The actress, who portrayed Alex Dupré, is opening up about the show's behind-the-scenes drama and revealing how one person on set "made it hell" for the cast.
Kramer talked about the on-set cliques during the Jan. 31 episode of her podcast, Whine Down with Jana Kramer and Michael Caussin, which featured Lafferty and fellow One Tree Hill co-star Stephen Colletti.
She explained she was "definitely closest" to Stephen (aka Chase Adams), because they had numerous scenes together. She had "very few" scenes with Lafferty (aka Nathan Scott), but implied that wasn't the only reason she wasn't as close with the actor during filming.
"When I was on the show... there was just some, not cattiness, but just, 'You can't talk to this person if you're friends with this person,'" she said. "So I wasn't very close to James because of certain situations on the set at the time."
Kramer continued, "But now I mean everyone is really close, and it's kind of frustrating because I'm like, 'Why couldn't we have all be friends then? And you made the newbies' life a little bit of hell.' But it's cool."
For the record, Kramer first appeared on the show in 2009, two years after Colletti and six years after Lafferty. As fans know, Nathan was one of the original characters, along with Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush), Haley James (Bethany Joy Lenz) and more.
Kramer went on, "But now it's like annoying because they're all like, ‘We're all friends now,' and I'm just like you, one person, literally made it hell for us, because if we chose the wrong friend, we would be destroyed."
She didn't reveal the identity of the "one person" that dictated the on-set social circles and power dynamics.
The country singer previously talked about the tension when she had Lenz on her podcast in 2019. At the time, Kramer shared, "It was hard for us, because I felt like when we came on the show, just being so honest, it was a very divided set." She added, "I feel like everyone already kinda had their places and it was either, are you going to be in the 'A team' or the 'B team?' It was just tricky."
She hinted that the showrunner Mark Schwahn essentially "created that environment." Several women accused him of sexual harassment in 2017.
Lenz also admitted she felt the divide between the co-stars. She told Kramer, "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."
Despite the drama, this week Colletti and Lafferty confessed they miss Wilmington, North Carolina, where they filmed One Tree Hill. Colletti said, "It was a beautiful place. It was nice to spend time on the East Coast."
Lafferty agreed, saying he "fell in love with that place" as well as his on-set "family."
"There were so many folks on both sides of the camera that were there from day one," as he put it. "To get to know people like that for nine years, the older I get, the more I realize how increasingly rare that is... So it was really special. I look back on that fondly."