‘The O.C.’: Olivia Wilde First Auditioned For a Lead Role

One of the hit shows from the 2000s was The O.C. The iconic show centered on a group of teens and contained many dramatic moments. The audience found themselves loving the cast and the soundtrack. While the series was popular among fans, the stars grew tired of it toward the end. 

Olivia Wilde appeared on the show for less than a season. She played tough girl Alex, who develops feelings for another character. Before the actor starred in the show, she auditioned for another role. 

Olivia Wilde smiling in front of a blurred background
Olivia Wilde | Rich Fury/Getty Images

‘The O.C.’ began airing in the early 2000s

The O.C. is a teen drama series that aired on Fox and ran from 2003 to 2007. Throughout four seasons, the show focuses on the life of Ryan Atwood. Ryan is a gifted person from a broken home and gets taken in by a wealthy family. He arrives in Newport Beach to live his new life. 

The first season explores the shock that the character feels when experiencing a completely different lifestyle. Ryan quickly becomes friends with his quasi brother Seth and eventually begins a complicated relationship with Marissa Cooper.

However, Marissa gets a different love interest in the second season. Alex Kelly is the tough girl on the show and runs the bar The Bait Shop. She and Marissa connect and eventually realize they have feelings for each other and start dating. There is a build-up to their first kiss that may have fallen flat. Eventually, the two of them split up. 

At the end of the third season, Marissa dies shockingly and the last season deals with some of the characters dealing with the aftermath of her death. 

Olivia Wilde has a steady acting career

Wilde was born to Irish parents and began acting when she was in high school. The first play she was in was Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. It was then that Wilde decided to use a pseudo name before pursuing an acting career. So, she drew inspiration from the famous playwright, Oscar Wilde. 

Her first appearance on television was in the series titled Skin. Wilde became known after landing a recurring role on The O.C. Many people may recognize her from the popular show House. The actor also has built a career in film and first starred in the 2004 movie The Girl Next Door

In 2010, Wilde landed a role in Tron: Legacy. Some of her current work includes acting in several episodes of BoJack Horseman. She is filming for an upcoming project titled Don’t Worry Darling. She has also had success directing, with movies like Booksmart.

Olivia Wilde originally tried to get a lead role


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On The O.C., Wilde’s first appearance was in the third episode of the second season. She played Alex, who has gotten expelled from school and runs the music venue where some of the characters like to hang out. As it turns out, she had auditioned to play someone else. 

According to E! Online, Wilde originally tried to get the role of Marissa. Of course, Mischa Barton ended up being the female lead. Wilde got cast to play Alex instead, who is bisexual and ends up becoming the love interest of Marissa. 

Wilde may not have been able to play the character she had been hoping to get, but she did portray someone that many fans connected with. The actor mentioned that she felt lucky to have been part of the cast. Alex only stayed on the show for about a season before leaving Newport Beach. The creator of the series explained that he enjoyed working with Wilde. In fact, he wanted her to stay around longer.