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‘Welcome to the O.C.’ Book Bombshells: Adam Brody’s Disdain, More

By newadmin / Published on Tuesday, 28 Nov 2023 19:08 PM / No Comments / 15 views

Welcome to the OCs Biggest Bombshells Adam Brodys Disdain Mischa Bartons Exit

Cast members (L to R) Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke, Peter Gallagher, Rachel Bilson, Kelly Rowan, Benjamin McKenzie and Samaire Armstrong
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The O.C. became an instant phenomenon the moment it premiered in 2003 — and  found itself struggling to stay afloat almost just as quickly.

The series, which ran for four seasons on Fox, followed 16-year-old Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) as he’s taken in by well-intentioned lawyer Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and his prominent Newport Beach, California family. As Ryan finds a new best friend in Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and love interest in next-door neighbor Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), he also discovers the complicated and often dangerous seedy underbelly of life in Orange County.

Welcome to the O.C.: The Oral History, which is written by Alan Sepinwall, The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz and executive producer Stephanie Savage, gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the iconic series, from the show’s meteoric rise to its eventual downfall.

An immediate success that catapulted its cast into A-list stardom, The O.C. eventually struggled to follow up its critically acclaimed first season. From a green showrunner and demands from the network to actors who grew increasingly unhappy with their roles, The O.C. faced a myriad of obstacles but remains one of the most beloved teen dramas today.

The OC Where Are They Now Mischa Barton

Related: ‘The O.C.’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

Welcome to The O.C.! Ben McKenzie, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson were catapulted to fame while starring on the hit teen drama. The Fox series ran from August 2003 to February 2007 and focused on the lives of affluent teenagers in Newport Beach, California. McKenzie (Ryan Atwood), Brody (Seth Cohen), Barton (Marissa Cooper), Bilson […]

Keep scrolling for all the biggest bombshells from Welcome to the O.C.: An Oral History:

Adam Brody’s Less Than Stellar Audition

No one was a fan of Brody’s first audition, where casting director Patrick Rush said he “ad-libbed” his scenes and was “obnoxious” and “disrespectful” of the material. Despite Schwartz thinking the audition “sucked,” Rush brought Brody back a second time to try again, and Seth Cohen was born.

“He came back, and actually read the part as written and put some effort into it. And it was amazing,” Savage said.

Not Everyone Wanted Mischa Barton

Despite Schwartz, Savage and the other producers loving Barton’s audition, Warner Bros. executives were gunning for a different actress to take up the role of Marissa Cooper: Olivia Wilde.

Susan Rovner, a Warner Bros. programming executive at the time, shared that she was “Team Olivia” from the jump and didn’t “get” Barton’s appeal. Ultimately, however, the studio let the producers make the final call, which Rovner said was “the right choice.”

Welcome to the OCs Biggest Bombshells Adam Brodys Disdain Mischa Bartons Exit

The O.C.
Courtesy of Youtube

Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody’s Road to Romance

Rachel Bilson, who portrayed Summer Roberts on the series, revealed that she knew Brody before shooting The O.C. pilot because he had “casually dated” one of her friends. She remembered thinking he was “cute and funny” but also “kind of a dick” before spending more time with him and understanding his sense of humor.

After the pair both split from their respective partners during season 1, Bilson said their romance “grew into itself” over time. During season 2, she admitted to being jealous of Brody’s character hooking up with Wilde, who joined as Alex.

Mischa Barton and Chris Carmack’s Awkward 1st Love Scene

Chris Carmack, who portrayed Marissa’s cheating (but later beloved) boyfriend Luke, recalled shooting his first “in-bed” love scene with Barton. Carmack remembered being “scantily clad” with Barton under the covers and wanting to make her feel “comfortable” despite there being so many crew members around.

The awkwardness escalated, however, when Barton’s mom showed up at the rehearsal and Carmack rolled over to see Barton’s mom “standing right behind” him during the “uncomfortable” moment.

Ultimately, Carmack said “everything was fine” and he only has fond memories of the scene. “Good for Mischa’s mom, for looking out for her daughter. I think she deserves some respect for that,” he added.

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Marissa Almost Got Killed Off in Season 1

The real reason Marissa OD’d during the 7th episode of the series? The network wasn’t sure they wanted to keep Barton as the lead.

“Fox wanted to have the ability to make a casting change,” Schwartz explained. When Barton “broke out with the public” soon after The O.C. premiered, she remained “safe” on the show for three seasons.

Savage, meanwhile, didn’t remember any real writer’s room conversations about potentially killing the character off early. “I don’t think we ever broke that story or even really talked about that story,” she said.

Everyone Liked the Seth and Marissa Dynamic — Especially Adam Brody

Despite Seth and Summer and Ryan and Marissa being the show’s two major romantic couples, the writers considered developing a different pairing.

“We left something on the table with Seth and Marissa,” Schwartz shared, noting that there’s a “hint” of a potential bond between the characters at the start of season 2. “We certainly never went there romantically between them. But there was definitely more to mine even on a friendship level with them.”

