Olivia Wilde Almost Played Marissa On The O.C. (& 8 More Trivia Tidbits)

Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock.
Not a day goes by that I don't think about Marissa Cooper, Ryan Atwood, and Imogen Heaps' "Hide and Seek." It's hard to believe that it's been 12 whole years since The O.C.'s initial premiere on Fox, and nine since we last saw our favorite characters on live TV. During a panel at ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX, this past weekend, series creator Josh Schwartz revealed secret upon secret about the show, alongside the show's executive producer Stephanie Savage, writer Leila Gerstein, and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas. Variety and Deadline jotted down the best tidbits, and here they are. Looks like it's time to host a new round of The O.C. trivia. Olivia Wilde almost played Mischa Barton's character, Marissa Cooper.
Schwartz decided otherwise because Wilde lacked the upfront vulnerability that Marissa needed to have. He told the crowd, “Olivia Wilde needs no saving. She was pretty tough.” However, Wilde would appear as Alex Kelly, the edgy bartender who would go on to date both Marissa and Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). "Hide and Seek" ranked as the panel's top music moment from the show.
Duh. Called this one. Here is the epic clip for the ill-informed.
America's favorite TV family, the Cohens, were almost the Newmans.
Schwartz said that Fox was "medium okay" with having "whiny Jews" at the center of the show. The family got more and more Jewish as the series progressed, Savage said. Schwartz still thinks about Marissa's death
“It’s something Stephanie and I still talk about,” he said. In terms of the fans’ reactions, according to him, “The people who celebrated [her death] were the most vocal." The show felt the fans' unhappiness (ahem — myself included) over the tragic death. He added: "There were some people that were very upset, that were attached to the character. There was a lot of anger and fan art that came our way." Shailene Woodley played Marissa's troubled little sister, Kaitlin Cooper, in season 1. But she was later replaced by another actress when the character grew older.
When Woodley didn't get the older Kaitlin role (which instead went to Willa Holland), the Divergent star apparently sent Schwartz a drawing of Captain Oats, Seth Cohen's toy horse, and a handwritten note. The writers loved how obnoxious Taylor Townsend was.
Gerstein, one of the show's writers, said, "The writers loved writing for Taylor Townsend. She was so annoying and so delicious." I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. "Welcome to the O.C., bitch" was a real thing.
Schwartz was inspired by real-life polo players he went to school with at the University of Southern California who called Orange Country "The O.C." Their abbreviation went on to become the series title, and one of the most iconic lines on the show.
Sandy Cohen's role was the first casting pick.
Because, really, what would The O.C. be without Peter Gallagher's fatherly advice and epic eyebrows. Season 4 was meant to be more comedic, which was freeing for the writers.
After killing off Marissa (RIP) at the end of season 3, the writers were able to explore the more comedic side of the show. Especially since they knew the series would be ending. “Going into it, we had a pretty good sense that was going to be a final season, so it was very freeing creatively,” Schwartz said. “We took some chances that we probably would have felt uncomfortable doing before that.”
via Giphy.

More from TV

R29 Original Series