Where Are They Now?

13 Actors You Didn’t Know Were on ‘The O.C.’ (PHOTOS)

The O.C. turns 10 today. To celebrate, check out these stars who count the soap among their early credits.

Invision/AP; DAPD, via AP; Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Invision/AP; DAPD, via AP; Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Here’s some jarring news: Monday marks the 10th anniversary of The O.C., the Fox drama that became the watercooler prime-time soap of the 2000s, picking up right where Beverly Hills: 90210 and Melrose Place left off. Does that make you feel old? Imagine how Shailene Woodley, Max Greenfield, and Chris Brown feel. The trio is among the actors who can count The O.C. as one of their first gigs, getting wrapped up in the lives of Ryan (Ben McKenzie), Marissa (Mischa Barton), Seth (Adam Brody), and Summer (Rachel Bilson) long before they were household names themselves. Take a look at these stars who you may not have known had roles on The O.C.—and catch up on what they’re up to now.

Jason Kempin/Getty; via Youtube.com

Paris Hilton

How quickly we forget what a huge star Paris Hilton was 10 years ago. Kim Kardashian’s celebutante predecessor was ubiquitous in the early 2000s, and that included a much-promoted guest spot on The O.C. in its first season. She played—what else—a party girl at a hot night club who catches the eye of Adam Brody’s Seth Cohen. A few more acting gigs followed over the years (House of Wax, The Hottie & the Nottie), but ultimately she decided it would be more “hot” to focus on business ventures.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; via Youtube.com

Shailene Woodley

Before becoming a Golden Globe nominee and one of the most in-demand young actresses in Hollywood, Shailene Woodley was the original Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C. She played the role for six episodes in the show’s first season, before it was recast with Willa Holland. Woodley landed on her feet, though. She was the lead in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of American Teenager for its 119 episodes, won rave reviews for her supporting turn in The Descendants, and won the top acting prize at Sundance this year for her turn in The Spectacular Now, which hit theaters this past weekend. Plus, she’ll soon debut as the lead in the adaptation of the hit book Divergent, and was cast as Hazel Grace Lancaster in the upcoming adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. Also, could she have been any more adorable?

Frank Micelotta/Invision for FOX/AP; via Youtube.com

Max Greenfield

Max Greenfield may now be best known for putting dollars in the douche-bag jar as Schmidt in Fox’s New Girl, but one of his first roles was playing a young Sandy Cohen in a flashback scene on The O.C. He may not have the most striking resemblance to Peter Gallagher, who played the modern Sandy, but it’s a trip to see him in the early role.

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Chris Brown

Believe it or not, Chris Brown actually played a band geek in his three-episode arc on the show. He becomes friends with, and eventually a love interest for, Kaitlin Cooper. Talking about the stint later, Brown wants to make sure we all know that playing a geek was, indeed, a stretch. “I’m really stepping out of my own character,” he said. “I was kind of a band geek in school, grade-wise. But style-wise, I was always popular and cool.”

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Lucy Hale

From one upper-class high school to another. Lucy Hale currently stars as Aria Montgomery on Pretty Little Liars, but six years ago she was playing Kaitlin Cooper’s valley girl friend and boarding-school roommate on The O.C. Count how many times she says “obvi” in this clip.

Katy Winn/Invision/AP

Morena Baccarin

Mrs. Brody was on The O.C.? You betcha. Before stressing over her husband’s PTSD from being a prisoner of war (not to mention his status as a maybe-terrorist), Baccarin played Maya, the daughter of hospital board head Henry Griffin (Shaun Duke). Maya has a brief relationship with Matt Ramsay (Jeff Hephner), who has a business relationship with Sandy Cohen, but they break up when their relationship is used as a pawn in a deal between Henry and Sandy—a plot nearly as twisty and complicated as one that would play out in Homeland.

Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP; via Youtube.com

Olivia Wilde

Before winning rave reviews playing fan favorite Thirteen on the Fox drama House, Olivia Wilde was best known as “the girl who kissed Mischa Barton on The O.C.” Indeed, Wilde played Alex, a bisexual employee of the club where the show’s characters hang out, eventually befriending, bewitching, and sharing that much-talked about kiss with Barton’s Marissa Cooper. Nine years later, she’s outgrown the same-sex kiss notoriety and is now a major movie star in her own right, starring in TRON: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, and the upcoming Drinking Buddies.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty; via Youtube.com

Emmanuelle Chriqui

Emmanuelle Chriqui has made a career out of being the babe dudes lust after: in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, on Entourage, and, to some degree, on The Mentalist. But on The O.C., she was the babe girls lusted after—at least a girl. Chriqui played Jodie, the ex-girlfriend of Olivia Wilde’s Alex, showing up to stir trouble in two episodes of the series. Now, a more mature Chriqui is on to more mature acting gigs, like Fort Bliss a drama about Afghanistan War vets, and the thriller The Ordained.

Joel Ryan/AP; via Youtube.com

Logan Marshall-Green

These days, you’re forgiven for mistaking the beefed-up Logan Marshall-Green of Prometheus for the equally beefed-up Tom Hardy, his current celebrity doppelganger. But back in the 2000s a remarkably lankier Marshall-Green played Trey Atwood (taking over for Bradley Stryker, who originally played the role), the older brother of Ben McKenzie’s Ryan and the show’s resident bad boy—as in, really bad boy. He returns from prison, begins stealing and selling drugs, attempts to rape Marissa, gets in a violent fight with Ryan that ends with Marissa shooting him, and enters a coma. He’s last season boarding a bus for Las Vegas … and, presumably, a gym.     

Diane Bondareff/Invision/AP; via Youtube.com

Kevin Sorbo

There are two groups of people: those who best remember Kevin Sorbo as Hercules, the role he played for most of the ‘90s, and those who know him as Ryan Atwood’s estranged dad on The O.C. In 2006, Sorbo ditched the swords and sandals to play Frank Atwood, who throws a wrench in Ryan’s life when he follows him to Newport and begins a romance with Marissa’s mom. Lately, Sorbo’s appeared on Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 and an episode of the Comedy Central sketch series Key and Peele.

Clemens Bilan/DAPD, via AP; via Youtube.com

Cam Gigandet

Twihards know Cam Gigandet for playing dastardly James, the main antagonist in Twilight movie and film. Gays know Cam Gigandet for playing Christina Aguilera’s love interest in Burlesque. But millennials may best remember Cam Gigandet for playing Kevin Volchok, the main antagonist in season three and part of season four of The O.C., a bad boy who surfs half the time and fights with Ryan the other half. More recently, Gigandet had a part in the TV movie Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden and the movie The Roommate.

Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP; via Youtube.com

Jackson Rathbone

Another Twilight cast member who cut his teeth in Newport, Jackson Rathbone, counts a two-episode guest stint on The O.C. as one of his first screen credits. He played Justin, one of Kaitlin’s ex-boyfriends from boarding school. Now that the Twilight franchise and his role as Jasper Hale has officially been put to bed, Rathbone can be seen in the upcoming projects The Magic Bracelet, The Dead Men, and Live at the Foxes Den.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP; via Youtube.com

Nikki Reed

The Twilight franchise’s casting director must have been a big fan of The O.C. Reed is the third actor to have appeared on the Fox drama before heading to the vampire-romance film franchise. Reed played Sadie Campbell, Ryan’s rebound after his break up with Marissa. But don’t count The O.C. as Reed’s big break. She announced herself loudly in Hollywood in 2003 after co-writing the coming-of-age cautionary tale Thirteen when she was, yep, just 13 years old. (She also had a plum part in the film.) Next up, the now-25-year-old (and married) Reed stars in Joss Whedon’s In Your Eyes.