As she moves into a new series, Sophia Bush knows the effect of her nine seasons as Brooke Davis on "One Tree Hill" remains tangible.
She doesn't guess what Brooke would be doing now, though. "I try not to do that, not to 'what if ... ?' anything," Bush tells Zap2it about the series that made the transition from the former WB Network to The CW. "We got so many more years out of that show than most people are ever lucky enough to have, and it was such a beautiful thing, it was perfectly wrapped up for me.
"And it's wonderful to see that character is still affecting so many people," adds Bush. "I'm incredibly inspired when I get a message from someone on social media with the photo of me standing with words projected on me. After all these years, it's being used for seminars and talks for women on how to overcome societal pressure and internal pressure.
"That excites me, if I was able to help open up a dialogue on how to be more open with yourself and kinder to yourself, because that was a lesson my character had to learn ... and it's a lesson I've had to learn. No one will ever beat you up as badly as you'll beat yourself up, as they say, so to be able to spur that discussion for women is not something that I take lightly."
As "One Tree Hill" -- which Bush also directed several times during its 2012 closing season -- continues daily repeats on SoapNet, she's tackling a new role as a police detective on NBC's "Chicago Fire" spinoff "Chicago PD," premiering Wednesday, Jan 8. She gleefully describes her alter ego Erin Lindsay as a "badass," and the actress hopes to bring as much to her as she did to Brooke.
"I was really glad that with the more serious side of her and her heart, because those things matter to me, the writers allowed them to matter to Brooke," Bush reflects.
"She was filled with humor, too, because I'm an incredibly goofy person. I wind up making people laugh all day, whether or not I intend to, and that's a good thing. The more serious life is, the more levity becomes crucial."
Photo/Video credit: The CW