On screen, she's known as Haley James Scott on the CW's One Tree Hill (Mondays, 9pm/ET). But for this week's episode, Bethany Joy Galeotti stepped behind the camera, to call all the shots as Lucas finally gets to cast his movie. TVGuide.com caught up with Galeotti to find out what it was like to direct her castmates and see someone else play Haley. Plus: Why did her favorite Tree Hill moment involve Chad Michael Murray and ... a water balloon?
TVGuide.com: How did the idea to direct come about?
Bethany Joy Galeotti: I have a tendency in the creative world to just go for things; it's how I've been my whole life. So it was probably during the fourth season when I said, "I wonder if I'd be any good at directing? Let me get a script and break it down and see how I'd do at that." So I did, and gave the script to our producer, Greg Prange, who said I did a really great job. About two years went by and I didn't hear anything and I thought, "Oh, maybe he was just being nice." But then I got a phone call this season, and he said, "You still want to direct?" I was like, "Totally!" He said, "OK, you're doing Episode 6.16." I thought, "Well, here I go."
TVGuide.com: What was the process like?
Galeotti: Over the next few months I shadowed a few different directors, watched them prep, go on [location] scouts and paid a little more attention on set to the directing aspect a little more than I normally do. Then I jumped in there and got going. We have an amazing crew and I have a great group of people around me to make sure that it wasn't going to be a total disaster, which was my fear everyday.
TVGuide.com: You got to direct a great episode, where they cast Lucas' movie.
Galeotti: It was so fun because I've always wanted to do casting, to be on the other side, and here I get the script with the most guest stars we've ever had on the show. [See related news story: "Meet Tree Hill's "New" Lucas, Peyton and the Rest"] It was crazy, but it turned out really great.
TVGuide.com: Do any scenes stand out?
Galeotti: There's a moment between Brooke and Julian which is really magnificent for Sophia [Bush] as an actress and for Brooke as a character. Sophia's really grown so much as an actress and she really shows up in these storylines with flying colors. I think she's the most fun character on the show right now.
TVGuide.com: Was it weird to see someone else play Haley?
Galeotti: A little, but it was really fun casting the people to come in and read for those characters. We had two Haleys in our episode — one at the beginning who's auditioning, and then the girl who actually gets the part later on.
TVGuide.com: And how was it directing your fellow actors?
Galeotti: I knew that was going to be the easiest part for me. We've built such a great relationship over the years and I knew we'd be very respectful of each other. I never have a problem relating to my friends — I love people, and I know these people. The biggest challenge was directing people who I didn't know or have a relationship with, and just all the logistics.
TVGuide.com: Lately things have been pretty drama-free for Haley and Nathan. Can we expect anything to shake that up?
Galeotti: I think they're going through a spot where they're considering making changes in their life, but I wouldn't say there's too much drama going on. Part of being in a big ensemble cast is taking turns with storylines because we can't all have lots of things going on at once. So this season, Nathan and Haley get to be the stability and support while you have Brooke dealing with these different guys, and Sam, and we've got Lucas and Peyton, who seem to always find themselves in the middle of drama. It's been a nice change of pace for us to step back. We have our little peaks and valleys, but mostly we're pretty steady. I'm sure as things go on, someone else will take that turn and we'll end up going into some big drama.
TVGuide.com: Can you tease any upcoming storylines?
Galeotti: Well, Haley runs into some trouble at school, and Nathan has to deal with some unexpected drama on his basketball team.
TVGuide.com: Any updates on One Tree Hill returning for Season 7?
Galeotti: No, we haven't even really been spoken to about it so we don't really know.
TVGuide.com: Are we going to see more of your music featured this season?
Galeotti: Hopefully. A close girlfriend of mine and I have been writing and playing together for years and decided to make it official, so we formed a band called Everly. We have some songs that are out on iTunes right now. We're going to be coming up with more stuff over the next few months that we can throw [series creator] Mark [Schwann]'s way and see if there's anything he's interested in using.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a favorite moment from the past six seasons?
Galeotti: I always say one of my favorites is the water-balloon fight that Lucas and Haley have on their roof during Season 1. That was a real bonding moment for Chad [Michael Murray] and I. Something magical happened that night and we just became really good friends. And it has never changed.
TVGuide.com: Any other side projects you're working on?
Galeotti: I'm so close to being able to talk about something, but until I have that piece of paper I can't go blabbing my mouth. But I am working on a stage musical based on a book, intended for Broadway. I just can't say anymore yet.
TVGuide.com: Would you be acting in it?
Galeotti: I don't think so; I'd probably be producing. I may be directing. I'm not sure.
TVGuide.com: So you really like the behind-the-camera stuff?
Galeotti: Yeah, I do. I like being in creative control. It's a lot more fun for me.