Bethany Joy Lenz Explains How Her New Hallmark Movie Reminded Her Of ‘One Tree Hill’ Role

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Even in the most romantic city on Earth, Bethany Joy Lenz‘s mind is still back in the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina.

The Savoring Paris star explained how her new Hallmark Movie took her “outside of my comfort zone” and back to her breakout role on the aughts teen drama One Tree Hill.

“When I got to read the script, I was really intrigued by playing a character who kind of reminded me of who Haley was from One Tree Hill, like all those years ago,” Lenz told TV Insider.

She starred as high school tutor Haley James on One Tree Hill for the entirety of the teen soap’s nine-season run on The WB and CW from 2003 to 2012.

Lenz explained that Haley “evolved into a character who was much more confident and bold over the years.”

“I just thought I haven’t done that since I was so young, in my early 20s,” she added. “I usually get called to play more tough girl kind of roles, so I was excited by the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone of feeling like a natural leader and allow myself to sort of emotionally sit on the sidelines.”

In Savoring Paris, Lenz plays disillusioned Ella, who embarks on a soul-searching journey to Paris, where romance ensues with Serge (Stanley Weber) and Gaston (Ben Wiggins). She explained the character is “not used to taking up a lot of her own space. She is always making space for everyone else.”

Lenz’s latest role comes as she prepares to release her memoir Dinner for Vampires, which details her decade-long experience in a cult and her journey to escape. The book is available on October 22.

The actress also co-hosts the Drama Queens podcast with her One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton-Morgan, recapping the hit series more than a decade after the series finale.

Savoring Paris premieres Friday, June 8 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel as part of the Passport to Love event.

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