The Hart of Dixie and OC star was a rebellious teen before finding fame
Did you know Rachel Bilson has some British in her, or that she can rap? Here’s some interesting facts about the former OC star.
1. Her mum has an unusual job
Rachel’s mum Janice Stango works as a sex therapist. Italian-American Janice, who was raised a Catholic, works with couples and individuals who have sexual problems. Rachel followed a career path more like her father Danny’s – he’s a screenwriter and director who’s worked on films such as The Rocketeer.
2. She’s an honorary Brit!
Rachel’s paternal great-grandad George was born in Leeds, but he didn’t stick around in the UK for long. He moved to the US, where he ran the movie trailer department at production company RKO, sparking the showbiz bug in the Bilson family.
3. Wild years
Rachel admits she hung out with ‘not the best group of guys’ during her teens. In a 2014 interview, she reminisced about her tearaway years and said that partying early helped keep her on the straight and narrow when she found fame as Summer Roberts in The OC. ‘I grew up in LA… I went to the clubs and did all the drugs and alcohol. I got it out of my system so by the time I joined The OC, I was like: “Wow, I can just enjoy this,”’ she revealed.
4. The OC inspired her fashion range
The actress approached DKNY to collaborate on a fashion line because she knew fans of The OC ‘love DKNY’. She released her collection – named Edie Rose after her grandmother and a close family friend – in 2008.
5. Her dad encouraged her to quit school
Rachel originally planned to become a teacher. She attended Grossmont College in San Diego for a year before dropping out to pursue acting. Surprisingly, it was her dad who advised her to quit school to follow her dreams.
6. Rach wasn’t first choice for her role in Jumper
Film director Doug Liman texted Rachel while she was filming the last series of The OC in 2007 asking her to fly to Toronto the next day to audition for the part of Millie Harris after deciding his original choice, Aussie actress Teresa Palmer, was too young. It worked out pretty well for Rach as it was on that film she met boyfriend Hayden Christensen!
7. Near-death experience
Aged 14, Rachel spent two days in a coma after a car she and her friends were in crashed on Californa’s Pacific Coast Highway. Her forehead was cut by a shard of broken windscreen and she still has a scar. She also suffers memory loss, revealing: ‘Friends will say: “Remember when we were at this or that place?” And I have absolutely no recollection at all.’
8. A star on Instagram
Instead of posting an endless stream of selfies like many celebs, Rachel kept away from Instagram until earlier this year. Her first photo was an arty shot of a coffee table book and she’s followed it up with a selection of stylish snaps of her shoes, the LA landscape and vintage postcards.
9. Living in the family heirloom
At the height of her fame in 2004, Rachel lived in a Hollywood condo that’s been in her family for two generations. ‘My gran lived there, then my aunt, and now me,’ she said. ‘It’s such a comfy feeling.’
10. Bargainous make-up bag secrets
Rachel says she loves to stock up on cheap beauty treats. Her faves are Lip Smacker lip balm, mascara by Maybelline and white eyeliner from US brand Wet‘n’Wild.
11. Rap it up!
As well as her acting credentials, Rachel’s a big hip-hop fan and says she can rap every word of Snoop Dogg’s 1993 track Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)!