Brody was fully on board with more scenes opposite Barton, calling the relationship between the two next-door neighbors both “cool” and filled with awkward potential. “That was a nice dynamic that I could have seen more of,” he said.

Brodymania Was Very Real

Bilson recalled leaving then-boyfriend Brody behind at TRL because they were being “swarmed by a mass mob” of fans, of which she was rescued from by two unlikely heroes: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

“The Olsen twins rescued me and threw me in their car,” Bilson recalled. “I left Brody behind because I was so nervous and didn’t know what to do. And they were like, ‘Don’t you need to get your boyfriend?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve got to go get him.’ He was being mobbed.”

Brody, meanwhile, recalled a woman “grabbing” him and “hooking up” with him one time, telling him, “Welcome to Hollywood.” He called the bizarre moment an “acknowledgment of a stature change” that could be considered “gross” but one he remembers as “innocent and joyful.”

Kelly Rowan Was the Object of Affection

Melinda Clarke, who portrayed Marissa’s mom, Julie Cooper, revealed that Kelly Rowan — who starred as Cohen matriarch Kirsten Cowan — was single while filming the show and was often flirted with by every person every on set including Brody, Gallagher and Tate Donovan, who played Marissa’s dad, Jimmy Cooper.

“She’s also the giggliest on set,” Clarke explained. “She would giggle the most, and they could break her up.” 

Welcome to the OCs Biggest Bombshells Adam Brodys Disdain Mischa Bartons Exit

The O.C.
Courtesy of Youtube

The Love Triangle Between Seth, Summer and Anna Wasn’t Exactly Fiction

According to Samaire Armstrong, who played Seth’s alternative love interest Anna, she and Brody knew each other prior to The O.C. from an acting class. She and Bilson, meanwhile, shared the same commercial agent.

Bilson claimed that while she and Armstong were “always friendly” on set, there was a “weird underlying competitiveness” between them. She noted that at the time, she felt Armstrong “had a crush” on Brody despite having a boyfriend.

“Sometimes life imitates art,” Bilson said. “We were always friends and friendly, but then there was always this weird undertone.”

Armstong agreed that there was “definitely” a triangle happening – but not exactly a romantic one like their characters on screen.

“[It was] like, ‘Oh, there’s my friend with my other friend. They’re dating and what, am I the third wheel? Should I come back later?’” Armstrong quipped about her relationship with Brody and Bilson. “It was art imitating life in many ways, and that part was not lost on us.”

The Actor Who Played Eddie Had Issues With His Role

Eddie, Theresa’s (Navlata “Navi” Rawat) boyfriend, was portrayed by Eric Balfour. While the character was supposed to be abusive, Schwartz shared that Balfour was too uncomfortable playing that role in that way and exited the show, leading to Theresa and Ryan’s pregnancy story line (a least favorite among fans).

Differing Opinions on Marissa’s Sexual Assault Story Line

While Savage recalled Barton being “excited” about the story line in which Ryan’s brother Trey (Logan Marshall-Green) gets high and tries to assault Marissa, crediting Barton feeling more “comfortable” in the dramatic plots, Barton remembers the situation differently.

“There were varying degrees of how comfortable that stuff made me or didn’t make me,” Barton shared, calling the actual assault scene on the beach particularly uncomfortable for “obvious reasons.”

Welcome to the OCs Biggest Bombshells Adam Brodys Disdain Mischa Bartons Exit

The O.C.
Courtesy of Youtube

The Younger Actors Were Over Playing High School Kids By Season 3

“We were very aware in season 3 of how disliked the scripts were, especially by the kids,” Clarke recalled, saying there was a “general understanding on set” that Brody and McKenzie had issues with being “grown men” playing high school students.

… Actually, Everyone Was Over It By Season 3

Barton claimed that by the third season, actors were getting “handed pages from episodes that weren’t even written yet,” adding that there was really “nothing” they could do when writers were “doubling up” on episodes.

“I said stuff to Stephanie and Josh,” Barton claimed. “But that’s the writers’ room’s responsibility, and I’m pretty sure it fell on deaf ears, to be honest.”

McKenzie, meanwhile, said that the “irony” of season 3 was that the kids started to want “less” time on screen, while the adult actors wanted “more” and the show “could not accommodate either of those desires.” McKenzie noted that he was “appreciative” of the “incredible opportunity” The O.C. had given him but had a “restlessness” to pursue other projects.

Schwartz noted that people on the show were “not getting along great” by season 3 and that the “chemistry had soured” between actors.

“We were no longer having fun making the show — myself included,” he said, taking responsibility for the breakdown. “And again, I should have sat everybody down, and had individual conversations, and instead I just hid and tried to ride it out.”

… But No One Was As Over It As Adam Brody

Brody shared that he began to get “bored” by the show and the character of Seth, so he would often “economize” reading his scripts. He admitted that occasionally, he would even play a game with himself and see how much of the episode he could understand by only reading his own lines.

By season 3, Brody’s lack of effort became so notable, that the writers wrote him as being addicted to weed to accommodate the change in Seth’s behavior.

