happy ending for everybody and it's going to be up to everybody's own opinions. Some people may not think it's a happy ending or some people may not be happy with what they thought it was going to be or what they anticipated it to be, but Mark never disappoints."
Yikes, not exactly the unicorns and rainbows we'd expect for Clay and Quinn. Check out our full interview with Shantel below to hear her final thoughts on Quinn, the other character, and saying goodbye to One Tree Hill.
Let's move onto Brooke and Julian, surely they have happy times ahead, right? Wrong.
"I'm really proud of Julian's storyline this year," Austin tells us. "I have a really tough situation which has happened to thousands, maybe millions, of parents. I can't tell you what it is, but I mess up and I put one of my kids in a precarious situation." Well, it certainly wouldn't be a season of OTH without lives in danger. But what comes out of this life-threatening situation is what Austin calls his favorite season of the show.
"Of all the season I have been on One Tree Hill, I'm probably most proud of this season," Austin says. "I feel connected to it. I feel challenged. I feel like we see his human side: we see his flaws, we see his mistakes. While he's had a few in the past, he has been really more of a rock. It has been fun to explore a little bit of a few darker things, a few more difficult things."
To hear more from Julian about directing OTH episodes and Chad Michael Murray returning, watch our full interview below!
What do you think Julian does that's so terrible? Do you think Clay and Quinn will survive the season? Head to the comments to speculate, and check back next week to see our interviews with OTH orginals Chad Michael Murray and Bethany Joy Galleotti.