The Cohen family’s McMansion from the popular TV show “The O.C.” is on the market, but the only thing you’ll recognize is the front of the house. Even that has changed quite a bit since the series ended in 2007. They actually used another house down the street from this one for the interiors and backyard, and I tracked down some photos of it, too. Let’s take a look!
The House from “The O.C.” For Sale in Malibu:
Sandy, Kirsten, Seth and Ryan lived in Newport Beach on the show, but the real house is in Malibu. The “Gated Italian Villa,” as the listing calls it, is on the market for $6.25 million.
The Cohen House on TV:
It looked a little more contemporary and a little less “Italian Villa” 12 years ago. I had to go back and take screenshots from “The O.C.” so I could compare the two and make sure it was really the same place! It was built in 2002, so it was new when the exteriors were shot for the show.
The House Today:
On the show we saw the living room beyond the front door:
But the real house has a two-story foyer:
It has 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 6,376 square feet.
The back of the house doesn’t match the one we saw on TV:
We did see the back of this house in the final episode of the series, though, when the Cohen family is house hunting. Kind of funny that they pretended the back of their own house was one they were considering buying!
“The O.C.” interiors and pool scenes were shot at this house instead:
I found these listing photos of the house from when it was on the market in 2011. Early episodes were shot here, down the street from the other house in Malibu.
The Cohen Living Room:
To reduce production costs, the house was recreated on a soundstage at Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach, about 40 miles away from Newport Beach, but exterior shots of the original house were used throughout the series. (Via)
A Chrismukkah photo of the Cohen family taken in front of the fireplace:
Seth created “Chrismukkah” blend the traditions of his Jewish dad and Christian mom…and to get more gifts during the holidays!
The Cohen Kitchen:
You can tell when they switched to a look-alike set because the tile behind the range changes…
…and the island sink switches to the other side:
The Real Kitchen:
There’s no fireplace in the kitchen on the show:
In early episodes you can see the same hutch in the kitchen that we see in the listing photos because they filmed inside the house:
Another difference in the kitchen set — the cabinets don’t have glass in the doors:
Real kitchen eating area:
The Cohens have a TV room behind the kitchen:
In the listing, the only other living area they show is much bigger:
The Cohen Family’s Dining Room:
In early episodes we saw the real dining room on the other side of the TV Room:
The Real Dining Room:
The same bedroom in the real house (looking almost unrecognizable!):
The Back of the House on TV:
The Back of the Real House in Malibu:
Something is missing from the backyard, though…
They built a “mock pool house” for the pilot and took it down again after filming:
The pool house wasn’t the only thing that was kind of faked. The pool they recreated on the set was only four feet deep, so the actors had to either crouch down or stand on their knees for those scenes.
Inside Ryan’s Pool House:
Did it strike anyone else as kind of funny that in a house this size they didn’t have a guest room for Ryan? When Kirsten’s sister comes to visit, he has to sleep on the living room couch!
Creator Josh Schwartz says the inspiration for the show was “very much based on the sort of experiences I had when I was in college as a Jewish kid from the East Coast surrounded by all these kids from Newport Beach who were water-polo players, and these very blonde girls who only wanted to date them. I felt very much like an outsider.”
Schwartz adds, “As much as our audience enjoys living vicariously in this wealthy world, I think the true wish fulfillment comes from wishing that they had a family like the Cohens — where the parents could be that cool and that grounded and that loving, but also real parents.”
Peter Gallagher, who played dad Sandy Cohen, was the first actor cast, and his portrayal of the character set the tone for the show.
They struggled to find the right person to play Ryan and hired Ben McKenzie last, within days of shooting the pilot. He hadn’t really done much before “The O.C.” The show made stars out of young actors like him, Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, and Mischa Barton.
The real backyard, without the pool house:
For more photos and information about the filming locations used on “The O.C.”: the current listing for the house where the front exterior shots were filmed; the 2011 listing for the house where the interiors and backyard scenes were shot; info on the missing poolhouse at Seeing Stars; and lots of series trivia on HuffPo that answers burning questions like why Mischa Barton left the show.
Were you an “O.C.” fan? I hadn’t really seen much of the show until I started researching this post, and then I got sucked in when I was taking screenshots. I couldn’t stop watching, even after I’d gotten all the pics of the house I needed. I had to find out what happened to the Cohen family! 🙂