Rachel Bilson first came to TV viewers’ attention with her role in The O.C., the Fox teen drama that became an instant sensation when it debuted in 2003. Bilson shone in the role of Summer Roberts — a role, noted People‘s bio of the actress, that wasn’t intended to be permanent. However, Summer’s on-screen romance with Seth Cohen, played by Adam Brody, became a fan-favorite storyline, and it wasn’t long before she became a full-fledged cast member.
Next came big-screen roles in 2006’s The Last Kiss and 2008’s Jumper. In 2011, Bilson took a starring role in TV’s Hart of Dixie, playing a Manhattan doctor who joins a medical practice in a small Southern town. When the show ended its four-season run in 2015, Bilson took a recurring role on music-themed TV drama Nashville, following that up with the short-lived TV series Take Two.
Her personal life has also been well chronicled in the media, and, while she’s been a near-constant presence on TV screens, there’s still much to learn about Rachel Bilson.
These are Rachel Bilson's favorite memories from her time on The O.C.
Though The O.C. ended its run in 2007 after four seasons, Rachel Bilson still treasures her years on the series. She made that clear in a 2018 interview with People, during which she recalled some of her fondest memories from working on the show. One of those moments involved a guest actor who would go on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars. “I laughed so hard with Chris Pratt,” revealed Bilson of the future Guardians of the Galaxy star, who had a role during The O.C.‘s fourth season. “I remember laughing my a** off. He’s seriously the funniest person I’ve ever come across.”
Another fond memory, she revealed, was when she and co-star Adam Brody reenacted the iconic upside-down kiss from Spider-Man. “That was a fun one,” Bilson told People. “Even now, there are moments from the show that I look back on and I’m like, ‘That was really cool!'”
Looking back at The O.C. more than a decade later, she said, “It was such a special time,” noting, “The characters were really well thought out and there was so much chemistry between everyone.”
Rachel Bilson dated this O.C. co-star
On-camera romance turned into the real thing for Rachel Bilson and co-star Adam Brody when their characters’ romance on The O.C. led to a real-life relationship for the actors. While the couple tried to keep a low profile, celebrity-driven magazines reported on the romance until it ended in 2006. At the time, People reported that the two had split up after three years together. “It was a typical romance and they just grew apart,” a source told the magazine. “They’ve been on and off for awhile now.”
While Bilson and Brody may have split, their characters’ love story kept going strong, concluding with Seth and Summer making it to the altar in the show’s series finale in 2007. In 2019, Bilson was asked by Us Weekly if she thought the onscreen couple would still be together. “Yeah, sure. Why not?” she responded. “You always want a happy ending.”
That same year, the exes had a surprising reunion when they randomly bumped into each other at New York’s JFK International Airport. Still on good terms, they posed together for a nostalgia-inducing selfie that Bilson shared on Instagram.
How Rachel Bilson really felt about being the lead of Hart of Dixie
Rachel Bilson was a member of a large ensemble cast in The O.C., but when she returned to television in 2011, she was the lead star. Hart of Dixie saw Bilson play Dr. Zoe Hart, a recent medical school graduate from New York City who accepts a position with a medical practice in a small Alabama town. Being the main star of a show can often bring an additional level of stress, but Bilson appeared to take it all in stride.
“Is there a show on my shoulders? It’s getting heavy,” Bilson joked during a 2011 appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Bilson insisted that even though she was the “Hart” in Hart of Dixie, the rest of the show’s cast ensured she never felt she was carrying the whole series. “I don’t feel any pressure, because I really feel like it’s a group effort and everyone is so fantastic,” she explained. “I realize it is Hart of Dixie and Zoe Hart, it is her last name. But it is a group effort, and it really is a family. So there’s no pressure.”
Rachel Bilson's biggest beauty regret
Rachel Bilson shared some of her beauty secrets in a 2017 interview with Allure, divulging such info as the one makeup product she can’t live without (she singled out ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint, not an entirely surprising choice give that she had become the brand’s spokesperson the previous year). Asked if she had taken part of any beauty trends she regretted, she noted that she did indeed. “Omg yes: Sun-In spray,” Bilson revealed. “It turned my hair half orange. It was not cute.”
She also told the publication about her personal beauty philosophy. “I like to keep it simple,” she admitted. “I never do too much and feel that less is more.” That attitude was front and center in the answer she gave when asked about the one beauty trend she would never embrace, reflecting her down-to-earth style. “In general, I like to keep my look very natural,” Bilson explained. “I totally respect what anyone wants to do in their own beauty routine but I prefer to stay away from doing things that could give me a fake look, like lip plumping or collagen.” So, we feel safe in assuming that Bilson would also say no to lip injections!
