The Big Stars Who Started Out On The OC

They arguably became bigger stars than Mischa, Adam and Rachel...

Seth And Summer Spiderman kiss the OC

by Grazia |

Seth and Summer, Ryan and Marissa: our two favourite on-off couples of the noughties, and both on one sun-drenched dream of a show. Back when The OC was in its prime, we predicted big things for its four leads.

Fast forward almost 20 years, and The OC is coming back to our screens via a box set drop on All4. The stars aren’t exactly retired, naturally. Mischa Barton returned to our attention via The Hills, Ben McKenzie took the lead in Gotham, Rachel Bilson starred in Hart of Dixie and Adam Brody married Leighton Meester. But the true breakout successes from the show were actually the extras and bit-part actors. A-Listers like Chris Pratt and Shailene Woodley did time in Orange County, as did a heap of other famous names. Take a look...

Shailene Woodley

Hollywood’s go-to gal for YA movies like Insurgent and Fault in Our Stars played Marissa’s little sister Kaitlin in season one. Kaitlin was shipped to boarding school, only to reappear later as a different actress. Woodley auditioned for Kaitlin MK.2 but was told she looked too young. So she made a movie with George Clooney instead, The Descendants. Her performance won her an Oscar nomination and she's now riding high after two successful seasons of Big Little Lies.

Chris Pratt

Ahhh, the many lives of Chris Pratt. Prior to ‘totally-ripped-movie-star’ Pratt, there was ‘loveable Andy in Parks and Rec’ Pratt and ‘he even pops up in Zero Dark Thirty’ Pratt. But before all of them, Pratt played Summer’s hippy mate Che in The OC’s bonkers fourth season. We wonder if he remembers shooting one scene, butt naked and singing a song about polar bears.

Olivia Wilde

When Mischa Barton was on every mag cover, who would’ve predicted the unknown actress playing her token-lesbian-phase girlfriend would become far more successful? Olivia Wilde went from The OC to House, and onto a successful movie career with films like Rush, Drinking Buddies and Her. She also directed last year's amazing Booksmart, and recently hit headlines thanks to her dalliance with Harry Styles.

Nikki Reid and Cam Gigandet

Orange County in the noughties was a vampire training ground. No fewer than three Twilight actors cut their fangs in The OC. Nikki Reid played Ryan’s girlfriend Sadie and Cam Gigandet played bad boy Volchok. Jackson Rathbone also had a tiny part as Kaitlin’s drug dealing boyfriend, Justin. They were all significantly more tanned, naturally.

Max Greenfield

Hey Schmidt, where’s your douchebag jar? Years before playing everyone’s favourite Republican gym bunny on New Girl, Max Greenfield was a struggling actor delighted to get a walk-on part in The OC.

He played a young Sandy Cohen in a flashback scene, complete with bushy eyebrows. Peter Gallagher, who played Sandy, returned the favour by playing Schmidt's dad in New Girl. Hollywood eh? Small wading pool.

Amber Heard

Amber Heard, ex wife of Johnny Depp, has starred in films like Aquaman. But rewind 15 years, and Heard was an unknown actress landing walk-on parts like ‘bitchy shopgirl’ in seminal OC ep ‘The Mallpisode’ (where the gang get locked in the mall after closing, a major teenage ambition of ours).

READ MORE: I'm Sorry!' - Rachel Bilson Has Apologised For Splitting With Adam Brody In 2006

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