Behind the Scenes on The O.C.

11/05/2004 at 06:00 AM EST

Behind the Scenes on The O.C.
(from left) Benjamin McKenzie, Melinda Clarke, Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson
Alex Berliner/BEI
Now that the wait is over and the new season of The O.C. has finally begun (finally!), we wanted to find out what some of the sexy cast members are really like. So we asked someone on the inside: fellow sexy castmate Melinda Clarke, who plays Julie, hot-to-trot mom of Marissa (Mischa Barton). "Adam Brody kind of reminds me of my husband, in that he's very quick-witted, and he's very creative," Clarke told us at a party benefiting the International Foundation for Terror Act Victims at L.A. hotspot Tokio, hosted by producer-director-writer Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). "Adam Brody is much more of a man in real life than (his character) Seth Cohen is." As for the girls, Clarke told us that Rachel Bilson, who is "such a cutie," baby-sits for her 4-year-old daughter, Kathryn, on the set, while "Mischa's more of a young, talented lady." Also at the party: Weitz's girlfriend Heather Graham, That '70s Show star Topher Grace, O.C. executive producer McG and Barton's boyfriend Brandon Davis. As for what to expect this season on the show, McG says: "Just be prepared to be taken way down. I think we showed in the finale of Season 1 that we're not afraid to have things not work out. It's not always sunny, and it doesn't always end well. There's a lot of pain and difficulty. It's not like things reconcile immediately and we let the audience off the hook. We're all in this thing together."

You Know What They Say About Blondes
Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff have moved on since their rivalry over Aaron Carter (notwithstanding a few remarks in the press and the like), but what of the young heartbreaker who caused the battle between the teen queens? When we caught up with the 16-year-old singer at a party in Las Vegas, he pointed to his platinum-blonde girlfriend of the moment, 21-year-old model Monique Decormier, and said, "That's my love." Though he admits to a preference for blondes (not unlike his older brother, Nick, former beau to alpha-blonde Paris Hilton), Carter says he sees a brunette in his future. "Blondes are great, but brunettes are so much smarter," opined Carter. "I would marry a brunette, and then I could make them go blonde." Right. Next up for Carter: He'll appear in the live-action movie version of Fat Albert, due next month.

A Real Cliffhanger
Will Aussie actor Julian McMahon, best known as one-half of the hot plastic surgeon team on Nip/Tuck, disappear from the hit FX series next season? "I'm not sure if I'm coming back next year or not," McMahon, who plays the smarmy-but-lovable Dr. Christian Troy (brutally slashed by a crazed serial rapist in the show's finale last month), told us from the Vancouver set of his action movie Fantastic Four. McMahon offered no further explanation, and FX had no comment. Stay tuned ...

Caught in the Act
Spotted Recently:
Leonardo DiCaprio, at a groundbreaking celebration at Panorama Towers in Las Vegas. The Aviator star has already bought a condo in the high rise, which is due to open next year.

Glenn Close, Kim Cattrall, Ricky Martin, John Mayer, Martin Scorsese, Vin Diesel, Tatum O'Neal, Kerry Washington, Aida Turturro, Famke Janssen, Damon Dash and Radha Mitchell, at a fashion show for Giorgio Armani's Spring/Summer '05 Collection in New York City.

• By NICK WHITE, KIMBERLY LANSING, BRENDA RODRIGUEZ and BRIANA HAAS

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