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An Interview with Barbara Alyn Woods


Barbara Alyn Woods
January, 2012

Many years ago, when One Tree Hill was in its heyday (and on the WB), I interviewed series star Barbara Alyn Woods, who played Nathan's mother Deb Scott. I don't think at the time that anyone believed the series would run for nine seasons.

In the years since I first spoke with Barbara, life has been incredibly busy for the mother of three beautiful girls -- all of whom have blossoming acting careers. In fact, her daughter Emily has a regular gig on ABC's hit series Revenge as young Amanda Clarke.

As One Tree Hill enters their final chapter, Barbara is making her way back to town and we had the opportunity to speak with this incredibly sweet actor about the end of the CW drama, funny fan encounters, and her dream of appearing in Desperate Housewives...

Q: The last time we spoke, you had mentioned that you would love to be on Desperate Housewives and you did! How was the experience?

"It was incredible! It was perfect timing because I had just moved back from North Carolina, which was a big decision for our whole family, and as soon as I was back in L.A., they called me in and it all worked out. Little did they know that I had told everyone in the world that this was the show I wanted to end up on. It was fantastic; a great guest spot."

Q: What have you been up to in the last few years?

"All three of my girls are working full time, including my four-year-old. This was not something that we planned, it just sort of happened. They started auditioning in North Carolina and started booking jobs. As soon as we got to L.A., they hooked up with some agents and have been going non-stop. My nine-year-old (Emily) is on a show called Revenge, my 11-year-old (Natalie) is doing the Disney circuit with iCarly and my four-year old (Alyvia) is on The Young and Restless right now. It's seriously a three-ring circus in our house."

Q: Did your girls take acting lessons or does their talent come naturally?

"I think with my girls growing up on set, and seeing the process, seeing what I go through when I'm learning my lines or getting into character and playing characters that are then opposite of myself. I think they just 'get it.' I'm not saying that anyone who grows up on set can necessarily perform, but it just turned out that they have it in their blood."

Q: What brings Deb back to One Tree Hill?

"It's so funny - there are so many things that have happened in my One Tree Hill family's lives and Deb didn't come back for a couple of years, but I don't think I'm allowed to say because I don't think it has played out yet what actually brings her back. It has to do with her son (Nathan) and the producers wanted to see Deb again before the end of the show. I think it's for a real good, pertinent reason that she comes back."

Q: Do you have a favorite episode?

"I really enjoyed the season where Paul and I were always at each other and acting out the War of the Roses, coming out with as many horrible tricks that we could play on each other. As far as episodes go, my favorite was when Moira and I got stuck up on the billboard and we couldn't get down."

Q: How would you like to see the series end?

"This is going to sound saccharin sweet, but I want it to end exactly the way it does. I really do believe the fans won't be disappointed. It's emotional and it'll take you back through a lot of the seasons and the most memorable scenes."

Q: How many episodes will you appear in the final season?

"I came back for two episodes."

Q: Will you appear in the finale?

"I'm in the second to last episode."

Q: What similarities do you share with Deb?

"Well, she's sort of a desperate housewife and I guess I am too. We have our crazy lives and I think she is a good person deep down. I'm not a drinker; I've never done a single drug in my life, so these were things I had to research. She loves, loves her family and her son. She's a deeply emotional person who has a lot of highs and a lot of lows, but I think ultimately she has a good life. I think my marriage is better than hers. I've always loved this character because she's a little messed up, but I think people have a lot of empathy for her and see where she's coming from. She's made some wrong choices in her life, but she always comes out on top. I think she ends the series very strongly."

Q: Have you had any funny fan encounters over the years?

"On one of the last episodes, Sophia (Bush) talked me into getting a Twitter account. She set up the account and told me I couldn't say no. It was the first time I could really see how strong our fan base is because within an hour, I had 1,000 followers. So, I started tweeting away and I was leaving Wilmington, I tweeted about how sad I was to be leaving and when I got to the airport, there were several people waiting for me. I had just tweeted two hours earlier that I was getting on a plane to go back to Los Angeles. It was kind of scary in a way -- everyone was wonderful, but it made me realize how careful you have to be. It's the fans who have kept the show going all these years and it really had a major impact on me to realize how many people are following the show and sad they're going to be when it's over."

Q: Do you watch any TV shows on a regular basis?

"I hate to admit it, but our family is really into reality TV. We love Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. We all cuddle into bed and watch reality TV and go to sleep. Of course, we also watch Revenge."

Q: Do you still use Twitter to keep in touch with your fans?

"I do, I'm @Barbalynwoods

Q: What would you like to say to the fans?

"I want to thank them. I wished I had realized a lot sooner how amazing they really were because they kept the show going. Now that I have this direct contact with them through Twitter, I really do try to keep up with them and answer everyone individually. I hope that they campaign enough that we get a spin off, a movie or something because none of us are ready to say goodbye yet."
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