Paul Johansson Talks Depression and Drinking During ‘One Tree Hill’ – Hollywood Life

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Paul Johansson opened up about battling depression and drinking heavily while on One Tree Hill in an episode of the Trying to Figure it Out podcast with Ally Petitti on Tuesday, December 19. He recalled his “awful” depression and alcoholism while filming the show from 2003 to 2012.

On the show, Paul played Dan Scott, the father of Nathan (James Lafferty) and Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray). Dan is often seen as the show’s villain as he tries to control Nathan, who is an extremely talented basketball player. The series aired for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012.

Paul admitted that while making the show, he struggled with his mental health and began drinking heavily each night. “I was deeply depressed and I was drinking,” he said. “I was drinking a couple bottles of wine a night by myself in my house, sitting at the piano, trying to figure out my life… For about six or seven years, it was really tough.”


The actor continued and said that he felt that the negative nature of his character led him down a dark road, which only resolved when the series came to an end. He also spoke about a few instances where fans of the show weren’t able to separate him from his character and confronted him in real life. “It was just a time when I think that I was absorbing the energy of the people that were looking at me, and seeing me as something that’s bad and not good,” he said. “To get out of it, honestly, the way to do it was the show had to end for me. I was actually grateful when it ended, because it had run its full course. I needed to get out and to get other characters and feel other things, but then I was getting bad guy roles again because of that show. It put me in a box.”

In the interview, Paul also discussed what his audition process was like on the show, as well as what it was like when Dan was killed off in the penultimate episode. He also opened up about how “heartbroken” he was when Craig Sheffer’s character Keith Scott was killed on the show, because they were such close friends on set. He also said that the cast is “still on group texts” to this day. “We were all there for each other,” he said.

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