Best known as Seth Cohen on television's The O.C., Adam Brody has been pretty much laying low since the show went off the air in 2007 -- until now. The actor, currently shooting A Couple of Dicks in New York City, stars in the indie feature Death in Love, in theaters now. Up next is the fall release of the horror feature Jennifer's Body opposite Megan Fox.
Brody talked to Huffington Post reporter Zorianna Kit about life post- O.C. and working with some of the sexiest stars in Hollywood, including Fox and Angelina Jolie.
Zorianna Kit: Death in Love is about a dysfunctional family stemming from the mother being a Holocaust survivor. There are a lot of extreme sexual acts being depicted on screen. What made you want to be part of director Boaz Yakin's project?
Adam Brody: When I read the script, it opened on the Holocaust where Jacqueline Bisset's character was walking down a hallway of the experimental patient ward. I was sold on that.
Zorianna: But your part -- a guy who works at a scam modeling agency -- takes place in present time.
Adam: I like an interesting movie even if it's controversial or offensive, depending on your taste. There are a lot of interesting ideas in there -- symbolically and metaphorically. Some of it works, some of it is pretty pretentious, but what it isn't is boring.
Adam Brody and Josh Lucas in Death in Love.
Zorianna: This is the first project you did after The O.C. Was this a strategic movie on your part to take on an indie? You must have had plenty of scripts to choose from.
Adam: (laughs) If only I had that many offers to sift through and really meticulously plot my course! No, I don't have the luxury of that. The truth of the matter is, I want to be part of anything that's intelligent or that I would want to see in theaters. And I'd definitely go see this.
Zorianna: Speaking of intelligent, your next film, Jennifer's Body, was written by Diablo Cody, who was nominated for an Oscar for Juno. Something tells me this can't just be your straight up horror film if she's behind it.
Adam: I love this movie. I can't speak highly enough about it. It's Diablo so there's humor and the whole thing is couched in metaphor, which is always great because somehow zombie movies have gotten away from that. I can't wait for people to see it. I don't have the biggest part in it, but in terms of the movie as a whole, every performance is uniformly good.
Zorianna: Megan Fox plays a possessed cheerleader who kills her classmates. Are you playing a high school student again?
Adam: No, thank God! I'm a singer in a traveling band. We come to town looking to sacrifice a virgin to the devil so we can get famous. We sacrifice Megan, only she's not a virgin, we just thought she was. So she comes back to life.
Zorianna: Ahem! Why would anyone mistake Megan Fox for a virgin?
Adam: Uh...I don't want to linger on that too much but I completely agree with you. That is a plot hole, I'm not gonna lie. She says she's a virgin, but clearly she's not.
Zorianna: Having only seen in her in the Transformers movies, I'm curious to see how she is in Jennifer's Body.
Adam: She looks great in this movie. She's not all Michael Bay'd out. She's really pretty, with less make up and smaller hair. She's really good-looking in this film and it's the most vulnerable you've seen her so far.
Zorianna: She's seems to be everywhere these days and people either love her or hate her. What's the deal on Megan?
Adam: Well for one, she's everywhere right now because of Transformers. So she's on the cover of everything and in your face. And secondly, she's got an in-your-face personality. She's very much a take it or leave it girl. She comes full of attitude but I'll take a personality like that over something safe and vanilla.
Brody in Jennifer's Body
Zorianna: This role of yours, it must be quite a departure for you.
Adam: Yes. I'm pure evil through and through.
Zorianna: You've never played evil before have you?
Adam: Well, there was a Smallville episode where I played a bad guy.... But on the big screen, this will be the first.
Zorianna: Do you sing in this movie?
Adam: No, it was done by a professional singer. I would have liked to had I had the chops or the pipes. I have no range. In the right key, I could probably sing okay.
Zorianna: So let's get this straight: Jennifer's Body was written by Diablo Cody, who wrote Juno, which was directed by Jason Reitman, who also directed Thank-You For Smoking, which you were in. Was Jason Reitman your connection to getting to be a part in Jennifer's Body?
Adam: Yup. I owe Jason two of the best parts I've had so far. I really can't thank him enough.
