It’s been 15 years since the premiere of cult favorite teen drama The O.C. premiered, but Rachel Bilson still cherishes fond memories from the show that made her a star.
“It was such a special time,” Bilson, 36, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, on stands Friday. “The characters were really well thought out and there was so much chemistry between everyone.”
“Comedy is my first love,” Bilson says. “So to be able to do something comedic while also solving crimes is a dream come true.”
And despite her success as bubbly brunette Summer Roberts on The O.C., Bilson says she never felt typecast after the show ended.
“I worked really hard to go outside of the box,” she explains. “I wanted to prove that I could do other things. That was important to me.”
Still, Bilson treasures memorable moments from The O.C., including some standout scenes with a surprising star.
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“I laughed so hard with Chris Pratt,” reveals Bilson of the actor, who had an arc on the show’s fourth season. “I remember laughing my a– off. He’s seriously the funniest person I’ve ever come across.”
- For more on Bilson, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
“That was a fun one,” says Bilson. “Even now, there are moments from the show that I look back on and I’m like, ‘That was really cool!’”
Take Two airs Thursdays on ABC.