Why Chad Michael Murray made EW's Must List
MUSTWORTHINESS Look into those soulful blue eyes and it's clear why ''One Tree Hill,'' in which Murray plays brooding basketball star Lucas Scott, became a sleeper hit during its first season on The WB. (Behold the buying power of lusty teenage girls!)
ON HIS MUST LIST Sean Penn. ''The artist that any actor could and should want to be. He's never given a weak performance.''
AND ALSO ''Dude, 'The Simpsons'! Hell, yeah! They basically say what everybody's afraid to say, but they portray it in a kind way instead of being cruel about it.''
ON THE SERIES' UP-'HILL' BATTLE ''When the first few weeks of ratings came out, I laughed -- hard. As cheesy as it might sound, I always called us 'The Little Show That Could.' We aren't big or flashy or high-concept, but we have a lot of heart.''
WHY HE'S PARTIAL TO McDONALD'S ''I got jumped in a Burger King when I was 18 and had my nose put on the other side of my face. It was three guys -- what the hell was I supposed to do? The doctors didn't even bother running X-rays. They just reset it. But it wasn't a nose job -- I hate the fact that people say it was a nose job!''
NEXT A ''Cinderella Story'' (opposite Hilary Duff) in July; filming a remake of ''House of Wax'' with ''24'''s Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton in Australia (''The cranberry juice here is f---ing awesome!''); ''One Tree Hill'''s second season in September