Magazine article The New Yorker

Early-Bird Special

Magazine article The New Yorker

Early-Bird Special

Article excerpt


Growing up is hard work. The pains that come with learning to balance a checkbook can persist for decades. But the actor Adam Brody, who is best known for his role in the teen soap "The O.C."--he played Orange County, California's, comic-book-reading, indie-music-listening, yet somehow-still-chiselled Seth Cohen--seems to be settling contentedly into adulthood. "The O.C.," which premiered in 2003, went off the air seven years ago. Brody, who turns thirty-five this month, was in Brooklyn recently, shooting a Neil LaBute TV show about incestuous step-siblings and promoting his new film, "Life Partners."

Having rejected a publicist's proposal that he spend the afternoon at Barcade, a Williamsburg beer joint with arcade games, Brody opted to "walk around." Off he set, southward from DUMBO along the Brooklyn waterfront. As he strolled, he considered the "Adam Brody type." "I think it's been around long before me," he said. "White, male, brunet, kinda comedy, kinda drama, kinda Everyman; more famous actors would be Tom Hanks, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick. I think with Seth Cohen the Jewish thing was a twist." Dustin Hoffman?

Excerpt from a 2006 Elle Girl cover story: "Unless you're Amish, qualify for the senior citizens' menu at Denny's or live under a formidably sized rock, you know who twenty-six-year-old Adam Brody is." Brody scoffed. "I'm just so glad I'm not there anymore," he said. "The little I've seen of 'The O.C.' since, I can't even handle my voice ." (Sarcastic, slightly nebbishy.)

In "Life Partners," Brody plays a sexy dermatologist who threatens the best-friendship of two women--one straight, played by Gillian Jacobs; one gay, played by Brody's real-life wife, Leighton Meester (herself a former teen-soap star, on "Gossip Girl"). His character clings to some of youth's vestiges--he has a soul patch and favors T-shirts with goofy messages: "Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don't make sense / Refrigerator." But Brody said that's not him. "I did have a phase, fifteen years ago, of going to the vintage stores and buying used shirts that say stuff"--for example, "The Crab Shack"--"but I've grown out of it," he said, as he turned east onto Atlantic Avenue. "By and large, I've been wearing just Hanes white T-shirts--I buy them at Rite Aid."

Brody grew up near San Diego, in "a very nice suburb" where there were not many Jewish kids. …

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