When she isn’t playing the villain, Bush is busy introducing her millions of followers to her heroes. On her popular podcast, Work in Progress, Bush interviews the artists, politicians, athletes, tech entrepreneurs, and performers who inspire her, including Gloria Steinem, The New Republic senior editor Jamil Smith, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her chat with Smith in September 2020 was especially moving for Bush and her audience. “Having experienced the collective outrage after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, being able to sit and have an intimate conversation was meaningful,” Bush says. “Just learning about his experiences and listening to him talk about how titles, degrees, education, and the spaces he’s welcomed into don’t protect him from racism or violence.”
Bush’s journey from acting on a popular teen drama to becoming a politically engaged content creator and producer (her series Good Sam debuts on CBS this fall) was a long one. But recently, she’s begun to revisit the beginning of her career. She put One Tree Hill and its dedicated fandom behind her when the show wrapped in 2012, but last year she had a change of heart. “I called Hilarie when we were in the middle of lockdown, and I just said, ‘Hey, everyone’s tweeting and posting about their nostalgia shows right now, and our show has been that for so many years.’ The fans have never slowed down on it, and there are always new people discovering it.” Given the continued interest, Bush thought it was time she and her costars gave the series a second look—or, rather, a first. “We realized none of us had ever watched it,” says Bush. “We get together around the world, and we’re so amazed by the fan response, but we’ve never actually gone back and seen why it was so impactful.”
Together with Burton and Lenz, Bush has turned their group watch into a new podcast, Drama Queens, which debuted on Monday. Working on the project has brought the trio closer together. “Now there are nights where we’ll get on a three-way FaceTime, and we’re all at home cooking dinner, having a glass of wine, and talking. It feels amazing to be together again, even if we’re in these separate places,” says Bush. “When we watched the second episode together, we were all crying at the end of it. After that, we were all like, ‘Wait, this is good!’ It’s a show about people experiencing their life together, and there’s something so beautiful about that simplicity.”
Below, the star takes Vogue behind the scenes of False Positive’s Tribeca premiere and her getting-ready process.