'One Tree Hill's' Robert Buckley on the finale's shocking ending and returning for Season 8
Zap2it talked to Buckley at The CW Upfront Presentation in New York City on May 20 to see if we could squeeze some spoilers out of him. He was still celebrating "One Tree Hill's" 13-episode order for Season 8, especially since the show was on the bubble. In fact, the future of the Tree Hill gang was so uncertain that the cast shot two season finale endings, one to air as a season finale, and the other as a series finale if the drama wasn't renewed.
Of course, the episode that aired was the season finale, even though the official renewal announcement hadn't yet come down from the network. "It was kind of an educated guess," Buckley told us. "A bit of a gamble, actually." As for the other ending, "You're going to have to watch the DVDs for that. Bonus footage!" [ Note: Creator Mark Schwahn gives Zap2it's Korbi the scoop on the alternate ending here!]
We couldn't help but wonder what Buckley's reaction was when he read that his character would be shot in the chest in the last moments of the season-ender. "You know what my reaction was?" he says. "'Did I do something wrong? Is this your way of telling me that I'm not - are we getting rid of me?"
We're assuming that Buckley's presence at the Upfronts - where he and "Life Unexpected" star Kristoffer Polaha did a bit on stage to announce the new "One Tree Hill"/"Life Unexpected" Tuesday night line up - means that he'll be back on the show.
"That's what I'm assuming as well. I'm just not going to question it," he says. "But I'm thinking, unless it's a really cruel joke, that I'm gonna be around."
Buckley did ask Mark Schwahn, the series creator, if his character was being written out. "They said no," Buckley tells us, "and then I immediately followed up with 'Can we shoot him in the face, because an eye patch would be a really cool gimmick.' But they didn't quite go for that one. They weren't as sold on the eye patch as I was."
When the series returns, Clay and Quinn will be hanging onto their lives by a thread. "I'm hoping he's not a vegetable," Buckley says. More seriously, he tells us, "It would be nice to see Clay not get embroiled in quite as much drama. Between being shot, drowned, haunted an ex-wife, he's really had a rough go of it. I really would like to see Clay get his feet underneath him and have some quiet time with Quinn."
We're pretty sure that if Buckley is looking for some quiet time, he should go join another show. At this point, we're inclined to believe that being an assassin on "Nikita" or battling the apocalypse on "Supernatural" would be significantly less dramatic than living in the fictitious town of Tree Hill.
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