Zorianna: You were lucky to work on a bunch of movies while simultaneously shooting The O.C. including Smoking and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Was it tough convincing filmmakers to hire you because you were so familiar to audiences as Seth?
Adam: I was very fortunate. Jason offered me Thank You For Smoking. I'll always be happy with that movie. That's the one my dad likes the most. He always says, 'Can't you do something like that again?'
Zorianna: Like what?
Adam: A movie about government and politics.
Zorianna: And Smith?
Adam: That was directed by Doug Liman, who directed our (O.C.) pilot and produced our show. So I was fortunate there too. I've had to fight for roles and I've lost a hundred roles, but Smoking and Smith were phone calls. That's the dream.
Zorianna: I suppose Doug could have picked any male from your TV show to play The Tank -- a man both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are separately assigned to kill, but then kidnap, only to find out he was bait by their employers. Do you have a special connection with Doug?
Adam: I think we do have a special connection. I think we're a nice match and I hope we get to work together again. Doug is such a bright guy but he needs collaborators. He's not a dictator. He's not one of those tyrant directors. It's more chaotic. There's actually a version of that movie where I'm narrating the story to (actress) Estella Warren in a bar. But that's how Doug works. He shoots a lot of different things.
Zorianna: Were you around on set during that time to see the formation of Brangelina?
Adam: I was, actually. Before all that stuff came out about them, I was like,
"Are they method actors, or are they in love?" Well we all know what happened!
Zorianna: Do you get critical of your work on screen?
Adam: I love Mr. & Mrs. Smith but I cringe at myself in it. I just don't like what I'm doing in it. I'm doing C Grade Vince Vaughn stuff and he's in the movie doing his own stuff much better. Today, the 30-year-old me would have written myself some better stuff than the 23 year old did at the time.
Zorianna: What a minute. You wrote your own lines?
Adam: It was basically there but all of Doug's stuff is pretty loose and we figured it out on the fly. But even though I'm not happy with myself in the film, I love that movie and I'm happy to be a part of it.
Zorianna: What about The O.C. -- how did you feel playing a high school student for four years while being in your twenties? That's a decent chunk of time.
Adam: I'm perfectly happy with the time that it was on. Four years is great. I wouldn't have wanted it a minute longer. It was certainly a big deal in my life and was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Zorianna: In what way?
Adam: It's probably the only thing I've ever done that people really responded to. That's the project that has become a part of people's lives, like the way Beverly Hills, 90210 was a part of my life growing up. I will never scoff at that.
Zorianna: I'm sure Seth Cohen was significant to a lot of young teenagers.
Adam: I am super-proud to have a sort of famous character in my background that if you're a certain age, he was probably a part of your youth. I think that's pretty cool.
Zorianna: So you'll be okay if 20 years from now someone will elbow their friend and say, hey, isn't that Seth Cohen in line at the ATM machine?
Adam: Sure because I don't feel trapped by it. I don't feel like it's the last thing I'll ever do so that makes it easier to appreciate.
Zorianna: What do you miss most about the show?
Adam: That was more money than I've ever known in my life. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss that.
Zorianna: Did you go through any withdrawal when the show ended it's run?
Adam: No withdrawal. After the show ended I sort of lived it up for a bout six months to a year. Just partying, being out and about. The last couple of years I've kind of settled in to more of a rhythm. I shot Jennifer's Body a year ago up in Vancouver and now I'd like to kick it up a notch.
Zorianna: Anything you really want to do?
Adam: If I don't direct a movie at some point, I've failed personally. How could you not want to do that if you've been in the industry this long?
Zorianna: On the acting front, are there any actors whose career you'd like to emulate?
Adam: I'll take Robert Downey Jr. minus the drug sabbatical. I'll take Dustin Hoffman. No disrespect to Will Smith, but Brad Pitt just makes cooler movies. Half of them fail because of it, but he works with the best directors.
Zorianna: How do you think people perceive you?
Adam: I worry that I can come off smarmy. I wonder if I was listening to myself if I'd want to kick my own ass.
Zorianna: Is there an ideal gig for you?
Adam: I feel like my part is still forming. There's no role that I feel had my name all over it and passed me by. But anytime those Apatow guys wanna hang out with me...