Rachel Bilson Apologizes to The O.C. Co-Star and Director Tate Donovan for Being an "A--hole"

The O.C. co-stars Rachel Bilson and Tate Donovan had a sweet heart-to-heart, in which they both owned up to their past behavior and apologized to one another.

By Alyssa Morin May 25, 2021 11:41 PMTags
Watch: Would Rachel Bilson Do a Revival of "The O.C.?"

Burying the hatchet...

It's no secret that Tate Donovan has been outspoken about what it was like to work with the younger cast members of The O.C. However, it appears the 57-year-old star is ready to make amends.

On Tuesday, May 25, The O.C. director had a sweet heart-to-heart with Rachel Bilson when discussing their time on the beloved Fox series. During an appearance on Rachel and Melinda Clarke's Welcome to the O.C., Bitches podcast, the actor opened up about his past behavior.

At first, he recalled turning down multiple offers to appear in a Magnum P.I. reunion episode since he was featured in the original series in the '80s. In fact, he explained that he even told the star of the show, Tom Selleck, that he couldn't participate because he was "a film actor now."

"Can you believe that? To Tom Selleck himself. I turned down," Tate said in disbelief. "I look back on that like, 'I'm such an a--hole. I never got the chance to tell Tom Selleck how much of an idiot I was."

The O.C.: Where Are They Now?

Tate's revelation prompted the Hart of Dixie actress to own up to her past attitude. 

"That brings something pretty poignant for me," Rachel noted. "You went on to direct us on The O.C....and I know some of us kids were little a--holes, and I think that that speaks to that whole unaware, young, youthful, ignorant, like, just idiots."

David Livingston/Getty Images; Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

"I hope I wasn't as bad as it's come off. I hope I wasn't," she continued. "You know, you get influenced, I'd say, by your surroundings. Let's put it that way."

Rachel then took a moment to apologize to Tate, sharing, "I thought you were so wonderful, such a wonderful director and an amazing human. So if I ever added to any of the a--holeness, I want to apologize on record here right now."

The Rocketman star reassured the 39-year-old actress that she was a "total sweetheart."

However, Tate told Rachel that he felt "bad" for past comments he made during an appearance on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live in 2013. 

"They all started out great," he said at the time. "Then, all of them, they just fell apart...When you first get fame, you're so insecure that you just become a ding dong."

Watch: Why Mischa Barton REALLY Left "The O.C."

But looking back at that interview, the actor revealed that he regrets making those statements.

"I think I've gotten in a little trouble about The O.C.," he explained. "I think Adam Brody was a little angry at me for some of the things I said."

"I think you generalized," Rachel interjected. "You said the kids were a--holes."

"I did generalize. I feel bad because everyone sort of jumped on that," Tate responded. "I thought you kids, the whole cast, it's awesome. Especially that first year. It was a total blast."

On a lighter note, Tate couldn't help but tell a "really funny" story about working with Rachel and a few of the cast members, including Adam and Benjamin McKenzie.

"So our first scene together, you were in Seth's house and you were coming down into the pool to talk to Ryan or something like that, you did the scene and it was great," Tate recalled, explaining that although the first take was "awesome," he felt her emotion wasn't right for the scene.

"You go, 'Tate, I don't read scripts, I smoke pot,'" he said of her response to his feedback.

"Oh my god, that tracks so hardcore. So funny. So on brand," she quipped. "The pot thing sure, but the fact I had no f--king idea what's going on here, just tell me what I'm supposed to do. That's hilarious. That quote is going down in history."