If you were a teenager growing up in the early aughts, you couldn’t hear the lyrics to Phantom Planet’s “California” without thinking of a group of over-privileged West Coast teens and the increasingly criminal shenanigans they got up to.
We’re talking about The O.C. here, people!
One of the greatest teen soap dramas of a generation, the Fox series launched the careers of names like Adam Brody, Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton, and more delivering the kind of romantic melodrama and high school hierarchy struggles that fueled our collective angst over just a couple of decade ago. And now, thanks to a podcast hosted by former O.C. stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, we get to relive all of the real-life drama that happened behind the scenes.
Of which there was plenty because these were 20-something heartthrobs and “it girls” all dating each other and clubbing together and dominating the tabloids at the time. Of course, there were more mature, veteran actors on the show, like Clarke and recent podcast guest Tate Donovan, and they’re more than happy to drag their younger co-stars for their, um, unprofessional behavior once the show had reached the heights of its popularity.
Donovan guested on the podcast’s latest episode to share more about his experience both starring in and directing some of the series, and Bilson kicked things off by offering a blanket apology (via EW) for any bad behavior she may have exhibited in her youth:
“You went on to direct us on The O.C., which we can talk about more, and I know some of us kids were little a–holes,” she said. “And I think that that speaks to that whole unaware, young, youthful, ignorant — just idiots, you know what I mean? And I hope I wasn’t as bad as it’s come off … You know, you get influenced, I’d say, by your surroundings.”
That apology references a comment Donovan made in an interview with Vulture in 2013 where he detailed the struggle he had when directing the very famous cast.
“By the time I started to direct, the kids on the show had developed a really bad attitude,” he said in the interview. “They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with. 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.”
Of course, now that everyone’s matured with age, the co-stars can laugh about the whole situation, which is what they did on the podcast after Donovan reassured Bilson she was “a total sweetheart” to work with. The two rehashed Donovan’s directing experience and he was quick to poke fun at Bilson’s attitude on set at the time. He recalled a scene in which he was hesitant to give Bilson notes, with Bilson interjecting, “I think I know where this is going.”
When Donovan gave the young actress a bit of direction on her performance, referencing notes in the script, he said she gave one of the “best quotes” he’s heard from an actress in his career.
“You go, ‘Tate, I don’t read scripts, I smoke pot,'” Donovan revealed while laughing with the hosts.
So sure, the O.C. kids may have been a nightmare to work with, but with that kind of improved, iconic line delivery, we can’t deny that they had talent.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)