“Brody just changed his delivery, his investment in it,” Schwartz explained. “His style shifted to such a degree that we felt like we needed to account for it creatively.” He added, “It’s the kind of storyline that we would have laughed at in Season 1.”

While Brody was itching to move on, he maintained that he was always “polite to everyone,” didn’t “keep people waiting” and “liked the directors and the crew.” He noted that he would never “scream and yell” or say “anything f—king mean” but did let his “distaste” for the later episodes of the series be known, which he is “not proud” of.

McKenzie said Brody was “not shy” about his unhappiness and the energy became an “amorphous” thing. “Everyone gets in the feisty, feisty mood,” he said. “[It was] a challenge, and frustrating, and all those sorts of things.”

Autumn Reeser, who became a series regular during season 4 as Taylor Townsend, said she was “disappointed” by Brody’s behavior and had hoped to find “more camaraderie” with someone she thought of as a “fantastic” actor, despite having “compassion” for him at the time.

“Adam’s a real artist and wanted the chance to stretch,” she said. “And he was not feeling like he was getting that.”

Sebastian Stan Auditioned for the Cursed Role of Johnny

Despite Stan auditioning for the role of Johnny, which eventually went to Ryan Donowho, Schwartz and the other producers had no recollection of seeing Stan’s tape and didn’t even test him. He later joined Gossip Girl, a different Schwartz and Savage project, as Carter Basen.

(Chris Pine also auditioned for Ryan, but didn’t get the role due to his bad skin, while ‘80s teen icon Andrew McCarthy was in the mix to portray Jimmy Cooper.)

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The Unraveling of Marissa Cooper

Barton revealed there were years when she would only have “six days” off of work, as she was busy promoting the show, doing press and touring when she wasn’t actually on set. Bilson, meanwhile, said she felt there was “pressure” from Barton’s mom for the actress to be “doing a lot.”

“I think it was probably too much for this teenager to be doing as much as she had to do,” Bilson said, saying that Barton still managed to do it gracefully. She added that while Barton’s mom was “always nice” to her, she was a “stage mom” who had a “make sure Summer doesn’t have more things to do or say than Marissa vibe.”

“Mischa definitely had a level of unhappiness, which, again, if we had dealt with it directly, maybe we could have worked together,” Savage said, while Schwartz noted that Barton wanted to attend college.

Despite her growing exhaustion, those involved with the show said Barton always maintained her professionalism.

“She would always come in, hit the mark, say the lines, deliver the performance. I remember her as being in many ways the most reliable of the four kids,” executive producer Bob DiLaurentis recalled. “She had no problems with anything. She didn’t ask for a line to be changed. She just came in and did her job like a professional.”

The OC Cast Dating Histories Through the Years

Related: ‘The O.C.’ Cast’s Dating Histories Through the Years

California, here they come! Newport Beach’s coolest teens went through plenty of romantic drama on The O.C., but so did their real-life counterparts. The show documented the lives of Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) and their parents, all of whom lived in the wealthy […]

Marissa’s Death Remains a Regret

Despite Schwartz believing at the time that killing off Marissa was something the show “had to do” for creative and business reasons, he said that there are “a lot of dynamics” they could have explored instead in order for The O.C. to reinvent itself.

Barton said it was a “little bit of a bummer” to be killed off, but also felt it was an “inevitable” end for Marissa, who was “doing too much” as a character. “I think they ran out of places for her to go,” she said. “It was not the best thing in the world, [but] there wasn’t much you could do at that point. It was either she could sail off into the sunset, or die.”

Barton added that the crew was “quite upset” about her exit and it was “pretty emotional” filming her final days due to the “close bonds” she had formed with everyone. “I just really wanted to do the character justice at the end of it,” she said, calling her death scene an “intense shoot.”

McKenzie also remembered Barton being “upset” before shooting the death scene, in which Ryan carries Marissa’s dying body away from an exploding car.

“She was younger, so she was dealing with this whole mess of feelings that we were all dealing with to some degree, but hers were probably even more acute,” he explained, adding that it did become a situation that ultimately “had to give.”

McKenzie Did Have Fun With His Next Love Interest, Taylor

McKenzie said that the addition of Reeser to the cast — and Ryan and Taylor’s subsequent romance — made season 4 feel “lighter” due to Reeser’s “lovely” and “sunny disposition.”

“I have to say, just from the doing of it, the doing of [season 4] was more fun, and honestly more fitting with I think what the show really was,” McKenzie shared, adding that he “appreciated being able to tell a joke or two.”

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Bilson and Brody Filmed Their Characters’ Wedding … After They Broke Up

Bilson said that the series finale, in which Seth and Summer tie the knot, was filmed shortly after she and Brody split in real life. In order to avoid the “bizarre” situation of fake marrying her ex, she asked for Summer’s wedding dress to be something she would “never” wear in real life.

“When you’re that age, you think you’re going to be with that person forever,” she said of her romance with Brody. “And I remember feeling like, I don’t want to wear something that I would ever wear for my own wedding. That feels weird.”

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