Adam Brody: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Brian Hiatt
September 16, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Russell Crowe lookalike Ryan Atwood may be the lead hunk on Fox’s surprise teen hit ”The O.C.” But his curly-haired, dry-witted best bud, Seth — played by 23-year-old Adam Brody — is grabbing more than his share of moments in the California sun. Brody (who has been compared to a young Tom Hanks) tells about his character’s future, his previous gig on ”The Gilmore Girls,” and life as a ”non-famous” actor.

What attracted you to ”The O.C.”?
The truth is, us non-famous kids have to go out and audition. Pilot season for someone who auditions is about going out for as many things as you can and seeing what sticks. Thankfully, I got stuck to something good, ’cause there’s plenty of bad ones.

Besides its success, what are you enjoying about the show?
They let you have a lot of creative input. Every episode I find four things in it that I’ve said in real life to Josh [Schwartz], the creator. One of my favorite bands is Death Cab For Cutie, and in the next script I’m listening to a song by them and talking about them. I grew up surfing, and I told them I’d have a lot more fun doing surfing scenes rather than sailing scenes. The next day there were all these surfboards in my room. He’s done that for everyone.

Josh said you were less geeky than what he imagined for the part. Do you know what he’s talking about?
He’s talking about me being incredibly f—ing handsome, and having to cast me because I’m also incredibly talented. Don’t print that. [laughs] Believe me, there’s plenty of geek going on. I do think they imagined Josh being even more awkward. But as the show progresses, I’ve gotten to wear cooler clothes and stuff. The spin I put on it is that he’s an outsider, but it’s as much Seth’s choice as it is the group not letting him.

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