Feature: Sophia Bush talks The Hitcher

Note: This article was originally published in Technician on January 17, 2007.


Sophia Bush hitches a ride

Sophia Bush is perhaps best known for her role as Brooke Davis on the television series One Tree Hill. However, the 26-year-old actress is rapidly making a name for herself in the world of film. Last year she starred in the slasher-flick Stay Alive and the comedy John Tucker Must Die. This weekend, she can be seen starring alongside Sean Bean and Zachary Knighton in The Hitcher, a remake of the 1986 thriller about a murderous hitchhiker.

"It's a major action thriller. The suspense is amazing," said Bush. "We all took a lot of care in making sure you don't anticipate the scare."

In the film, her character picks up a mysterious hitchhiker named John Ryder who turns out to be more than he first appears. When it comes to picking up hitchhikers herself, though, that's a different matter.

"I have never picked up a hitchhiker, and I never would. Nine out of ten times you'd be fine, but it only takes one time to leave you in pieces in the desert," said Bush.

The film was produced by Platinum Dunes, which is owned by director Michael Bay, famous for his over-the-top action films. As such, it's to be expected that The Hitcher contains many intense action sequences. What may be surprising, though, is that Bush did all her own stunts.

"I'm a total stunt junkie. That's where my tomboy comes out. I spent five weeks, five days a week training," said Bush. "At one point I was hanging out of the car banging on the windows of the car next to me."

Despite the grueling physical nature of the shoot, Bush felt that the experience of filming a horror movie had certain rewards films of other genres couldn't provide.

"Each genre has its own amazing qualities," said Bush. "I love comedy but there's also something very rewarding about pushing yourself to your emotional limit and breaking through it every day. That's just as rewarding as making the cameraman laugh while you're filming a comedy."

Working on The Hitcher also was advantageous in that she got to work with an established actor in the form of Sean Bean (TroyLord of the Rings). She found that acting alongside the veteran actor was a somewhat paradoxical experience, at times terrifying and at other times endearing.

"He turns it on and he is so maniacal and evil. And yet he's also a father, so if he grabbed my head and I made a sound he would stop and ask if I was OK. Then he would launch right back into it," said Bush.

Overall, the experience proved beneficial for the budding actress.

"There's a real challenge making a film like this where it's an emotional roller coaster," said Bush. "I know I will hold on to this film for the rest of my career and remember what a great time I had. It was insane."

Bush might love making movies, but she said a vacation might be in the making.

"I'm a workaholic and a perfectionist. I haven't been on vacation in four years," Bush said. "I need to take about a month off."