Chris Pine  Lost Role on ‘The O.C.’ Due to ‘Traumatic’ Acne Struggle


Everyone goes through an awkward phase, even megawatt movie stars like Chris Pine.

Pine, 43, was dropped right back into one of the hardest and most uncomfortable periods of his life during the Thursday, May 9 episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. Host Josh Horowitz asked the Poolman actor to recount his bombed audition for Fox’s The O.C., which aired from 2003 to 2007. While Pine would go on to prove he has leading man chops, his acting wasn’t what got him eliminated from the casting call — it was his “awful skin.”

“I was going out for The O.C., a teenage melodrama. I can understand that they wanted to have pretty people doing pretty things,” he said, with the benefit of hindsight. “It’s no fun going out for roles when you have bad skin. It was one of the most traumatic points in my life.”

In Welcome to the O.C.: The Oral History, released last fall, casting director Patrick Rush revealed that Pine’s acne was the reason he didn’t score the role of Ryan Atwood, which went to Benjamin McKenzie.

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“I hate saying this, but it’s the truth: Chris Pine was at the age where he was experiencing really bad skin problems. And it was at that point where it looked insurmountable,” Rush said in the book. “And as a kid who grew up with horrible skin, it just broke my heart.”

On Thursday’s podcast, Horowitz offered that not landing a role on the Fox soap might have been a blessing, giving the way his career turned out.

“I don’t want to say I’m grateful for not having landed The O.C., but …” Pine agreed.

Left: Chris Pine; Right: Benjamin McKenzie on The O.C.

Chris Pine and Benjamin McKenzie
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Disney; Courtesy of Fox

Pine also took a moment to raise awareness that acne can be more than just a passing time in a young person’s life.

“Acne is regarded as this thing; it’s like what you go through as a teenager,” he said. “It can also be tremendously debilitating and, like, really seriously emotionally incapacitating.”

Pine went on to say that he hopes people dealing with persistent, long-term skin issues know that it does eventually get better.

“Anyone out there who’s experiencing that, I get you. I hear you. I’ve been there. I know it. I know how depressing it can be and the kind of depths of sorrow it can drag you to but there is a brighter day,” he said.

Pine’s career is proof of that. Shortly after The O.C. first aired, Pine’s career got a jump-start with a role in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The 2004 movie offered him $65,000 to play one of lead Anne Hathaway’s potential suitors, an amount of money he said was “earth-shattering” at the time.

Since then, Pine has taken on two of the most iconic characters in all of nerdom with roles as Captain Kirk in three Star Trek films and Wonder Woman love interest Steve Trevor. His attitude toward everything from negative reviews to his own outfits proves that he’s learned to let incidents like one bad casting call roll off his back.

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