Hilarie Burton Morgan is convinced that One Tree Hill and Outer Banks exist in the same universe.
During the Monday, September 18, episode of the “Drama Queens” podcast, Burton, 41, shared her theory that Cullen Moss’ OTH character, Junk, grew up to become Deputy Shoupe on Netflix’s Outer Banks.
“I love Cullen’s crossover into Outer Banks. Because I don’t care that the characters have different names. In my mind, Junk is the cop in Outer Banks,” Burton quipped, to which cohost Bethany Joy Lenz agreed. “Good for him, man, that’s exactly where Junk should be right now. Just dealing with some meddling kids.”
Moss, 48, appeared on two other North Carolina-based shows before getting cast on Outer Banks. After an appearance on season 6 of Dawson’s Creek, he landed the role of Junk on OTH, one of Lucas’ (Chad Michael Murray) River Court basketball pals. Years later, he joined the cast of Outer Banks as Deputy Shoupe — an antagonist turned good-hearted cop who helps find the Pogues after they’re reported missing.
North Carolina has been widely known for producing teen dramas since the 1990s, with Wilmington serving as the filming locations for One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek. Four hours north is OBX, where Outer Banks is based — even though the show films in Charleston, South Carolina.
Over the years, all three casts have opened up about the advantages of filming in the Carolinas, away from the craziness of Los Angeles or New York City. In March, Michelle Williams — who portrayed Jen Lindley on all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek — shared that the WB drama taught her “how to be responsible.”
“It taught me how to get to work on time, it taught me how to prepare at night for the next day,” Williams said in an appearance on Sunday Today With Willie Geist. “We were in, like, a very sleepy Southern town, and the crew really felt like they looked out for us. They knew how young we were and they kind of put, like, bumpers around us, just made sure that we were safe and taken care of, that I went to the dentist, things that didn’t really come naturally to me.”
Chase Stokes — who stars as John B on Outer Banks — told Variety in 2020 following the show’s premiere that shooting in Charleston helped him connect to the world on screen.
“I feel like it was a rare experience for all of us to kind of go to a set and have an opportunity to actually live in it, in a place that you know you’re going to spend so much time in,” he explained. “It was one of those things … where we were allowed to sort of really dive into it before it happened.”
Costar Jonathan Daviss echoed Stokes’ sentiments, sharing that shooting down south helped the cast bond in a different way.
“[Charleston] is really pretty, it’s got like some gorgeous sunsets and sunrises,” he said. “I think the first day, we spent at the Chateau [John B’s home and one of the show’s main locations] to prepare for shooting together and we all watched the sunrise.”
When posed with the question of what Carolinas-based show would win in a teen drama showdown, Stokes and Daviss stated that their series would come out on top — and that Moss would be on their side.
“He was on Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. He’s a double whammy,” Stokes quipped to Variety. “But here’s the thing, Cullen would die in a firefight against us, in the best possible way.”
He continued: “Listen, I would be willing to go as far as saying Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill can team up and have like a battle royale and we’d still take ‘em out.”
Moss, for his part, is well aware of his Carolina connection — and may be on board with Burton’s theory that Junk changed his name before joining the police force in OBX.