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Rachel Bilson Was Offered ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ Before Mischa Barton

Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton
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Different O.C energy. Season 1 of The Hills: New Beginnings could have had a completely different look according to Rachel Bilson, who revealed that she was almost cast in Mischa Barton‘s place.

“I was actually asked to be on The Hills. That, I graciously passed,” Bilson, 39, shared during the “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” podcast on Tuesday, August 3. “And then, who they wound up casting was Mischa.”

The Hart of Dixie alum admitted that she wasn’t familiar with any of the cast members when she was asked to take part in the reality series.

“I’ve met Lauren Conrad before, but she’s not even on that [new] show … I like Lauren a lot,” Bilson added. “I know her a little, tiny bit and she’s cool. But I don’t know anyone from The Hills, no.”

Barton, 35, originally joined the MTV revival series for its debut season in 2019. Us Weekly broke the news in March 2020 that Barton would not return for season 2 and would instead be replaced by pal Caroline D’Amore.

At the time, Barton claimed that D’Amore, 37, joining the show in her place was “false” and added that no one wanted to watch “your boring pasta bowls,” a reference to D’Amore’s company, Pizza Girl.

Rachel Bilson Was Offered The Hills New Beginnings Before Mischa Barton 2

Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton attend the FOX 2004-2005 Upfront Party at the Loeb Boathouse on May 20, 2004 in New York City.
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D’Amore recently opened up to Us about hearing the negative comments from Barton when she previously thought they were friends.

“Maybe I misunderstood. I think I’m just too open to friendship and too nice sometimes. And I don’t realize that there’s ulterior motives and vindictive[ness],” she told Us in May. “I’m really not good at noticing, like, a vindictive person right away. I just want to believe that people want to be my friend for real.”

The Pizza Girl CEO admitted that she wasn’t sure why the O.C. alum felt like she wouldn’t be a good addition to the cast.

“I went to dinner with her prior to her coming on the show and, you know, I was on last season, like, as her friend in a lot of ways,” D’Amore explained to Us. “I thought we were friends and then I found out that we weren’t. Unfortunately.”

For D’Amore, her former friend’s behavior was a perfect example of the phrase, “Karma is a bitch.”

“When you go out and you bully people and you, like, attack people, you’re obviously suffering in some way and need to, like, validate that suffering,” the radio host added at the time. “So, I actually feel for her. And I hope that she’s doing well.”

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