Is there anything more relaxing during the crazy holiday season than sitting back and enjoying some of the new Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel? I personally love that you can expect to see some of the same friendly faces, season after season, and they are always folks who you'd expect to be some of the nicest in Hollywood. Bethany Joy Lenz is the prime example of one of those shining lights this holiday season on Hallmark. She has an infectious smile, an amazing singing voice and some genuine acting chops that make her one of my favorites to watch.
While longtime fans probably recognize Lenz from her days on One Tree Hill, she's actually been acting in Hollywood for much longer than that. In an interview with Glitter Magazine, the actress explained that, while growing up in New Jersey, she knew early on that she loved performing. She grew up singing in church and eventually fell in love with acting and theater.
"I was an only child, and I loved attention and that was where it kind of started, but then I really fell in love with storytelling and the idea that I could try and make people feel something that maybe they hadn't been feeling before and that I was good at that."
Lenz booked roles in various commercials as a child before landing the role of Michelle Bauer Santos on the soap opera Guiding Light. TV roles on Felicity, Charmed and The Guardian followed, as well as the film Bring It On Again.
She was then chosen to play Haley James Scott on One Tree Hill. The teen drama followed numerous high school kids in Tree Hill, North Carolina and the chemistry she had with co-star James Lafferty (who played her on-screen love Nathan Scott) was electric until the end of the popular series. Similar to her on-screen persona, Lenz is a talented singer and songwriter who has released her own music over the years. Her singing has even been featured on One Tree Hill as well as on some of her other TV roles.
Over the years, Lenz has appeared on numerous TV shows including Dexter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Grey's Anatomy, American Gothic, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Men at Work. She recently even reunited with her One Tree Hill co-stars Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush for the podcast "Drama Queens," which recounts their time on the teen drama.
"We're moving forward with where we are now, and looking back and reliving the memories," Lenz explained to People prior to the launch of the podcast earlier this year.
"There's going to be a lot of candid talk about what we experienced, but we're not trying to be like Jerry Springer and trash everything. We loved our show. We love what we're doing now."
But as much as we loved her time as Haley, it's been such a treat to see Lenz transition into one of the regulars on the Hallmark Channel. Currently based in Los Angeles, Lenz has bundled up in her winter coat to appear in countless feel-good Christmas films on the popular network. So far she's appeared in numerous films including The Christmas Secret, Royal Matchmaker, Bottled With Love, A Valentine's Match, and Five Star Christmas. And let's not forget regular appearances over on Lifetime as well like the holiday film Snowed Inn Christmas. Most recently, she starred opposite Tyler Hynes in An Unexpected Christmas which helped a former couple come back together during the holiday season. I have no doubt we'll be seeing much more of Bethany Joy Lenz for many Christmases to come.