10 years since The OC: What are the “core four” up to now?

The teen TV hit started back in 2003 with The OC cast being the leaders of Young Hollywood

Nostalgic moment alert! American teen hit 'The OC' started 10 years ago. Back in August 2003 we were first introduced to the lavish lives of Seth, Summer and Marissa when teenager from the wrong side of the tracks Ryan Atwood became the adoptive son of Seth's parents, Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. As Ryan faced a culture shock seeing the lifestyles of the superficial and rich, we viewers did too and, boy, did we love it.

The show became a cultural phenomenon praised for never taking itself too seriously yet still dealing with serious subject matters appropriately. However, the popularity of the show was undoubtedly due to the strength of the characters and the way in which the actors portrayed them.

Throughout the series, there was a group of four teenage characters that got themselves, and those around them, into trouble by being at the centre of some of the most dramatic storylines. The fandom labelled them the "core four" and their connections and bonds, despite being so fundamentally different individually, were the heart of the show.

Here's a little look at why we loved the teenagers so much and what the actors have been up to since leaving the show:

Ben McKenzie as Ryan Atwood

The representation of Ryan could have gone one of two ways - he could have been a bad boy through and through due to his poor upbringing and exposure to domestic violence but instead, the brilliant Ben McKenzie made him a hybrid of the brooding brawler and the caring brother that Seth never had.

McKenzie went on to star in another drama following the cancellation of 'The OC' portraying Officer Ben Sherman in 'Southland'. He appeared in all 43 episodes of the show until it was axed earlier this year. He also featured in an episode of 'Men at Work' alongside old co-star Michael Cassidy.

Adam Brody as Seth Cohen

Adam Brody became a firm favourite with teenage girls all over the world for playing Seth Cohen. His nerdy demeanour and sarcastic wit both on and off-screen was extremely loveable and, I speak for most female fans of the show when saying, we completely fell for it.

Since the cancellation of the show Brody has successfully transitioned from the small screen to the big screen appearing in a number of films including 'Jennifer's Body' and 'Scream 4'. He will next be seen in 'Lovelace'.

Rachel Bilson as Summer Roberts

Although originally only planned to be a recurring role, Rachel Bilson's portrayal of misunderstood rich-girl Summer was so popular with audiences she was written into the show as a regular making one half of the much loved Seth and Summer romance. We watched her develop from a seemingly superficial mean girl to an environment loving activist and, in my opinion, she became the strongest female lead to appear on-screen over the four-year run.

Bilson dabbled in film after the show's cancellation playing the female lead in 'Jumper' and being a part of the ensemble cast in 'New York, I Love You'. However, in 2011, she reunited with 'The OC' producer Josh Schwartz to star in television show 'Hart of Dixie'.

Mischa Barton as Marissa Cooper

Barton was catapulted into Hollywood stardom for her portrayal of the troubled Marissa Cooper and became Hollywood's 'It Girl' of the time. On screen, Marissa went off the rails during the third season and as I fan I wasn't quite sure how she could pull herself back around again so, when the producers decided to kill her character off at the end of the season I was relieved for the show to get back to a more upbeat manner. Barton echoed these thoughts admitting she was relieved to leave as she was unsure what was left for her to do on-screen.

Barton's personal troubles transferred off-screen as she was arrested for a DUI in 2007 and then sectioned for two weeks in 2009. She has since turned things around featuring in mainly horror movies and will soon have a supporting role in action film 'Homefront'.

Autumn Reeser as Taylor Townsend

After Barton's departure from the show Autumn Reeser was upgraded to a series regular as Taylor, and completed the core fore, having previously had a recurring role. For all the darkness of Marissa, we were endeared to the kooky and comical Taylor. Whilst she had her faults, she provided the light-hearted relief on-screen necessary to contrast with the mourning of Marissa and, in my opinion, made the fourth season.

Since the show's finale Reeser has starred in a number of other shows including 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Necessary Roughness'. She also runs her own lifestyle magazine, 'Move Lifestyle', about being a "girl-on-the-go".

Who was your favourite member of the core four?

Rachel MacGregor is obsessed with film and television. She loves sitcoms, adaptations and great British drama. Follow Rachel on Twitter.

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