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The OC Turned 15 Years Old This Month—Check Out What The Cast Is Up To Today

It's been a solid 15 years since we last got a ton feels from Adam Brody's Seth, Rachel Bilson's Summer, Ben Mckenzie's Ryan, and yes, even Mischa Barton's Marissa. Yet to those who hungrily waited for The OC—the noughties hit TV series that these characters called home—to air on weeknights, it feels just like yesterday when they bid Newport a lasting farewell.

 

 

Though there are a ton of amazing shows available today (and on various platforms that don't confine viewers to the television and cable's fixed airing schedules, at that), their influence can never quite compete with the wave of nostalgia that washes over the generation of twenty-somethings today who grew up with possibly the best series of their time.

 

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We're of course talking about The OC, a four-season masterpiece that successfully presented the yin and yang of adolescence and coming of age; crushes, first kisses, and moments that sent the audience's hearts aflutter were aplenty throughout its run, but issues like addiction, violence, infidelity, adoption, and even tragic death were also realistically presented alongside lighter plotlines.

 

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For this, the show has been praised and critically acclaimed, appealing to both teenagers and young adults alike—many of whom would never turn down a chance to rewatch the series beginning with Ryan's introduction to his new family, all the way to Seth and Summer's life-changing realizations.  

 

 

Given the fondness The OC's fanbase has for the show and most especially its cast that made it what it is, many of The OC's most dedicated watchers have made it a point to keep up with the actors' professional and personal lives. After all, when you feel like you've grown up with characters and shared in their ups and downs despite fully knowing their fictionality, a degree of attachment and sentimentality can be expected. 

 

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15 years since The OC premiered and won us over from the get-go, we're still fawning over the beautiful faces that gave us this gem of a show. To satisfy everyone's curiosity about where the real-life individuals behind our favorite Californian troop have gone in life, we've rounded up all their major milestones in this list below:

 

 

Ben Mckenzie

 

 

Who would have ever thought that Ryan Atwood would grow up to be a super loving, responsible, and doting dad? Well, the actor that played the often troubled (yet always cute) teenager is now a fullfilled family man and is armed with a ton of positivity in life—a far cry from his character's murky background. For some time, Ben took a break from major productions to concentrate on his personal life; he got married in 2017. 

Professionally speaking, though, Ben Mcknezie never quite maintained mainstream success, his acting portfolio does include another shining gem; he was cast as James Gordon in Gotham, a highly successful reincarnation of the Batman story that has so far ran for five seasons. 

Having departed from his teenage character years ago, Ben still infuses his signature brooding, smoldering intensity but with a layer of acting maturity. He might not be getting into as many fist fights, but his mastered onscreen seriousness and intensity are not to be messed with. 

 

 

Rachel Bilson

 

 

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One word comes to mind when this 36-year-old enters the conversation: ageless. Her face has remained virtually unchanged since she first caught our attention, her body is still as fit as it was (or could even be in better shape today), and her lustrous raven locks are as beautiful as ever. She's an endless summer, personified. 

With her naturally bubbly personality, it comes to no suprise that Rachel has maintained her youthfulness over the years—and in turn, made her an actress of choice for romantic features like The Last Kiss, New York, I Love You, and Waiting for Forever. When it comes to TV shows, no casting has yet eclipsed her portrayal of Summer, but her roles in How I Met Your Mother, Nashville, Take Two, and Hart of Dixie still deserve honorable mentions. 

But more than her filmography, what fans lost their minds about was when she dated her onscreen love interest Adam Brody in real life. The romance was every OC fanatic's biggest dream come to life, but sadly ended in sadness when they split after three years of blissful togetherness in 2006. Today, Rachel's life is more focused on caring for her daughter Briar Rose whom she shares with Star Wars'  Hayden Christensen; the pair also unfortunately called it quits after 10 years together. 

Outside of show business, Rachel remains to be a strong supporter of the No Kids Policy which aims to protect the children of famous personalities from being photographed without consent. 

 

 

Adam Brody

 

 

Speaking of dating co-stars, Adam Brody, a.k.a. socially awkward but still charming Seth Cohen, has struck gold in this department. He may have broken OC fans' hearts when he and Rachel vaporized, but it was much to the delight of Gossip Girl followers as he is now happily married to Leighton Meester, a.k.a. Blair Waldorf. And they have a daughter, too, who just turned three. 

When it comes to his career, this actor who almost failed to be part of the show that propelled him to fame (he didn't bother learning his lines for his audition) has chosen to focus on landing roles in TV shows rather than movies. In many of them, he still remains to be the sharp-tongued and quick-witted Adam we've come to love, but with a little more stubble than what we're used to. Regardless, he's still just as likeable and swoon-worthy. In his spare time, he says he sometimes turns to songwriting and creating screenplays as creative outlets. 

Notable films he's starred in include Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jennifer's Body, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Thank You For Smoking, and In the Land of Women. At present, Adam is working on two projects scheduled for release in 2019: horror flick The Wanting and superhero comedy Shazam! 

 

 

Mischa Barton

 

 

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Unfortunately, it's not unheard of that actors gifted with a huge amount of fame and success sometimes fall from grace. It's still a little sad to acknowledge the fact that Mischa Barton's character's death in The OC was written in to deliberately cut her out from the show due to her unmanageable behavior. 

Fans will always remember how Mischa, a child star, lived through a DUI arrest and a highly publicized admittance to a psychiatric hospital, but will also be glad about the fact that Mischa is doing much better these days. She's kept a somewhat low profile compared to what she had at the height of her problems (i.e.: she's no longer steeped in the clubbing scene and abusing substances) during her road to recovery and now mostly lands gigs as a model. Unlike her OC cast mates, Mischa is not married or a parent. 

To bring in more good influences in her life, Mischa also continues to partner with non-profit organizations and charities that focus on climate change, poverty in Africa, and research of lupus, and incurable disease. 

 

Photo from @rachelbilson