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Robert Buckley Talks 'One Tree Hill,' Loyal Fans and Cougars

by Katy Kroll, posted Sep 7th 2009 6:00AM
Robert Buckley has slowly but surely been moving up the Hollywood ranks, kicking off his career with a role in MyNetworkTV's nightly drama 'Fashion House' alongside the likes of Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild. But his big break came playing Kim Raver's boy toy Kirby on last year's drama 'Lipstick Jungle.'

Now Buckley is joining 'One Tree Hill' as the show enters its seventh season and loses mainstays Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. With the Sept. 14 premiere on the horizon, Buckley spoke to AOL TV about the direction the show will take, why he's not comfortable being "the hot guy" and his take on Hollywood cougars. -- By Katy Kroll
Robert Buckley has slowly but surely been moving up the Hollywood ranks, kicking off his career with a role in MyNetworkTV's nightly drama 'Fashion House' alongside the likes of Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild. But his big break came playing Kim Raver's boy toy Kirby on last year's drama 'Lipstick Jungle.'

Now Buckley is joining 'One Tree Hill' as the show enters its seventh season and loses mainstays Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. With the Sept. 14 premiere on the horizon, Buckley spoke to AOL TV about the direction the show will take, why he's not comfortable being "the hot guy" and his take on Hollywood cougars. -- By Katy Kroll

The show's fans are very loyal, how have they been with you so far?

The very first day, the self-proclaimed biggest fan challenged me to a push-up contest outside my trailer. He said, "If you can win, you'll get some respect." Twenty-six push-ups later, I got it ... No, I'm kidding. It's funny, I've never been on a show where there's been such loyal fans, to the point where they are literally hanging out outside the set every day to take pictures and talk. They are so devoted; I've never seen anything like it. They've been really sweet, actually.

How will the show explain the departure of Chad Michael Murray's and Hilarie Burton's characters?
The way season 6 ended was kinda all of them go off and do their own thing. I don't think it's as much a specific incident happens as it is sort of as these characters' lives grow and change and evolve, and that's what happens. As the years go on, you make some new friends and the others kinda grow distant. And that's what we'll be seeing on 'One Tree Hill,' some of the old friends move on and some new ones come in. But for the most part it's still the same group of people the fans love. Season 7 starts about a year and half after where season 6 left off, and a lot's happened since then. One thing is that Nathan's career has taken off, and he's playing in the NBA, so I play the role of his agent and a close friend of his. That's how my character Clay comes into the picture.

Do you feel like you're being brought in to fill the void of "the hot guy" left by Chad?
No, I wouldn't say that. There's James Lafferty, who if I had to put him in a category I think he would probably fall into the "good lookin' fella" category. Austin Nichols, handsome man. And not to mention a couple other guys, so the truth is I don't think I was brought in to fill any sort of void in terms of aestheticism. You could have watched season 6 on mute and have been totally entertained and pleased with what was on the screen.

As the format changes, why should new fans tune in and old fans keep watching?
It's pretty much a brand-new show. There's such a different tone. There are characters people have never seen, so it'll be fun to get to know these characters. And the characters they've grown to love, they're gonna get to see different sides of them because of these new characters. Everything's gonna get shaken up a bit. For people who already like it, there are gonna be a lot of fun surprises in store. For people who haven't seen it or weren't fans, they should absolutely give it a second shot, because it's not the same show.

Your character on 'Lipstick Jungle' had a relationship with a "cougar." Which older actress would you ask out if given the opportunity?
That is a tough one. Barbara Stanwyck, who passed away, but boy was she hot in her heyday. As for contemporaries? Mary Steenburgen. She's just great. She was hilarious in 'Step Brothers.' But the whole Ted Danson thing might get in the way.

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    US MAGAZINES-PLEASE REPORT USAGE Joan Rivers leaves The Ivy on August 26, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - August 26, 2009 Los Angeles, CA United States August 26, 2009 Photo by Marcos Vasquez/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com To license this image (58179370), contact FilmMagic.com

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    Television personality Joan Rivers with her new boyfriend Norm Zada of Perfect 10 Magazine pose with Joan's "Friendship" ring after having lunch on the streets of Manhattan on August 17, 2009 in New York City. Celebrity Sightings In New York - August 17, 2009 Streets of Manhattan New York, NY United States August 17, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (58123279), contact WireImage.com

    Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

    Television personality Joan Rivers with her new boyfriend Norm Zada of Perfect 10 Magazine pose with Joan's "Friendship" ring after having lunch on the streets of Manhattan on August 17, 2009 in New York City. Celebrity Sightings In New York - August 17, 2009 Streets of Manhattan New York, NY United States August 17, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (58123316), contact WireImage.com

    Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

    Television personality Joan Rivers with her new boyfriend Norm Zada of Perfect 10 Magazine pose with Joan's "Friendship" ring after having lunch on the streets of Manhattan on August 17, 2009 in New York City. Celebrity Sightings In New York - August 17, 2009 Streets of Manhattan New York, NY United States August 17, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (58123314), contact WireImage.com

    Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

    Television personality Joan Rivers with her new boyfriend Norm Zada of Perfect 10 Magazine pose with Joan's "Friendship" ring after having lunch on the streets of Manhattan on August 17, 2009 in New York City. Celebrity Sightings In New York - August 17, 2009 Streets of Manhattan New York, NY United States August 17, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (58123313), contact WireImage.com

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    (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Television personality Joan Rivers poses with Norm Zada of Perfect 10 Magazine at the LOVE statue on the streets of Manhattan on August 17, 2009 in New York City. Celebrity Sightings In New York - August 17, 2009 Streets of Manhattan New York, NY United States August 17, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (58123150), contact WireImage.com

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    In this image released by PictureGroup, comedian Joan Rivers, left, and poker player Norm Zada are seen at Michael's Restaurant on Monday, Aug. 17, 2009 in New York. Rivers recently went to millionaire Norm Zada's Los Angeles mansion to tape an episode of her new TV Land reality series, "How'd You Get So Rich". Zada surprised Rivers by flying into Manhattan and taking the comedy icon for lunch and giving her a friendship ring. (AP Photo/PictureGroup, Brad Barket) ** NO SALES **

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    In this photo provided by PictureGroup, Joan Rivers, right, and Katie Couric attend a party celebrating the premiere of Rivers' show "How'd You Get So Rich" on TV Land PRIME at Rivers' residence in New York on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, PictureGroup)

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    In this photo provided by PictureGroup, Joan Rivers, left, Katie Couric, center, and Hoda Kotb attend a party celebrating the premiere of Rivers' show "How'd You Get So Rich" on TV Land PRIME at Rivers' residence in New York on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, PictureGroup)

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 04: Actress Joan Rivers promotes the TV Land PRIME series "How'd You Get So Rich?" at the CBS Early Show Studio Plaza on August 4, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joan Rivers

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