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Schwartz’s inexperience and youthful energy proved invaluable in creating a teen drama that represented a departure from predecessors like .And the cast—well, it wasn’t filled with unknowns for very long as they weren’t unknown for very long: stars Ben Mc Kenzie, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson quickly became some of the most recognizable young actors on television. Abandoned by his mother, troubled teen Ryan Atwood (Mc Kenzie) is taken in by the Cohens, a loving family living in the affluent community of Newport Beach, California.And after Tate Donovan spoke to Vulture back in August about how some of the show’s young stars became “very tough to work with,” more rumors started swirling.Luckily, one of those “young stars” has now offered a bit of perspective from his years spent brooding, punching people, and stealing our hearts.Series creator Josh Schwartz was only 26—the youngest showrunner in network television at the time—and had never produced a TV show.
"It's really tough when you are young in this business. "People have this insatiable appetite for it — so how far can you go with that?
Seth Cohen (Brody) transitions from friendless high-school outcast to dating the girl of his dreams.
Even an unfortunate encounter with a menacing Las Vegas pimp could have a happy ending.
I think, at one point, the Cohens were called the Needlemans—they were going to be even more Jewish than they ended up being. We took the pitch in to Fox on a Saturday, because it was a bit late in the pitching season, and when they heard the pitch, they’d had it in the back of their heads that they wanted to try summer programming for the first time.
So when you’re writing this, there’s a version of the pilot that could sort of just go right into the series while we were making the pilot, so we were sort of on an accelerated track if things went well” “I remember there being some controversy over the character of Seth at first, and the network being concerned that this was a character that might hue too closely to the .” So that went away when we cast Adam Brody, who came in and was really funny and charming, but the network also felt like would be someone who girls would find appealing.
” “I certainly include myself, when you’re that young, you — and at least I had been through college — but you just, I feel like secretly you actually know that this is not, you didn’t quote-unquote earn this, so you weirdly feel guilty about it, which means you behave like a jerk,” Mc Kenzie says. And about what you do next, the star explains: “You either spiral downwards forever and it probably doesn’t end up very well, or you realize at a certain point, ‘Hey, maybe shouldn’t be doing that’ or ‘Maybe this doesn’t represent who I actually am or want to be.’ And, you know, I think I figured that out relatively quickly.” Mc Kenzie goes on to discuss the hyper-speed plotting of the show and how, for “all the first-timers, it was such a huge learning experience that I’ll never forget, and I made some good friends.” So 10 years later, it seems Mc Kenzie has ditched the brooding, but he’s still on that whole stealing-our-hearts thing.