It was 10 years ago this August that The O.C. premiered, becoming an instant hit that catapulted its young stars to immediate fame. Yet as former O.C. star Tate Donovan revealed in an interview with Vulture, some of the younger cast eventually “developed a really bad attitude. They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore…they were very tough to work with.”;
And now Benjamin McKenzie, who played Ryan Atwood on the show, reveals he was one of those younger O.C. stars who acted like a “jerk.”;
In an interview with The Nerdist podcast Making It With Riki Lindhome, McKenzie admits he was unprepared for the sudden fame that erupted when The O.C. became an instant it. “I was so naive,”; he says, adding, “We were all babies. Such babies.”
So, asks podcast host Riki Lindhome, “Did people turn into a–holes?”;
His answer: sort of. “I feel like secretly you actually know that… you didn’t quote-unquote earn this, so you weirdly feel guilty about it, which means you behave like a jerk,”; he admits. “You just don’t have any perspective. 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.”;
McKenzie apparently learned his lesson. After the cancellation of The O.C., he went on to continued success on the police drama Southland, which just concluded a five-season run.