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Sophia Bush talks about the film ‘The Hitcher’

Sophia Bush may be best known for her television role on the CW’s “One Tree Hill” as devious gossip queen Brooke Davis, but you won’t find any traces of Brooke’s character in “The Hitcher.” The story in a nutshell, involves Bush’s character kicking some serious serial killer ass.

“If the movie didn’t feel true, we made it true,” Bush said. “The directors and producers gave it such painstaking detail. That’s what makes it so exciting.”

The newest film is a remake of the 1986 film, “The Hitcher,” but has been updated and changed for today’s generation. The 2007 version tracks the cross-country journey of two college students and the terrifying consequences they face after they decide to pick up a hitchhiker named John Ryder, who becomes known as “the hitcher.” Bush plays Grace Andrews, one of the students who falls victim to the hitcher.

Bush explained that while the role was by far the most physically demanding of her career, she loved every minute of it.

“I am a total stunt junkie. I did about 90 percent of my own stunts. There were scenes when I thought, ‘I could totally die right now,’ but it was awesome,” Bush said. “You just have to push through.” She giggled as she added, “I lost a lot of hair.”

When comparing characters in this film to the previous one, Bush said there is no reason to.

“I’ve never even seen the first one,” she said. “I didn’t want to be walking in someone else’s shoes. I wanted to take the character and make it my own.”

Bush describes her character as a happy-go-lucky college senior who is carefree and self-assured because she has never really been tested in her life.

Bush said her goal was to play all levels of the character to give her depth and spirit.

“Playing this kind of girl was intense, but it was beautiful,” she said.

When it came to preparing for those terrifying scenes, Bush had her own methods for performing the grittiness needed for this kind of film. Coming home bruised and battered after 12 hours of work was tough, she said, but it was definitely worth it. The real challenge was the complete and total emotional coaster she had to ride to make the character work.

“I got a rush of almost totally losing it,” she said. “Pushing yourself to the absolute emotional limit is extremely rewarding in the end.”

Bush takes her work as an actress very seriously, not just because she allows herself to get beat to a pulp. She admits to being a workaholic (she hasn’t had a vacation in four years) and a perfectionist when it comes to her performances, no matter what they are.

“When I’m working, I tell myself 100 percent, no less,” Bush said. “When it’s 98, I ask myself, where’s the other two?”

The horror film genre is not new for Bush, after starring in “Stay Alive” earlier this year. However she decided to take a break from the horror and filmed the hit comedy “John Tucker Must Die.”

“There is a piece of myself in every character I play,” she said. “But I am definitely not any of the characters I play on screen.”

“The Hitcher” is directed by Dave Meyers and written by Eric Red, who also wrote the screenplay for the original. Michael Bay served as the film’s producer, and is widely known for his incredible explosions and chase scenes.

“The things we blew up, the things we did, it was unbelievable,” Bush said. There is even one scene when a car comes hurling at the screen before it goes completely black. Bush explained that it wasn’t just going black for effect. The car actually landed on the camera. This, said Bush, was what made the movie such an amazing time for her.

“I will hold this as the best experience I’ve ever had,” Bush said. “A movie of that scale, with suspense, drama, fear, adrenaline, fear; it is a film that’s all across the board for me as an actor.”

“The Hitcher” will hit theaters Jan. 19, 2007, so keep an eye out for this hair-raising thriller.

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