This is the junk food Rachel Bilson loves but makes her feel her unhealthiest
Rachel Bilson is a firm believer in healthy eating, which she demonstrated when, during an interview for Health, she ordered yogurt and granola as a snack. However, she also admitted that every once in awhile she’ll go on a junk food binge, even though she’s not proud of it. “My unhealthiest is when I binge on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, because it happens. I binge. I can admit it,” she said. “It got to the point where I was eating them so much that, like, you poop red every day!” She continued, “You’re like, ‘OK, I don’t know what’s going through my body, but I probably should stop.’ There are problems.”
While she admitted to the occasional junk food binge, Bilson revealed that she can do a course correction that will help improve both her health and her mood. “If I’m feeling bad, I’ll eat better,” she explained. “When you’re having a lot of greens, you’re going to feel better than if you’re eating a bunch of crap. So that’s when I would have my kale shake.” We wonder if Bilson is familiar with what happens to your body when you eat kale every day…
The one item on Rachel Bilson's bucket list that she can never tick off
Like many people, Rachel Bilson has a bucket list of things she’d like to accomplish. However, there’s one thing that she’s always wanted to try that, for health reasons, she’ll never get to experience.
“I have always wanted to skydive, but I actually can’t physically skydive, because I have chronic sinusitis. So that’s a bummer, right?” Bilson revealed in an interview with Health. Due to her sinusitis, skydiving isn’t the only extreme activity that she’s unable to undertake — although she admitted that one doesn’t particularly upset her all that much. “I can’t scuba dive, either — although I’m happy about that,” she joked. “I don’t want to!”
While Bilson has no regrets about being unable to go scuba diving, she did share the biggest regret she has about her own personal health. “When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with being tan and frying myself like a lobster with no sunscreen,” she said. Having experienced what really happens to your skin when you skip sunscreen, these days she’s become a firm believer in using the product.
Rachel Bilson's ten-year relationship with Hayden Christensen ended for this reason
Rachel Bilson met actor Hayden Christensen when they co-starred in the 2008 feature film Jumper. Love bloomed, and the pair coupled up. Although they never married, Bilson and Christensen were together for nearly a decade and share a daughter.
When the relationship ended in 2017, reports emerged indicating that their split was seemingly inevitable. At the time, a source told People there were some fundamental differences in their characters that led to conflict. “Rachel is very outgoing and her friends are very important to her,” said the source. “Hayden is the opposite. He can be very antisocial.”
As a result, claimed the source, Christensen “never wanted to join her for special occasions, like weddings,” forcing Bilson to attend such events on her own. The birth of their daughter, the source added, reportedly contributed to his “anxiety issues,” which allegedly “got worse after the baby was born.” The couple’s rumored “constant conflicts about everyday stuff,” the source explained, “became exhausting and almost depressing for Rachel,” who decided to call it quits.
Rachel Bilson named her daughter after a Disney princess
In the course of Rachel Bilson’s relationship with Hayden Christensen, the now-former couple welcomed daughter Briar Rose in 2014. While promoting a movie he made for the Hallmark Channel, Christensen revealed that his daughter’s name was inspired by a Disney animated classic.
“There’s a Disney reference there, I suppose,” Christensen told co-hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare during a 2015 appearance on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family talk show. “The original Sleeping Beauty is called Briar Rose. Rachel — we both love all things Disney — but Rachel especially was very keen on the name.”
Although the couple split up in 2017, they reunited in 2019 to celebrate their daughter’s fifth birthday at Disneyland. Bilson shared a photo of her daughter at the Magic Kingdom, sporting a mouse-ear hat with her name embroidered on the back. According to Us Weekly, the exes and their daughter spent some time at the theme park’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area — not surprising, given that Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in two Star Wars movies, 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.
Rachel Bilson revealed her biggest parenting problem
As a single mom, Rachel Bilson opened up to Us Weekly about the biggest challenge she had encountered with then-5-year-old daughter Briar: her small child’s very big voice.
“Their voices are just very loud and present,” said Bilson of 5-year-olds, who are known to be a bit on the rambunctious side. “She’s really good, though. I’m really lucky [but] there’s that common line of, ‘Well Mommy, if you give me options, I’m going to give you options.’ She’s understanding and rebelling, like, ‘I don’t have to do this.'”
In the scheme of things, if the worst problem a mother has with a 5-year-old is the volume of her voice, then Bilson should consider herself lucky. In fact, she probably does, given that in that same interview she also described her daughter as her “best friend.” As Bilson joked, Briar is prone to acting like she’s 16 years old, or even “45 sometimes.”
