Bilson on the set of Jumper, 2006
Rachel Sarah Bilson
August 25, 1981
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Rachel Sarah Bilson (born August 25, 1981) is an American actress. Bilson grew up in a California show business family, and made her television debut in 2003, subsequently becoming well known for playing Summer Roberts on the prime-time drama series The O.C. Bilson made her film debut in the 2006 film The Last Kiss and starred in the 2008 action/science fiction film Jumper. Since September 2011, she has starred as Dr. Zoe Hart on The CW's Hart of Dixie.
Bilson was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Janice Stango, a Leeds, UK, who ran the movie-trailer department at RKO Pictures, and a screenwriter great-grandmother, Hattie, whose credits include Pal, Canine Detective (1950).
Bilson had what has been described as a "self-destructive, rebellious period" during her teen years. When she was 14 or 16, (sources vary) she and a group of her brother's friends were involved in a head-on collision car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway. As a result, Bilson says she "basically died and then came back", has a scar above her right eye, and sometimes suffers from migraines and memory loss. She said the experience "changed" her, encouraging her to "stop... getting into trouble" and stopping her from "going down that road". As a high school senior, Bilson was an acquaintance of future singer Katharine McPhee, then a freshman.
Bilson attended Grossmont College, a community college in a suburb of San Diego, but dropped out after one year, taking her father's advice to pursue a professional acting career. She then made several appearances in commercials, including advertisements for Subway restaurants, Raisin Bran and Pepto-Bismol. She made her screen acting debut in early 2003, appearing in one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Bilson was subsequently cast in The O.C., which debuted in August 2003. Her character, Summer Roberts, was initially intended to appear in only a few episodes, but became a series regular after a successful run, as Bilson's on-screen romance with Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) became a noted aspect of the series.
As a result of the success of The O.C., Bilson has become well known among teenage audiences. At the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, Bilson collected three awards: "Choice Hottie Female", "Choice TV Actress (Drama)" and "Best Onscreen TV Chemistry" (jointly won with Adam Brody). In 2005, Maxim magazine named her sixth in their annual "Hot 100 List"; in 2006, the publication awarded her #14. The UK edition of FHM Magazine named her 28th in the 2006 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, while the US Edition Ranked her 77th in 2005. Bilson was also named one of People magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People" in 2006.
Bilson's first film role was in The Last Kiss, a romantic comedy-drama also starring Zach Braff. In the film, which opened in 2006, she plays a college student who seduces Braff's character. It was reported that she called for a body double during the sex scenes because she was uncomfortable being nude in front of the camera. She does appear in the scene for the final film, wearing a flesh-colored bra. "I was terrified!" she admitted. "But Zach really helped me through it, and we're friends, so he made it very comfortable, and Tony made it very comfortable, and it was actually a really nice setting. And I'm happy I did it, because I can say I did my first sex scene, and I never have to do that again!" One review of the film noted that Bilson played the role with "surprising depth", although another critic described her role as "Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction as an airhead valley girl with a hot bod".
Bilson has stated that she prefers acting in feature films to appearing on television, and that she would like the kind of roles "that Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are offered". She has specified that though she is "grateful" for the success of The O.C., she feels that the show "is over" and that she is "ready to move on" to film roles. In September 2006, Bilson refuted rumors she had been cast to star in a film version of the comic book character Wonder Woman;
In late 2006, Bilson was cast in the role of Millie in Doug Liman's thriller Jumper, as the replacement for actress Teresa Palmer; the film was released on February 14, 2008. She also appeared in a two-episode arc on The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz's NBC comedy, Chuck, and in the film New York, I Love You, and appeared in the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother ("Girls Versus Suits") as Ted Mosby's latest love interest. In September 2008, she started shooting the indie romantic film Waiting For Forever, directed by James Keach. In September 2009 Rachel appeared as a celebrity guest judge in the third episode of Project Runway (season 6). She starred in the 2011 indie film L!fe Happens next to Krysten Ritter and Kate Bosworth.
It was announced in 2011 that Bilson was set to star in a new The CW series called Hart of Dixie executive produced by The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. Bilson and Schwartz, who already had worked together on The O.C and Chuck, were previously set to work again together on the NBC show Ghost Angeles. Hart of Dixie is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on The CW on September 26, 2011. The series, created by Leila Gerstein, stars Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New Yorker who, after her dreams of becoming a heart surgeon fall apart, accepts an offer to work as a general practitioner in the fictional Gulf Coast town of Bluebell, Alabama. On May 8, 2014, the CW renewed the show for its fourth season.
Bilson also launched a shoe range in 2011.
Bilson and Adam Brody, her co-star on The O.C., dated for three years, ending in 2006. The following year, she met Hayden Christensen on the set of Jumper and they became engaged in 2008. In mid-2010, the couple split up but were dating again a few months later. Bilson and Christensen had their first child, daughter Briar Rose, on October 29, 2014.
Bilson has been recognized by several media sources as being a "fashion junkie". She has described herself as having a "vintage" sense of style, and has noted Kate Moss and Diane Keaton as inspirations. She approached DKNY Jeans in late 2007 with a view to design a clothing line with the fashion brand. Together they created Edie Rose. The collection was launched in September 2008. It consisted of mainly black and white separates with a splash of yellow that could easily work with an existing wardrobe. Her idea was to keep fashionable items accessible to young women by keeping the prices of each piece under $100. An advertising image was released in July 2008 which featured Bilson modelling her Edie Rose collection. She said she wanted to keep her fashion line "I "as separate as possible from Rachel Bilson the actress. I'm hoping people will appreciate it for the clothes, not the person behind them." Much of her fashion collection was lost when her home was burglarized in May 2009. Bilson's fashions and sense of style made her the unwitting target of the Bling Ring, who burgled her home on several occasions.
|2006||The Last Kiss||Kim||Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout – Female|
|2008||Jumper||Millie Harris||Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress – Drama/Action Adventure|
|2009||New York, I Love You||Molly|
|2010||Waiting for Forever||Emma Twist|
|2013||The Bling Ring||Herself||Archived footage|
|2013||The To Do List||Amber Klark|
|2003||8 Simple Rules||Jenny||Episode: "Career Choices"|
|2003||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Colleen||Episode: "Dirty Girls"|
|2003–07||The O.C.||Summer Roberts||
Won—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress Drama
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress – Drama/Action Adventure
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Chemistry (shared with Adam Brody)
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout TV Star – Female
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress – Drama/Action Adventure
|2004||That '70s Show||Christy||Episode: "5:15"|
|2007||Chuck||Lou Palone||Episodes: "Chuck Versus the Truth", "Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami"|
|2010, 2013, 2014||How I Met Your Mother||Cindy||
"Girls Versus Suits", "Big Days",
"Band or DJ?", "How Your Mother Met Me"
|Hart of Dixie||Dr. Zoe Hart||
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress Drama
|2012||Gossip Girl||Herself||Episode: "New York, I Love You XOXO"|
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- ABC News: "Exclusive: Inside Hollywood's 'Bling Ring'" page 1
- Vanity Fair: "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" Page 4
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- "Behind The Design // Rachel Bilson + Ben Lovett design T-Shirts for Invisible Children".