Hilarie Burton Explains How One Tree Hill Co-Star Moira Kelly “Saved My Life”

Sometimes, thank you just isn’t enough.

After six years and more than 130 episodes as One Tree Hill‘s Peyton Sawyer, Hilarie Burton decided to leave the show that put her on the map due to an allegedly toxic workplace environment. And it was an industry vet who gave her the courage to do it.

In the Oct. 25 episode of iHeartRadio’s Drama Queens podcast, Hilarie got emotional when she recalled the support her guest and former co-star Moira Kelly had given her when it was time to decide if she should stay with the series or embark on another adventure.

“Moira, this is the first time I’ve seen you since I left the show. I’ve wanted to tell you this for years and years and years, but in the last episode of the show, everyone in my world was telling me, ‘You can’t leave. You can’t leave,'” Hilarie shared. “I didn’t direct because I didn’t want to be on set all day because it was so bad. You came and you sat next to me and you started off by just joking, and you were like, ‘What’s going on?'”