Bio / Info
Bilson graduated from Walter Reed Middle School in 1996 and from Notre Dame High School in 1999. During her time at Notre Dame, she appeared in productions of Bye Bye Birdie, Once Upon a Mattress and The Crucible, and appeared on stage together with Katharine McPhee, who attended the same school and would later be a finalist on American Idol. Grossmont College in San Diego, but dropped out after one year, taking her father's advice to pursue a professional acting career and making 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 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and in the short film Unbroken. 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 the "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2006 People magazine. In January 2008, radio host Howard Stern named her the "hottest chick in Hollywood." In UK's FHM, Bilson was named the 16th Sexiest Woman In The World 2008. In the US version of the same list, she was placed at #30. Bilson's first film role was in The Last Kiss, a romantic comedy-drama also starring Zach Braff and Jacinda Barrett. In the film, which opened on September 15, 2006, Bilson plays a college student who seduces Braff's character. Bilson had long wanted to work with Braff, having admired the film Garden State, which he directed and starred in. A body double was used for the film's sexual scene between Bilson and Braff's characters, as Bilson specified that she "feel[s] really strong[ly]" about not appearing in a nude scene.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, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Bilson was linked to star in a film version of the comic book character Wonder Woman; Bilson has stated that these reports were untrue. These reports spawned solely from a Wonder Woman costume she wore in an episode of The O.C. In late 2006, Bilson was cast in the role of Millie in Doug Liman's thriller Jumper, as the replacement for actress Teresa Palmer; she began filming the role in October of that year and the film was released on February 14, 2008. Rachel also appeared in a two-episode arc on The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz's NBC comedy, Chuck. She is currently shooting a new film titled New York, I Love You, starring alongside Natalie Portman, Robin Wright Penn, Blake Lively and Shia LaBeouf.