‘The O.C.’ Stars Were Over the Show by Season 3

Fans couldn’t get enough of The O.C. when it aired in the early 2000s. However, the stars of popular teen drama had other ideas. They wanted to leave the series and Newport Beach behind them. 

Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Ben McKenzie arrive at the 2003 Teen Choice Awards
Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Ben McKenzie arrive at the 2003 Teen Choice Awards | Frederick M. Brown

‘The O.C.’ catapulted the cast to a new level of fame 

The O.C. premiered on Aug. 5, 2003. Audiences met and took an immediate liking to the characters. 

There’s Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), the sarcastic and nerdy teen who listens to Death Cab for Cutie. His life changes when his family takes in Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), a teen from a broken home with a troubled past. 

Then there’s Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), the girl next door with self-destructive tendencies and a love of Chanel and vodka. Finally, there’s Marissa’s best friend, Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson), the longtime crush of Seth. 

With the overwhelmingly positive response to the series, the actors’ lives changed. They went from child actors or nearly unknowns to major TV stars.

'The O.C.' cast poses for photos while meeting fans
The O.C. cast | Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

RELATED: What Is the Cast of ‘The O.C.’ Worth Today?

And 17 years later The O.C. is still known as one of the most popular shows of its time. As for the main cast members, they’re remembered for their roles as Seth, Ryan, Marissa, and Summer.  

‘The O.C.’ star Tate Donovan says ‘kids had developed a really bad attitude’ and ‘were very tough to work with’

Remember Marissa’s dad, Jimmy Cooper? The actor behind the role, Tate Donovan, opened up during a 2013 interview with Vulture about the behind the scenes drama on The O.C. set. 

He directed The O.C. Season 3 Episode 8: “The Game Plan,” and talked about what it had been like to come back and direct his younger co-stars. Hesitant to give details at first, Donovan described it as being “pretty tough.” 

“By [season 3], the kids had developed a really bad attitude,” he said. “They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with.”

Donovan didn’t name names but who he refers to as “the kids” is likely Brody, McKenzie, Barton, and Bilson. 

Adam Brody, Ben McKenzie, Kelly Rowan, Peter Gallagher, and Tate Donovan
Adam Brody, Ben McKenzie, Kelly Rowan, Peter Gallagher, and Tate Donovan | Mark Mainz/Getty Images

RELATED: Adam Brody Thinks Mischa Barton’s Character on ‘The O.C.’ Shouldn’t Have Died

He continued, saying they were ready to move on from the series. 

“When you achieve a certain amount of success, you want to be doing something else,” Donovan said. “I mean, one of [the actors] turned to me and said, ‘This show is ruining my film career,’ and he had never done a film before.”

Barton left The O.C. at the end of season 3, which resulted in her character getting killed off the show. As for Brody, McKenzie, and Bilson, they stayed with on The O.C. until it ended in 2007. 

Actors would reportedly ‘not remember their lines on purpose’

In a 2014 interview with Elle, Cam Gigandet, the actor who played Kevin Volchok in The O.C. Season 3, opened up about his experience on the show. Like Donovan, he described the atmosphere on set as being pretty bad. 

“Those kids were f*cking miserable,” he said. “They were just—they would not remember their lines on purpose. They were young.”

RELATED: How Old Is Ben Mckenzie From ‘The O.C.’ and How Old Was He When He Filmed the Show?