More than 18 years ago, fans were introduced to The O.C. when the fan-favorite series premiered in August 2003.
Starring Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, Ben McKenzie, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher, Tate Donovan and Chris Carmack, the show was all about a troubled teenager named Ryan Atwood who finds himself living among a wealthy family in Newport Beach, California after he was thrown out of his own home. The first of many teen drama series to come, The O.C. was all about love, family and finding yourself. Not to mention, the show created its own holiday — Chrismukkah — and was one of the first to (spoiler alert) kill off Mischa’s Melissa, one of the main characters, in a seriously emotional scene that fans are still talking about all these years later.
“I’ve learned that I actually have zero memory and don’t remember most of the things that happened on this show. So I’m kind of going through this with everyone else, re-watching it, discovering it,” Rachel told Entertainment Tonight in April 2021. “I wouldn’t even say rediscovering it, [I’m] discovering it for the first time!”
The actress explained that rewatching the series for her podcast, “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” is “eye-opening” now that she’s a mom.
“I’m watching it now as a mother, and I’m seeing all of these things that I’m definitely not OK with as a mother, so that’s been eye-opening. But more than anything it’s just been a lot of fun,” Rachel also told ET. “We were all going through it together and we really did love each other and we were so fortunate to have such an amazing group.”
Ben, for his part, looked back at the show during an interview with PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing in August 2020. “Most actors who have the luxury of even getting a hit show have done many, many years of work prior to that,” he explained at the time, noting that the entire experience was “a rocket ship” with the entire cast “kind of [hanging] on for dear life.”
It’s been years since the cast got together, but in honor to celebrate the iconic series, J-14 did some investigating and it turns out some of the show’s stars have stayed in the spotlight while others took a break from fame altogether. Click through our gallery to find out what the cast of The O.C. has been up to since its final episode aired in 2007.
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