Sometimes you can go home again — and that's what it's like for Chad Michael Murray to attend Inside OTH, the yearly One Tree Hill reunion in Wilmington, North Carolina on July 23 and 24. "It's really jumping generations," Murray tells Bustle about the long-running series that stole all of our hearts, "It's such an honor and it was such a great part of my life." Murray still loves Lucas Scott as much as every OTH fan, but with roles on Agent Carter, Scream Queens, and his latest film, Outlaws and Angels, the actor's left the River Court, something, he says, has been a welcome challenge, especially with his role as an outlaw who unexpectedly ends up on a quest for redemption.
"A lot of these people grew with me and now there's a whole new generation out there of 11-to-12 year old girls and boys that are watching it for the first time on Netflix and it's just crazy how much it touches people," Murray says. "We have the best fans and I can tell you that because I've seen all of them and they're so gracious and adoring," which is why he's sure they'll appreciate Outlaws and Angels, which is out now in theaters and on VOD, "It's such a departure from anything I've done before, but they'll know that I love this."
And it's true — Murray's Outlaws and Angels character couldn't be further from the Lucas Scott we all know and love. But that doesn't mean he doesn't still have a soft spot for reuniting to celebrate the CW series. "I love Wilmington — I get to see all of my friends for years," the actor says, "We're playing with our kids and goofing around and it's like a school field trip." As much as it's a reunion for fans to see the Tree Hill gang back together again, it's a reunion for Murray and the rest of the series' stars as well. "It's very fun to watch how everything plays out," Murray says, "It's been a wonderful experience and everyone's gone off and is creating the life they want to create for themselves. I'm enjoying the journey."
So, what is Lucas Scott up to now? Murray says we should probably press show creator Mark Schwann for that exact details, but he's got an idea. "I think he has two or three kids by now and is happily married. His oldest would probably be six or seven years old by now, so they're probably starting on their own Tree Hill journey," the actor says. "I think that's what's really cool, to think of the next generation growing up and going through some of the issues that are so universal."
It's been four years since we said goodbye to Tree Hill, but, clearly, it'll always be home.
Images: Momentum Pictures; The CW (screengrab); Giphy