Rachel Bilson Says She Was Asked to Join 'The Hills' Before Former 'O.C.' Costar Mischa Barton Was Cast

Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton starred on The O.C. together in the early 2000s

Before Mischa Barton was cast on The Hills revival, her former The O.C. costar Rachel Bilson says she was asked to join the MTV reality series.

On this week's episode of Welcome to the OC, Bitches! podcast, Bilson told her co-host and fellow O.C. alum Melinda Clarke and guest Danny Pellegrino about being offered a spot on The Hills: New Beginnings.

"I was actually asked to be on The Hills, that I graciously passed," Bilson, 39, revealed. "And then, who they wound up casting was Mischa."

Asked by Pellegrino whether she knew The Hills cast prior to being approached, Bilson said: "No, I don't know any of them."

Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton
Getty (2)

"I've met Lauren Conrad before, but she's not even on that [new] show ... I like Lauren a lot," the Hart of Dixie alum continued. "I know her a little, tiny bit and she's cool. But I don't know anyone from The Hills, no."

Clarke, 52, also revealed that she was previously approached about The Real Housewives of Orange County.

"A few years back, probably three or four years ago, I don't know, I got a call from my agent saying that they're interested," she recalled. "I don't know if it was a straight up offer. ... First of all, I don't live in Orange County. Second of all, I don't have the armor to put myself out there and do what's required."

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THE O.C., Peter Gallagher, Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, 'The Risky Business',

When The O.C. premiered on Fox in 2003, Bilson and Barton appeared as best friends Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper. Barton's character was killed off in the show's third season in 2006.

The O.C. inspired the creation of several reality shows, including Laguna Beach and its subsequent spinoff, The Hills.

The Hills, which originally ran from 2006 to 2010 on MTV, scored a revival series in 2019. Barton was featured as a new addition to the cast, also including Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag, Whitney Port, Spencer Pratt and Brody Jenner.

A source confirmed to PEOPLE in March 2020 that Barton wasn't "coming back for season 2" and that Caroline D'Amore would be joining the series. D'Amore wasn't "directly replacing," the insider added.

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