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James Lafferty Admits He and Stephen Colletti Have ‘Disagreements’ Making ‘Everyone Is Doing Great’ But Put ‘Friendship First’ (Exclusive)

James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti don’t always agree on the direction of the comedy series they cocreated, Everyone Is Doing Great — but they always hear each other out.

“We have our disagreements, for sure, creatively, but I think … we’ve always had a very good way of, first of all, putting the friendship first,” Lafferty, 37, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 20, while promoting his partnership with Smirnoff ICE amid the adult beverage’s Relaunch Tour. “And then second of all, I think it always comes down to whoever feels the most passionate about something. There must be something to that.”

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The One Tree Hill alums — who costarred on the WB drama from 2007 to 2012 — launched an Indiegogo campaign in 2018 to raise production funds for their new series, which Lafferty and the Laguna Beach alum, 37, cowrite and coproduce. The show follows former costars Jeremy (Lafferty), Seth (Colletti), Andrea (Alexandra Park) and Izzy (Cariba Heine) as they try to figure out what’s next for them after the end of their successful vampire TV series. Season 2 premiered at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival earlier this week.

James Lafferty Admits He and Stephen Colletti Have Disagreements But Put Their Friendship First
James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti. Niviere David/ABACAPRESS.COM/Shutterstock; SYSPEO/SIPA/Shutterstock

Lafferty — who has been married to Park, 34, since May 2022 — told Us that the comedy’s second installment features more of his wife and Heine, 34, compared to season 1.

“The goal was always to make them a big part of the show from the very beginning. They’re so funny and so talented and charming and there [were] just some schedule issues, so we couldn’t get all their time in season 1. But season 2, it’s really a four-hander between the four of our characters,” he explained.

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Lafferty added that it’s been “a great privilege” to collaborate on the show with Park. “The first year of our marriage has been crazy because we’ve been working on season 2,” he said. “It’s been a wild ride. It’s been tough and challenging, but this is sort of where we thrive. This is how we get closer — when we both do what we love together.”

Like his character on Everyone Is Doing Great, Lafferty knows what it’s like to be part of a television phenomenon. However, he hasn’t rewatched OTH — the show that propelled him to stardom.

“I’ve never watched it back from start to finish,” he told Us. “I’ve seen episodes of the show again here and there. I kind of feel like it would be, like, if you were to watch … a video of your high school experience. Because I was so young. I was just fresh outta high school when I was on One Tree Hill, and there was so much growing up that I was doing. You can literally see me age from, like, a teenager to a young man on the show. And so, that to me is just a little bit awkward to watch.”

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Despite his hesitancy to binge the teen drama, the director described his time on OTH as “a beautiful, beautiful experience that I really cherish.” He recalled “feeling like I needed to be overly professional” due to being “the youngest person on set by a few years.” Lafferty wasn’t of legal drinking age when the show began, and he joked to Us about looking forward to the day when he could enjoy a refreshing Smirnoff ICE.

“I actually remember being there the very first season and I wasn’t allowed to drink, obviously. But I remember seeing the Smirnoff ICE around and being like, ‘When I turn 21, I think I might crack one of those,’” he said.

The Oculus actor will be in attendance at the Smirnoff ICE Relaunch Tour’s Los Angeles stop on Thursday, June 22. Steve Aoki and Elena Rose are slated to perform. All ticket sales will go toward the nonprofit Women in Music, which is dedicated to advancing women in the musical art space.

“I’m excited for a great concert and I’m excited to enjoy a nice beverage,” Lafferty said of the upcoming event. “I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve had a Smirnoff ICE. ‘Cause it sort of feels like it went away and now it’s back in a big way. ‘Cause it’s summertime and it’s time to enjoy something cool and refreshing.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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