That’s because the One Tree Hill star and her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, live on a farm upstate filled with animals ranging from the typical (cows) to the not-so-typical (alpaca). “I’m normally in Carhartt flannel and covered in paint and sawdust and muck boots, so then I get to come into the city and I’ve gotta shave my legs and paint my nails,” Burton tells EW. “It’s a weird duality.”
On Forever, Burton’s character is a domination therapist who meets Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) when one of her clients turns up dead and she becomes the murder suspect. “I like trouble,” Burton says. “I’m a pretty square lady in real life, so if I’m going to come down off my farm and go back to work, it better be for some good trouble.”‘
Burton’s used to trouble: She guest-starred on Grey’s Anatomy in 2013 as a doctor who causes some problems between Callie and Arizona—a couple that has since broken up. “Isn’t it sad what’s going on with those two?” Burton says. “I hate that I contributed to that sadness. But it was really fun, so.”
Fun is a big motivator for Burton—her guest role on Forever started as an almost-dare. John Kretchmer, a producer on Forever, called up Burton, whom he had directed before in episodes of White Collar and One Tree Hill. “He was like, ‘Hilarie, I want you to do this, I think people will look at you different,'” she says. “And, I don’t know, I’m always up for a dare.” She’s also up for people thinking about her differently. “I hope they walk away thinking, man, that Burton girl is nuts!” she says. “Hopefully people know I have a good sense of humor.”
As for where she would wake up if she could pull a Henry and come back to life at a different time? “I would be born closer to my husband’s birthday so we could have gone to high school together, because he was a fox in high school,” she says. (Morgan is 48; she is 32.) “I would have liked to have witnessed that.”
Forever airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.