'One Tree Hill': Hilarie Burton Wanted to Stop Showing Her Feet in Sex Scenes for a Disturbing Reason

Hilarie Burton had quite an unsettling story involving her feet to share on the latest episode of her One Tree Hill rewatch podcast with Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush. While discussing a particular sex scene in a One Tree Hill episode, the actor revealed that she tried to avoid showing her feet on the CW teen drama. Despite her efforts, her feet were shown anyway, which led to very disturbing mail from prison inmates. Here’s what Burton said.

Hilarie Burton said she received disturbing prison mail about her feet for years while working for MTV and ‘One Tree Hill’

In the early 2000s, Burton worked as a host for MTV’s Total Request Live. The talk show overlapped with One Tree Hill, in which she played Peyton Sawyer from 2003 to 2009. During the March 28 episode of Drama Queens, Burton revealed that her television appearances often led to her receiving letters from prison inmates. However, the contents of those letters were very graphic and unsettling.

“There [were] a couple of dudes in particular that were like, ‘I’m gonna cut your feet off and put them in my refrigerator,’” Burton said of the “very specific” mail.

Because of the letters, Burton said she “had a thing” about showing her feet on TV.

“I would always try to, like, hide my feet because I was just like, ‘I don’t want them to think I’m baiting them,’ you know?” she added.

Hilarie Burton tried to stop ‘One Tree Hill’ from showing her feet in sex scenes, but to no avail

One Tree Hill didn’t always accommodate Hilarie Burton’s requests to keep her feet hidden. While discussing season 2 episode 16, “Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking,” the podcast hosts brought up a sex scene between Burton and Bryan Greenberg. The scene depicted Peyton in bed with her boyfriend, Jake Jagielski, as young teens.

Looking back on the scene, Burton said director Billy Dickson had an idea to shoot the scene starting at their feet.

“[The camera started] on our feet and, like, our legs rubbing together, [with the camera] coming up our bodies,” she explained.

In general, Burton thought the scene was too “adult” for a moment between teenagers. But she was also concerned about her feet appearing on camera. The White Collar star said she tried to convince Dickson not to include the shot, and he said they wouldn’t. However, when she saw the episode on television, the shot was still there.

“When that thing aired on TV and it starts on our feet and our legs, like, grasshoppering together, I’m just like, ‘What the heck is this?’” she said.

Reacting to Burton’s story, Bethany Joy Lenz said things like that were why the actors “didn’t trust anybody” on set.

Burton has previously expressed how uncomfortable she felt with the teen drama’s sex scenes

That wasn’t the first time Burton opened up about uncomfortable sex scenes on One Tree Hill. In a Drama Queens episode back in August, she revealed that she cried after filming a scene with Chad Michael Murray (who played Lucas Scott). The directors wanted her to kiss Murray “all the way down his body” before taking off his belt.

“I was, like, crying in my trailer. I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this. It feels dirty. It feels like they’re trying to sex everything up. I felt like a prostitute,” she admitted, per Us Weekly. “It was the first moment that I was, like, ‘I’m kissing someone for money. There’s a morality thing where you’re like, ‘Am I a sex worker in a way?’”

New episodes of Drama Queens drop every Monday on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

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