‘The O.C.’: How Rachel Bilson Went From a Guest Star to a Series Regular

by Jeremy Spirogis
Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, and Adam Brody at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards

Rachel Bilson will endlessly be related together with her position as Summer Roberts on The O.C., the teenager drama from Fox. It’s been 17 years for the reason that world met Summer, the sassy, hilarious, finest friend of Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) and longtime crush of Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). But the folks behind The O.C. didn’t intend for Bilson and Summer to get a lot of air display. 

Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, and Adam Brody at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards
Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, and Adam Brody on the 2003 Billboard Music Awards | J. Merritt/FilmMagic

Summer Roberts didn’t begin out as a member of the ‘core four’ on ‘The O.C.’

This may come as a shock however the folks behind The O.C. by no means deliberate on Summer being one of many present’s most important characters. Over time she turned often known as a member of the “core four” alongside Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), Seth Cohen (Brody), Marissa Cooper (Barton).

Of course, Bilson’s position as Summer grew and grew till her storylines turned an enormous a part of this system.   

Rachel Bilson solely had just a few traces within the first episode of ‘The O.C.’

In The O.C. Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” airing on August 5, 2003, Bilson solely appeared in just a few scenes. Her character, Summer, took an curiosity within the new child, Ryan, and invited him to a celebration. Unbeknownst to her, Marissa has a crush on Ryan.

Seth and Ryan confirmed up and at one level, Summer tried flirting with Ryan. Seth sees what’s taking place and thinks he’s been burned by his new friend. Disaster ensues when Summer rejects Seth and utters her character’s well-known line “ew.”

Rachel Bilson arrives at 'The O.C.' premiere party in 2003Rachel Bilson arrives at 'The O.C.' premiere party in 2003
Rachel Bilson arrives at The O.C. premiere occasion in 2003 | Edwards/Getty Images

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Apart from Summer’s interactions with Seth and Ryan, she shares just a few temporary moments with Marissa. The evening ends with Summer dropping off a handed out Marissa on her doorstep. Meanwhile, Seth and Ryan get in a fistfight with Marissa’s boyfriend. Luke (Chris Carmack), and his mates. 

Josh Schwartz says Rachel Bilson stored ‘knocking it out off the park’ as Summer Roberts on ‘The O.C.’

Revisiting the favored drama in 2015 throughout an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz broke down a few of the present’s scenes from the pilot episode. One of them being Summer’s scene the place she drunkenly flirts with Ryan and calls out Seth. 

“[The ew] was a scripted line and we talked early on like, ‘Let’s make this your catchphrase’ in a enjoyable manner,” Schwartz mentioned of Bilson’s character. 

He continued, saying Bilson didn’t have a lot to work with however she made her character’s traces shine. 

“Summer wasn’t a series regular in the pilot,” he mentioned including, “She had three lines and one of them was, ‘I have to pee, do you have to pee?’ But she [Bilson] really sold that line and got it in all of its complexity.” 

Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton meet 'The O.C.' fans at Hermosa Beach PierRachel Bilson and Mischa Barton meet 'The O.C.' fans at Hermosa Beach Pier
Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton meet The O.C. followers at Hermosa Beach Pier | Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

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Impressed with Bilson’s efficiency, Schwartz went on to provide the actor extra traces. 

“And then over the course of the first six episodes, the more we gave her to do, the more she was really knocking it out of the park,” Schwartz mentioned. 

Rachel Bilson turned a daily on ‘The O.C.’ after Tijuana episode

What offered Schwartz and the remainder of the folks behind the teenager drama on Bilson? Her efficiency as Summer in The O.C. Season 1 Episode 7 “The Escape.” 

Seth, Ryan, Marissa, and Summer took a highway journey to Tijuana, Mexico, earlier than the beginning of the college 12 months. On the best way, Summer and Seth have some witty banter.

After having some enjoyable in Tijuana or “TJ” as Summer calls it, the journey goes dangerous. Marissa washes down painkillers with tequila pictures after seeing Luke with one other lady. Despite the episode not ending on a optimistic word for Marissa, it proved to be a serious turning level for Bilson and Summer.

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