After splitting from Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson bought herself something pricey
Following her breakup with Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson decided it was time to start over in a new home. When it came to house-hunting, she did not skimp. As the Variety reported back in 2017, she plunked down $3.25 million for a mid-century modern home in Pasadena, Calif. with a historic pedigree.
According to the publication, the almost 3,700-square-foot home was designed by famed Los Angeles architect Gregory Ain, and custom-built in 1950 for Walter W. Ralphs Jr. of the Ralphs grocery store chain. So historic is the house that it was designated as a local landmark in 2014.
While the home itself is described as “retro-chic,” Variety noted the stunning gardens, which include “an abstract-shaped swimming pool surrounded by flagstone terracing, mature landscaping shaded by old-growth trees, a rolling lawn crossed by a dry rock stream and a deck cantilevered out over the hillside with panoramic mountain and city lights views.”
Rachel Bilson got candid about co-parenting struggles with ex Hayden Christensen
Exes who share children don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to raising them, and that turned out to be the case with Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen when it came to their daughter, Briar Rose.
Co-parenting, Bilson admitted in a 2018 interview with People, hadn’t been easy to navigate. “We’re still kind of trying to figure it out,” she said, describing their parenting dynamic as a “work in progress.” She explained, “It’s a tricky one. And I don’t know that there is any right way, necessarily.”
Bilson also revealed what she and her ex tell their daughter about the complicated living situation that sees her spend time separately with each parent. “We say Mommy has a house and Daddy has a house but she’s pretty young to have an in-depth conversation,” Bilson explained. “Most important for me is that Briar is okay and secure and stable. No matter what I’m dealing with or how much it hurts or how much anger there is, it’s just about her.”
The truth about those rumors Rachel Bilson dated Bachelor Nick Viall
In November 2019, Rachel Bilson blew up the Internet with rumors that she was dating Nick Viall, a former leading man on The Bachelor. It all started, reported Cosmopolitan, when fans noticed the pair leaving flirty comments for each other on Instagram. More speculation emerged when Viall posted a photo on social media — and then deleted it — in which sharp-eyed fans noticed Bilson in the background (she was identified via a white dress she had worn at an award show).
Bilson threw a pack of matches on the rumor fire when she refused to either confirm or deny the reports. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she told Us Weekly, while her pal (and former Hart of Dixie co-star) Jamie King, added, “We’ll keep that private for now.” During an episode of Brad Goreski’s Brad Behavior podcast (via MSN), Viall confirmed that he and Bilson had dinner. “We hung out, and her friends were there too … a bunch of people,” he said.
Bilson finally set the matter to rest in a YouTube interview with Us Weekly. “No, we’re just friends,” Bilson insisted. “We’ve always just been friends.”
A serious car accident left Rachel Bilson comatose for days
A Los Angeles native, Rachel Bilson has admitted to being something of a wild child during her teenage years. In an interview with The Mirror, she revealed that a poor choice in friends nearly cost her her life when she was involved in a serious car crash when she was 16.
“Everyone was lucky to have survived,” she said. “I was with my girlfriend and these two guys driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. We were going really fast and we were involved in a head-on collision with a truck. We were in a tiny car and it was a pretty bad crash. They had to cut us out and I was in a coma for a few days. The crash ended that relationship, which is a good thing.”
In fact, she credits that experience as a pivotal moment in her life, giving her the wakeup call she needed to get off the not-so-great path she was on. “It helped set us in the right direction,” she told The Telegraph of the accident.
Did Rachel Bilson and Bill Hader connect on the set of this movie?
In December 2019, rumors began to swirl that Rachel Bilson was dating Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live alum and star of HBO comedy Barry. The rumors really got going, however, when TMZ reported Bilson and Hader were spotted together at a Starbucks in Tulsa, Okla. — which just happens to be Hader’s hometown.
The pair seemingly took things public when they showed up together at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. So, while neither Hader nor Bilson had publicly confirmed they were a couple at the time, that certainly seemed to be the case when they hit the award show’s red carpet together.
Interestingly enough, Bilson and Hader have known each since at least 2011, when they worked together on the indie film The To Do List. In a 2011 interview with IndieWire, Hader offered Bilson high praise for her comedy chops. Discussing the film — which also features Andy Samberg, Connie Britton, Aubrey Plaza, and Donald Glover — Hader chose to single out Bilson, declaring that she “is really funny in it.”
Curious about their reported romance? Here’s the truth about Bill Hader and Rachel Bilson’s relationship.
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