The Game-Changing OC Casting That Almost Happened

The Game-Changing OC Casting That Almost Happened

Discover the jaw-dropping revelation about Rachel Bilson's desire to play Marissa Cooper in The OC Uncover how this potential casting choice could have revolutionized the show and delve into Bilson's impressive journey since the series concluded Brace yourself for a game-changing revelation!


Casting choices greatly impacted The O.C., with Rachel Bilson originally wanting to play Marissa Cooper but excelling as Summer Roberts instead.

Mischa Barton's depiction of Marissa injected depth and chemistry into the series, rendering it difficult to envision anyone else assuming the role.

Rachel Bilson's portrayal of Summer Roberts infused the show with charm and wit, forming a beloved duo with Adam Brody's character Seth.

The O.C. took a different direction in its casting, it would have dramatically altered the entire series. From 2003 to 2007, The O.C. captivated audiences with its portrayal of troubled teen Ryan Atwood, who finds himself in a new family with Sandy and Kirsten, surrounded by a vibrant cast of characters. This iconic teen drama owes much of its success to the talented performances of its relatively unknown actors at the time - McKenzie, Brody, Barton, and Bilson. However, according to creator Josh Schwartz, there were some close calls during the casting process. Both Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde were considered for major roles on the show. While the impact of these potential hires can be debated, there is one casting decision that would have unquestionably changed how The O.C. is remembered today.

Rachel Bilson Wanted To Play Marissa Cooper In The O.C.

The Game-Changing OC Casting That Almost Happened

In an episode of Welcome to The OC, Bitches!, Rachel Bilson mentioned her initial desire to portray the character of Marissa. She had read the material prior to auditioning for the role of Summer and felt a strong connection with Marissa's character. Bilson expressed her love for the part and her wish to audition for Marissa, making her disappointment evident when she was asked to audition for Summer instead. It is understandable why Bilson would be captivated by the role of Marissa, as she embodies a privileged yet troubled girl next door, a character with great dramatic potential. However, despite Bilson's talent as an actress, it is unlikely that she would have been able to bring to the role of Marissa Cooper what Mischa Barton ultimately achieved.

Mischa Barton, who portrayed Marissa on The O.C., delivered an exceptional performance by adding various intriguing layers to the character. It is difficult to imagine anyone else fulfilling this role as effectively as she did. Barton brought a compelling portrayal of a troubled and detached teenage girl with a deeply tragic storyline. Furthermore, her chemistry with Ben McKenzie was remarkable, and it is uncertain if Bilson would have had the same level of on-screen chemistry with McKenzie if she had been cast as Marissa. While Bilson might have been capable of delivering a meaningful portrayal of Marissa, Barton indisputably proved to be the ideal choice for the character.

The O.C. Wouldn't Be The Same Without Bilson's Performance As Summer Roberts

The Game-Changing OC Casting That Almost Happened

The role of Rachel Bilson as Summer Roberts in The O.C. is crucial in shaping the show's identity. Bilson's portrayal of Summer, with her charming and witty persona, adds depth to her character and provides memorable one-liners. Unlike Marissa Cooper, played by Barton, who is more reserved, Bilson's sassy performance creates an interesting contrast. Additionally, her on-screen chemistry with Adam Brody, who she even dated during her time on the show, made the relationship between Seth and Summer beloved by fans. The dynamic between them would have been fundamentally different if someone else had played the role.

Interestingly, Summer was not initially intended to have a major role on the show. Bilson started as a guest star in the pilot episode, but her exceptional performance quickly earned her a spot as a main cast member. Josh Schwartz, the show's creator, acknowledged Bilson's talent and stated that she was "knocking it out of the park" during the first six episodes. From episode seven of the first season onwards, Bilson was promoted to a series regular. Summer's delightful character and her presence within the group is integral to the essence of The O.C.

What Rachel Bilson Has Done Since The O.C. Ended

The Game-Changing OC Casting That Almost Happened

Though Rachel Bilson will forever be remembered for her role as Summer in The O.C., it's important to note that she has had several other notable roles since the show ended. In 2008, she starred alongside Hayden Christensen in the science fiction film Jumper. Following that, she portrayed Zoe Hart, the main character in The CW's Hart of Dixie from 2011 to 2015. Additionally, Bilson played the older sister of Aubrey Plaza's character in the 2013 comedy film The To Do List. She also had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother as Cindy, Ted's ex-girlfriend and The Mother's roommate (played by Cristin Milioti), as well as a leading role on the short-lived crime comedy-drama series Take Two.

More recently, she appeared as Alison in an episode of the FOX crime drama anthology Accused. Overall, Bilson has had a successful career post-The O.C., with her portrayal of Zoe Hart in Hart of Dixie standing out as an exceptional role. However, her most defining performance remains her portrayal of Summer Roberts on The O.C., a role that nearly didn't come to fruition.

Sources: People, Entertainment Weekly