Maybe 2003 was an alternate universe, or maybe we were just too into debating Seth vs. Ryan to realize half of the crazy sh*t that happened throughout the four-season series. Either way, this August marks 15 years since The O.C. first premiered, and we're pretty nostalgic. From Mischa Barton's huge spoiler to how the cast really felt about the series, ahead 50 juicy deets about The O.C. that will totally blow your mind. Cue the intro music: 🎶 "Californiaaaaaa." 🎶
He read for Ryan, but turned it down for One Tree Hill.
Creator Josh Schwartz “wanted to make it very clear that the adults were going to be just as important in this world as the kids,” according to The Daily Beast.
Schwartz grew up in a Jewish household, went to USC, and wrote the show's script based off of his own experiences.
...making him the youngest primetime TV creator at the time.
A big reason why Schwartz hated his first audition because he didn’t take it seriously and “didn’t really bother to learn the lines.”
Schwartz told TV Guide, "When we cast Adam Brody he was somebody who had so much charisma and was so funny and obviously adorable for the ladies, and the network felt much more at ease with him in the part."
There was a “a complicated chemistry with the cast,” according to Schwartz.
...but then she became a series regular by the seventh episode.
She played Marissa’s mom, Julie Cooper.
One of the on-screen couples we love the most.
Even though they played mother-son.
Say it with us: Seth Needleman.
...because people didn’t think he was a main character. (Poor Seth. 😓)
It’s no wonder they looked so believable as brothers.
“If you missed it, you kind of were screwed, so the idea that they were able to run it a couple times additionally each week, kind of like a cable show, really helped,” said Schwartz. The horror!
There were screaming fans wanting pictures and autographs when they arrived at a viewing party in Manhattan Beach...and the rest is history.
...and she was only 11 years old. Talk about a #TBT.
Schwartz told The Huffington Post “There were also a lot of people who said, ‘Oh! I celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. My parents are interfaith and now, I can call it Chrismukkah.’ So it gave name to something a lot of people were experiencing, but they didn’t really know what to call it.”
She played Alex Kelly, and dated both Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper on the show.
“The only thing I’m bummed about that is that they made us write Olivia Wilde off the show much, much sooner than we had planned,” Schwartz revealed. “I wanted her to stick around. I love Olivia Wilde. I think she’s terrific. I wanted to keep that character on. But they told us, 'People are worried about this episode and this storyline and blah blah blah.'” So 2004.
“I think, for a lot of us, the Johnny storyline was probably one we’d like to have a do-over on,” Schwartz admitted.
Schwartz says it was “a hundred percent a creative decision” and not due to Barton wanting to leave the show.
"I think I just got to the point where I was like, 'I'm not sure I'm enjoying this anymore,’" Barton revealed to ABC in 2016. "I just felt like I was in a machine and I couldn't really get off. So it was time to step back. So I went back to England and it was just a year of real self-exploration.”
“By the time I started to direct, the kids on the show had developed a really bad attitude. They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with,” Donovan told Vulture. “The adults were all fantastic, total pros. But you know how it is with young actors—and I know because I was one of them once. When you achieve a certain amount of success, you want to be doing something else.”
In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair she revealed, “I’m never annoyed by it. It was just so long ago: it really had its time and place. It changed pop culture. It’s amazing all the things that kind of spawned out of it. So, no, I’m not annoyed by it, but I’m just like...people love to talk [about it].”
But it was still iconic, along with the rest of the pilot episode script.
In 2014 he admitted, “Every year I sit through and watch four seasons. Bizarre? No.” 😍
Because they didn't want to license any music. They did get Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, and Coldplay, though.
And a book based on the actual show called, The O.C.: The Outsider.
It was between the two, but Schwartz decided Wilde was “too strong.” “She’s such a tough smart strong girl. That was a version of Marissa that did not need saving," he said. "And we had in mind a character with a little more of a doe-like energy and somebody who was lost and trapped and needed someone like Ryan to come in and help them be free—the princess in the tower."
Schwartz thought everyone heard it on the radio and would recognize it on the credits, but to his surprise people had never heard it before. (And now we just want to pretend we're driving along the Pacific Coast Highway jamming to it all day.)
But plot twist: Carmack was actually a model for the company.
It was often called "The Sandy" or the "Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship for Lawyers Who Dare to Dream."
Mischa Barton was actually that girl vomiting in The Sixth Sense. (Apologies for this GIF, please move forward.)
Once in the pilot episode and once in the final episode. How ~metaphorical.~