Why Hilarie Burton Doesn't Regret Leaving 'One Tree Hill'

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Hilarie Burton Morgan's tenure on One Tree Hill ended at the right time. The 37-year-old actress appeared on her former OTH castmate Jana Kramer's podcast, Whine Down, and discussed why she doesn't regret leaving the series after a six-season run in 2009.

"I don’t regret that at all," she said. "I knew that I needed to start something new. It was time. I had a big chip on my shoulder and I just needed to put it down."

In her book, The Rural Diaries, Burton expands on her explanation, writing that she was "feeling a bit lost" and was "a miserable girl" in 2007. Those feelings, coupled with her friend's death, made her want to start living "intentionally."

"It was time to make a change, so I left One Tree Hill. I'd always wanted to travel and write, so I started to work on a novel, bought a one-way ticket to Paris, and rented an apartment across from Notre Dame Cathedral. 

As for the ending her character got, Morgan was thrilled to see her Peyton Sawyer end up with Chad Michael Murray's Lucas Scott. 

"I was very happy with that. Chad and I had been in the pilot and we had been setting up the whole Lucas-Peyton star-crossed lovers thing the whole time on the show so I was really happy with that happy ending and the marriage and the baby," she said on the podcast. "The family was complete and that's what both characters were looking for."

"They both got that nuclear family that they had always been craving," Morgan continued. "And frankly, I was a little concerned that if I stayed on the show, it would get messed with for dramatic purposes. Sometimes, it's better to cut out in a good spot."

When ET's Cassie DiLaura spoke to Morgan, the actress emphasized her love for her fellow actors on the series and explained what it would take to do a OTH reboot.

"I’ve been working everyone behind the scenes. We all love each other. So, working out the business end of things would be the thing. I love those guys. I love ‘em so much," she said. "We had trouble with our creator on that show. That is not a mystery, and so I think it’s all about ownership of the show and the politics behind that. Because there were a lot of abuses and so if we’re going to come back, we want it to be from a place of light and the good stuff."

"We have really hung on very tightly to the good stuff, which is why we do conventions, it’s why we support each other on social media. I think it’s probably the thing that forged all of our friendships," she continued. "You know, we went through something hard together. So yeah, if the politics get sorted out [I'd do it]. And by the way, they could go off and do any show on the planet and call me and be like, 'Will you show up?' And the answer would always be yes."

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