TV.com Q&A: One Tree Hill's Robert Buckley

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One Tree Hill has made a lot of huge changes in its seventh season -- Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) are out, but Clayton (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) are in. TV.com chatted with Buckley about his new role on One Tree Hill.

TV.com: What made you take this role?
Robert Buckley: They created a really cool, dynamic character in Clay. He's a young, very successful sports agent and I thought, "Will people believe me? Can I really swing it?" The truth is that, after college, I did consulting work for about a year and a half, so I've done an actual legitimate corporate gig. So I thought, "I can use my past for it," but there were a lot of cool qualities in Clay that I never got to play before in a different character. He was very appealing.

TV.com: What do you think of this new cast, now that Peyton and Lucas are gone? Has it changed the dynamic on set?
RB: It's tough for me to say if it's changed the dynamic on set, because I wasn't around for how it was. Everyone told me from the get-go that one of the best parts about the job was the cast and the crew and everyone getting along and enjoying each other. I wouldn't imagine that has changed a whole lot, because we still have a lot of fun ... As far as the new cast goes, I've been having a blast. And I know Shantal and Jana [Kramer], we've all been having a really, really good time. It's also fun because ... you get to see new sides to [the established cast members], new dynamics that the new people are bringing out, and new parts of their lives that hadn't been explored before.

TV.com: Do you relate to Clay at all?
RB: He's extremely passionate and loyal, protective of such things like his friendships, like Nate (James Lafferty), not only because he's a client, but just because he's a good friend ... In my life, I'm very close with my friends and very loyal and very similar in that regard. Whatever I'm doing, whether it's a job or a hobby, I usually tend to immerse myself 110% and get wrapped up in it. I would say that we're not too similar in the sense that Clay manages to just go to bars and beautiful women just gravitate towards him, and generally end up throwing themselves at him. And I can't say that in my life experience.

TV.com: Are you sure? You're a pretty good-looking guy, Rob.
RB: I've never had a girl walk up to me in a bar and just throw herself at me. Or should I say at least, the girls ... have never been quite as attractive as any of the cast members. The women on the show are all standouts, I'm sure I'd be far too shy to actually strike up a conversation with any of them.

TV.com: At the end of the Season 7 premiere, Clay says, "I don't believe in love." Can you speak to that?
RB: There is some mystery there. Part of it is getting to know Clay and get his MO work-wise and professionally right from the start. But personally, you can't really figure out what this guy's deal is. Part of it is, What is his issue? Why doesn't he believe in love? That's a bold statement to make.

TV.com: He seems to have an attraction to Quinn. Will there be a future romance between Clay and Quinn?
RB: I don't know about a romance, but there's definitely a very unique relationship between the two of them. It seems that Quinn is really the only one that Clay has found a lot of common ground with and opened up to and started to become close with. [When you have] someone very close to you that you can trust with your secrets or come to for advice, and you have feelings for them and you care about them, the danger of going further with it, of trying to strike up a romance, is that if it backfires, you've now lost the one person who was your touchstone. I'm not certain what they have in the future for Quinn and Clay. But again, it would be another beautiful woman, so it would not be a tough day in the office for Robert Buckley.

TV.com: What's your favorite show?
RB: This is a tough one, but I'm going to have to go with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I absolutely love that show and shamelessly plug them as often as I can. One day one of them will read an interview where I mention them and bring me in to hang out or to give me a small role.

TV.com: Any actors that you look up to?
RB: I think if I get anywhere near the talent level of Robert Downey, Jr., I'd be in good shape.

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