After a mini break, One Tree Hill is back with four brand new episodes beginning this Monday, April 26th at 8 p.m. ET on the CW. We totally love Shantel VanSanten as Quinn James — sister to Hayley, fun-loving aunt to Jamie, and finally girlfriend to super sports agent Clay (played by the totally sexy Robert Buckley). So, we jumped on the chance to chat with Shantel all about her life on and off the One Tree Hill set!
CosmoGirl: When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
Shantal VanSanten: Despite my mother saying I have been destined to be an actress my whole life, I remember being the kid who grew up not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I went from thinking I wanted to be a nun at one point, to going to college for journalism! I was involved in the arts and theater from early on, but it wasn’t until I took an acting class when I was 17 that I realized how passionate I felt about it. When I got the chance to start smaller acting jobs I realized this is what I wanted to do. I still have to pinch myself and be thankful that I get the chance to make a living doing what I love.
CG: What was it like joining the cast of One Tree Hill this season as the “new girl” on the set?
SV: I was so nervous when I started OTH because, with it being their 7th season, they had all worked together forever and were a family. Not to mention two of the show’s core characters were now gone. I wanted to come in and bring ME to the table and what I am about to Quinn. Robert Buckley (Clay) and myself really bonded because we were the two “newbies.” But instantly we were both welcomed and a part of the OTH family. Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley) and I spent a lot of time together because we play sisters and we have such an amazing relationship now that I am really grateful for! I also got to work with Jackson Brundage (Jamie). I’m a child at heart so we were always playing pranks or joking. We shoot the show in Wilmington, NC and it’s a small town. Everywhere you go you get to see cast and crew out and about all the time. I left feeling like I had officially joined the OTH family!
CG: Your character Quinn has two sisters. Do you have siblings that helped you relate?
SV: I have a sister who is 18 and a brother who is 17. I’m very close to them. I have two best friends for life in them and they love helping me run lines or reading scripts with me! Family is the most important aspect of my life and I pull so much of Quinn’s relationship with Haley from my sisters and mine. We have lots of inside jokes and things we do that Joy and I put into scenes sometimes!
CG: What were you like in high school — did you go to your prom?
SV: I went to an all-girls school with 43 people in my class so dances were small. I always went with girlfriends or a blind date. I had a real date for my prom and he was shocked that we chose our prom queen out of a hat. Everyone who wanted to be queen wrote down their name and you hoped they pulled yours! I always loved dressing up and because we wore uniforms to school, the dance let us express ourselves through fashion!
CG: Who are your fashion inspirations?
SV: I draw from a lot of people like Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson and Rachel Bilson. I think they add their own individuality into what is “hot” at the moment. My style is dependent on my moods so I feel like it’s all over the place. I love anything embellished and a good pair of jeans is a MUST!