[UPDATE: This story was originally published on September 6.]
When Sophia Bush kindly hosted our 30 Under 30 event earlier this summer and confided that this was her "year of yes" — we just knew epic things were in store for her. And, shortly thereafter, the former CW star booked a major role in what's looking to be the killer comedy-hit of the season, CBS' Partners. On top of that, this philanthropic lady has been making serious social-media waves for charities far and wide, like Pencils of Promise, F Cancer, and Save the Gulf (her Twitter account makes our heads spin!).
After watching the brunette babe bloom from those early OTH days on so many fronts (holy smokes, have you seen her on the red carpet lately?), we knew it was high time to dig deep into the mega-talented and multi-tasking maven's psyche — and closet. Click through our exclusive snaps of Bush in her Hills home, and make friends with this bubbly, stylish, and benevolent chick before her "year of yes" makes her too quick to catch.
Photographed by Mike Rosenthal
Tell us about your new show, Partners. What's your character like?
"It's a comedy about two lifelong best friends, Joe and Louis, who run a business together. They're trying to balance work, love, friendship, and the group dynamic. One is gay, one is straight, and both live with their significant others. It's about four friends, but really three couples — and my role as Ali is so much fun to play! She's a jewelry designer and Joe's fiancé — I love her energy and humor. That, and the fact that she's just a real
girl."Click here for a swinging surprise!
Vintage Hat, IRO Jacket, Equipment Blouse, J Brand Jeans, Isabel Marant Boots, Nola Singer Rings
We hear the set design and costuming is out of control! What sort of designers are you wearing for tapings? And, we'd love to know about the wardrobe-selection process for Ali.
"The sets are so gorgeous that I don't even know what to do with myself when I come in! And the clothes are fabulous — our costumer has such a measured eye. I wear Michael Kors, Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney, and Tom Ford — it's really a dream come true. We have a few fittings per week so that choices can be specific and well-edited."
What's it like performing in front of a live audience?
"It's terrifying and exhilarating all at once. We get such an immense kick out of the live audience every week! We rehearse all week — almost like getting ready for a stage play — then we tape every Thursday night. It's madness and such a quick turnaround, but it's so much fun."
Who are some actors you admire?
"I have a whole new appreciation for comedic actors like Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Zooey Deschanel. It's amazing to see, from the inside, how technical and specific comedy can be. I love it!"
What sort of roles do you see yourself snagging five years from now?
"Who knows, hopefully in five years I'll still be playing Ali!"
Vintage T-shirt, A.L.C. Dress, Dannijo Earrings, Pamela Love Cuffs,
Christian Louboutin Heels, YSL Clutch
Is there anything you miss about One Tree Hill?
"It was so bittersweet, but everyone felt that it was time to move on and have new adventures. On the other hand, it was so hard to say goodbye to each other, to our characters, and to our fans. Luckily a lot of us stay in touch."
After living in North Carolina for so long, we're sure you discovered some groovy spots. Care to share any East Coast secrets?
"Cape Fear Antique Center
is my ultimate estate shop there! I did major vintage jewelry hunting in Wilmington. And the food was mind-blowing! Deluxe
and Tower 7
are two restaurants that I miss so much!"
How do you spend your days when you're not working?
"Lately, I've just enjoyed being back home after ten years. I go hiking with my dogs, have dinner with friends and family, and just soak it all in. I feel so lucky to be working in L.A. with people whom I enjoy so much."
With such a busy schedule, how do you find time to hang out and unwind?
"I'm learning to delegate better, and to see more people at once by multitasking. Hiking with a group of friends, or having everyone over for dinner at my house the one night I have off, those things pack a punch!"
We know you have such a big heart. Tell us about the charities you're involved with and why they matter to you. What's your mantra when it comes to giving back?
"'Be the change you wish to see in the world' and always remember to give with your whole heart — and do it all because you love it. I work with Pencils of Promise
, I Am That Girl
, Falling Whistles
, Fuck Cancer
, and The Nature Conservancy
— they give me such purpose."You spent a lot of time with these charity projects during your hiatus between shows. What are the moments you'll remember forever?
"Going to Guatemala with Pencils of Promise in May was amazing — we raised $60,000 for the group as my 30th birthday present! That's one of my proudest accomplishments to date."
You're all over Twitter these days! How does social networking work for and against you?
"Twitter is amazing and I love it — I get to chat with fans, talk about the world, and share my passions. But, sometimes the crazies come out of the woodwork and I can't believe the way anonymous people bully online. But hey, that's what the block button is for!"
Now that you're home for good, you've been decorating up a storm in your abode! What are some of your favorite home-decor stores, and can you tell us your future plans for the house?
"I am obsessed with Emmerson Troop
and The Mohawk General Store
. They both have such beautiful things, and are so good for design inspiration. Oh, and I want to completely make over my backyard! I'd like to create a real L.A. oasis, but it's going to be a hefty job."
What's been your biggest challenge with moving back and starting over?
"The hardest thing has been consolidating and streamlining — I'm such a magpie, and I hate to get rid of things."J.Crew Collection Dress, B by Brian Atwood Booties, Miriam Haskell and Lia Sophia Rings, Ann Taylor Necklace
You obviously have a true affinity for art. Any artist you'd be over the moon to have hanging in your living room?
"Oh man, I'd kill to have a piece by Jackson Pollock! He's one of my absolute favorites. And, if I could have a house filled with furniture by Donald Judd, I'd just swoon!"
What are some of your most prized possessions?
"My vintage pieces — whether we're talking jewelry or Danish furniture, those items mean the most to me. I love the energy that their history gives to each of them. They have true emotional weight."
If you could have one dream designer (alive or dead) dress you head-to-toe, who would it be?
"I would've loved to have worked with Yves Saint Laurent, and I'd die to wear Tom Ford all the time! How chic? And could you imagine having a cup of coffee and talking fashion with Diana Vreeland? I'd ask her to edit my closet with me, and just try to soak up her genius."
What are your sneakiest beauty tricks?
"I love clean skin, a strong eye or lip, and thick lashes, baby! My momma gave me good ones, so mascara is my best friend."
And, what are your must-have beauty products?
"I must, must, must have Diorshow Mascara. I love that, and a good eyelash curler!"
Do you work with a stylist?
"I've worked with a few lovely people over the years here and there. It's something I'm beginning to think about more, mostly because the process is such a time-saver! Now that I'm back to work, I might hire someone full-time. Not having to drive around L.A. and pull from showrooms would be great! The rule I've always tried to adhere to is wearing what I like and am comfortable in."
to watch Bush in lights, camera, action!
Jenni Kayne Shoes and Shorts, Equipment Blouse, H&M Necklace, Nola Singer and Miriam Haskell Rings, Samudra Clutch
Your outfits are often so well thought-out, tell us about your process for getting dressed.
"Most of the time, I have a piece that I'm crushing on, and it all starts from there. A new IRO jacket, or perhaps a new pair of shoes. I'll coordinate everything around that one item!"
Do you have a regiment you follow in the morning and at night?
"I wash my face each and every night, and wear sunscreen each and every day. I thank sunblock for my skin!"
What saves your skin when you have to wear caked-on makeup all day for acting gigs?
"Using a Clarisonic really helps. You have to make sure to get all of that makeup off and out of your pores!"
What are your top style tips you'd give to us girls who freak over your style?
"Wear what you love and don't look at the size — every brand sizes differently anyway! And, don't forget to have fun with it."