You’ll never guess who almost played Marissa on “The O.C.”

The O.C. is one of those shows that is quintessentially California, even though most of us who grew up there didn’t have drama-filled lives anything like the characters. But that’s why it’s so fun to watch — it’s an escape from whatever is going on in our lives, and when it was initially on TV the first time, it felt like a soap opera for our generation. It’s also a show that’s easy to binge-watch and get lost in over and over (thank you, Netflix!), and apparently, it’s a show that was almost COMPLETELY different.

At this past ATX Television Festival, some secrets were revealed about The O.C., including the fact that they almost cast someone other than Mischa Barton to play Marissa Cooper. Who was it?

Olivia Wilde.


Apparently, Olivia had read for the part initially and it was between her and Mischa Barton (who got the part), but they were unsure that she would be vulnerable enough to play the part believably. Josh Schwartz, the series creator, said, “Marissa was obviously a character who Ryan needs to save, and Olivia Wilde needs no saving. She’s pretty tough.”

While Wilde didn’t get the part, that actually sounds like kind of a compliment, and one of the best ways to get let down that we can think of — plus, she ended up doing pretty well for herself, anyway.

Can you imagine The O.C. with Olivia Wilde at the helm?

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