Sophia Bush is one of the most unique actresses of our time. You may remember her as the spunky Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill, or may currently be fan-girling over her as Erin Lindsay on NBC’s hit show Chicago P.D. And not only does she inspire confidence and badass-ery on-screen, but off-screen she encourages others to work to change the world like she does. Before Chicago P.D. returns on January 6th, check out these 10 facts about the activist actress.
10. Bush is a huge animal lover, showing her affection by owning two giant pit bulls. Patch (pictured below) was rescued by a co-worker on the set of one of Bush’s movies, and Penny was rescued from an animal shelter. The breed is commonly misunderstood as aggressive, but Bush describes her pups as the “loves of [her] life.” At one point, Bush was fostering eight pitbull puppies in her home! The actress is extremely passionate about pet adoption, encouraging people to rescue rather than buy. In an interview with People Pets, Bush stated that she thinks it is “ridiculous to support over-breeding, puppy mills, cruelty in any avenue – when there are thousands of dogs a day getting put down because no one wants them.” How sweet!
9. Being as beautiful as she is on both the inside and out, it’s no wonder that Bush has had her fair share of boyfriends. She married her One Tree Hill co-star Chad Michael Murray in 2005, only to be divorced the same year. But Murray isn’t the only co-star Bush had a fling with. The actress dated James Lafferty, who played basketball star Nathan Scott, for a brief period as well as her on-screen boyfriend-turned-husband Austin Nichols, who played Julian Baker. One of her ex-boyfriends, former Google executive Dan Fredinburg, was killed in the wake of a Nepal earthquake that triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, which he was currently climbing. Bush took to social media to express her grief, saying that Fredinburg was “one of [her] favorite human beings on Earth.” She described him as one of the great loves of her life, and that he was one of her best friends. Currently, she admits that she is content with being single.
8. When she signed on to play Chicago cop Erin Lindsay, Bush had to get in serious shape. Bush worked with a trainer four days a week, for one hour sessions. The actress is an advocate for being strong rather than skinny, and often promotes body confidence on her social media. She enjoys boxing, circuit training and running. In September, Bush was featured on the cover of Health Magazine, commenting on how she keeps perspective in such a body-conscious industry. In her interview, she said one of her biggest fears is the word “enough.” She commented, ” I don’t know how anyone ever feels that they are enough: successful enough, smart enough, pretty enough, healthy enough.” With the help of strong, powerful women in her life, she said she was able to learn that she her accomplishments were worthy, no matter how small.
7. Not only does she have serious acting chops, but she’s extremely intelligent too! Bush attended the University of Southern California for three years before landing the part as Brooke Davis on The WB’s One Tree Hill. She majored in journalism and carried a minor in theatre and was also in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She made it a rule that she only went on auditions for jobs that filmed during the summer or over spring break, until she won the role that would transform her life. Although she didn’t graduate, she still utilizes the knowledge she gained from her major. She used to work as an assignment editor of Annenberg TV News in her spare time, and is constantly keeping up to date on current events.
6. Bush is widely known as one of Hollywood’s most adamant activists. She enjoys using social media to promote the various causes that she is a member of. She works with Pencils of Promise to help children gain access to education, and with I Am That Girl that builds support networks for girls. Other foundations she is a member of include the Global Poverty Project and Global Green. The actress even designed her own Water Bobble to benefit the Nature Conservancy. She first got on Twitter after an oil spill in 2010 that Bush couldn’t ignore. She spent 10 days with Global Green in New Orleans to help the affected people and areas, and took to the forum to express her feelings and to request aid from her fans. Bush stated that she has always wanted to save the world, and that her mom used to call her ‘Joan of Arc in a diaper,’ because she has wanted to promote change and acceptance ever since she came out of the womb!
5. During an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Bush revealed that it was she who had invented the air hashtag. The actress recounts that she was at a self-described “nerd conference,” in which she was conversing with the founder of Twitter. While telling him about her habit of saying “hashtag happening,” to describe buzz-worthy events, she demonstrated her finger moves, holding up two fingers and moving them down and to the side, creating a hashtag in the air. However, Fallon is convinced that is was he that actually created it, pointing to a video from his show in 2010 in which he made a hashtag with his fingers. This came two years prior to Bush revealing her invention to Us Weekly Magazine. The two are still debating!
4. While there was a time when the actress loathed running, it is now one of her favorite exercises. Bush grew up with asthma and commented that she hated not being in control of her body. As a result, she would often avoid exercises that involved running. However, after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, Bush decided to make a change. In an attempt to raise money, she signed up for a half-marathon in which she recruited family, friends and fans to raise money through a crowd-funding site. In preparation, she trained by setting small goals, increasing her run times incrementally over a period of weeks. Afterwards, the San Francisco Marathon even asked her to be a face of the event after learning of her philanthropic efforts! Although she only ran a 5k the day of the race because of a shin injury, the actress handed out water and encouraged other runners along the way.
3. The actress has an intense reading appetite and always finds time to get in a little reading despite her crazy filming schedule. She describes reading as her relaxation method, and feels as if she can’t fully relax unless she feels fully informed. In may be because of her journalism background, but the actress is constantly keeping up on current events, and cannot go to sleep without checking her CNN app one last time. She claims she is addicted to the live-streaming app Meerkat that allows for users to broadcast live video. In an interview with Health Magazine, she describes Cheryl Strayed as her hero, and said she was in her fourth round of reading her book of essay, Tiny Beautiful Things.
2. Bush recently partnered with the fragrance brand ‘i smell great,’ a beauty line that creates scents in the attempt to inspire female confidence. The company uses new technology to bottle products for hair, lips and skin. The 33 year old works hard to promote female empowerment, so the partnership is a worthwhile one as Bush and the company “will work to bring innovation to the beauty space and to empower women to create their own versions of #greatness,” (www.ismellgreat.com). In the past, the actress has also partnered with Eco Tools, an eco-conscious brand that creates natural beauty products. One of her personal favorite skincare brands is S.W. Basics. She enjoys how clean their products make her feel, especially their oil makeup remover!
1. Living and working in Chicago has had it’s ups and downs for the actress. Chicago P.D. is now in it’s third season, but that doesn’t mean Bush has gotten used to the harsh Illinois winters. She describes the winter months as a ‘polar vortex,’ and claims that it’s sometimes hard to read her lines because her face becomes frozen in the cold wind! Bush is also a huge fan of her own character, Erin Lindsay, because of the confidence and power that she promotes. In an interview with Health Magazine, the actress commented that she would “never pick a role that is a person who [she] wouldn’t want to hang out with.” But although she and her co-workers had to go through extensive tactical training with an intelligence team before filming, the actress came in prepared in other areas. After multiple stays at summer camp when she was young, Bush became experienced at shooting a gun, and surprised her trainers by hitting bullseye the first time they brought her to a shooting range!