Chris Pine Addresses Losing ‘The O. C.’ Role Due to ‘Bad Acne’

Chris Pine is opening up about not landing the role of Ryan Atwood in The O.C. due to his bad acne at the time.

In Welcome to The O.C.: An Oral History, which was released in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary, casting director Patrick Rush revealed that the Star Trek star did not get the lead part in the Fox show because of his skin problems.

During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast ahead of the release of Pine’s directorial debut, Poolman, host Josh Horowitz asked him if bringing up how he lost the role due to his acne was PTSD or a sour point for him.

“No — I mean, it’s a part of my life. Look, do I wish…? The man didn’t have to talk about it. I mean, it’s his prerogative,” the Wonder Woman star said. “I had awful skin as a teenager, and then after college, my skin started breaking out again. I was going out for The O.C., which is a teenage melodrama. I can understand that they wanted to have pretty people doing pretty things, and bad acne is not a key [to that].”

When the host joked that it’s a shame the actor didn’t get the role because maybe his career would’ve worked out if he had, Pine responded, “I don’t want to say, ‘I’m grateful for not having landed [the part].’ I’m alright, but it is a little PTSD,” he added. “It’s no fun having bad skin. … It was one of the most traumatic points of my life, but it is my story, man.”

The role of Ryan Atwood ended up going to Ben McKenzie, who starred alongside Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Melinda Clarke, Tate Donovan and Alan Dale, with Chris Pratt and Olivia Wilde in recurring roles.

Later in the conversation with Horowitz, Pine addressed how hard it was for him to have such severe acne growing up, noting it had an emotional impact on him.

“It’s so strange. People talk about obesity — and, obviously, I understand the difficulty of that — or they talk about any sorts of things, and I feel like acne is regarded as this thing of like, ‘Oh, it’s just like, what you go through as a teenager.’ And it can be,” he said. “And it can be kind of just like you get a pimple on your forehead. It can also be tremendously debilitating and really, seriously, emotionally incapacitating, which it was for me.”

He concluded, “So, for anyone out there that is experiencing that: I get you, I hear you, I’ve been there, I know it. I know how depressing it can be and the kind of depths of sorrow it can drag you to, but there is a brighter day.”

Pine directed, starred in and co-wrote Poolman, which follows his character, Darren Barrenman, a Los Angeles pool cleaner who spends his days looking after the Tahitian Tiki apartment building’s pool. One day, he’s approached by a femme fatale to uncover corruption and agrees in an effort to make his hometown a better place to live.

Poolman is in theaters now.


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