The OC returns on November 2, one cast member light this year. Fans have been waiting for some closure ever since the shocking third season finale in which Marissa Cooper died. Back in the summer, just beginning work on the new season, the cast did not know what to expect on a Barton-less O.C.
Interview: Cast of The O.C. on Loss of Mischa Barton
“They don’t really tell us anything,” said Rachel Bilson. “I know everyone’s dealing with the death of Marissa Cooper and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’ll see what happens from there; they always come up with something. It was weird, especially the first day because her dressing room is empty, she’s not there, and she’s definitely a force. And it was so nice having her in the mornings to liven up the trailer. But, it’s just a job really, and we’re just doing our jobs the best we can.”
Melinda Clarke thinks the rest of the cast can hold things together. “I don't think it’ll be so different. It’s the same characters and she’s always going to be there. We’re mourning her the first half of the season and she’ll always be there. I think there will be some closure so it won’t be the overall theme for the entire season.”
Kelly Rowan extended her sympathies to the fictional O.C. family. “I know we’re going to miss her and she’s one of the core four original cast members,” said Rowan. “I think we feel the loss and I think the audience is going to feel the loss of it. I’m sure the show is going to deal with the aftermath of that character leaving and how all the other characters deal with that.”
Willa Holland, who will see her role grow without big sister there, still felt her world shattered before season four began. “It will never be the same without Mischa there,” said Holland. “I haven’t even started working yet without her so I can’t tell you how it’s going to be but it won’t be the same. I’m just going to miss the fact that she was there all the time, that she’s my sister on the show who’s acting like my sister on set and is just not going to be there.”
Autumn Reeser remained diplomatic. “I think it will be very different,” Reeser said. “I think it will be a very different show. Not for good and not for bad, but just a different show. I read the first three episodes and they’re really good.”