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Rachel Bilson: Fashionista Turned Doctor on Hart of Dixie

Sep 25, 2011

By: Lynn Barker

Kidzworld asked Rachel about her new show, movies, fashion and working with an alligator!

Cute actress/fashionista Rachel Bilson was ever so watchable as Summer in “The O.C.”. She has gone on to work in films Waiting For Forever, Jumper and more but this season, Rachel returns to T.V. to star in her own series “Hart of Dixie” starting Monday the 26th on the CW. 

Heart of Dixie CastHeart of Dixie Cast

Rachel plays a bright doctor, thin on bedside manner, transplanted from the NYC fast track to a small, southern town where she faces new challenges, including alligators in the road and a cute guy (played by “Friday Night Lights” cutie Scott Porter) who belongs to someone else.  Of course sparks will fly.

Kidzworld: Can you describe your character Dr. Zoe Hart and what you like about her?

  • Rachel: She’s a very smart, intelligent, independent woman. She’s motivated, and she doesn’t stop at anything to get what she wants. She doesn’t have the best sort of tact, and her she’s not very polite, no bedside manner so it’s kind of fun to play with.
  • But I just really liked that she was this woman that was so strong and so sure in everything she does, and then she’s thrown into this situation, the fish out of water. She’s definitely New York City through and through and that shows in clothes and shoes and everything that feels out of place in Bluebell, Alabama.

Rachel Bilson Heart of DixieRachel Bilson Heart of Dixie

Kidzworld: You mention clothes and shoes. With the time you’ll spend on the show, will you be able to keep up your fashion column in “In Style” magazine and do anything with your clothing line?

  • Rachel: I’m trying to do as much as I can with things I love to do. It’s important to keep up with your passions so, hopefully I’ll be able to keep that up.

Kidzworld: What are your favorite online fashion sites?

  • Rachel: Well, if you can spend a little money Net-a-Porter is the place to go but they have a sales site called the Out Net which is definitely my preference. Also, I buy everything on Amazon.  Even if I just need a new i-Pod charger, I buy it on Amazon.

Kidzworld: So what is on your i-Pod?

  • Rachel: I have so much on it, it’s ridiculous; everything from Mumford and Sons to Justin Timberlake to Bob Dylan. It’s all over the place.

Heart of Dixie CastHeart of Dixie Cast

Kidzworld: You were part of a big ensemble cast on “The O.C.”, now you are the main star of this show. How are you handling that?

  • Rachel:  It was definitely more of an ensemble (on O.C.), but it still feels like an ensemble. I think there are so many different relationships going on, and the characters are awesome. I’m so lucky to have everyone that I do. I don’t feel any pressure because I really feel like it’s a group effort and everyone is so fantastic. I realize it is “Hart of Dixie” and Zoe Hart, it is her last name. But it is a group effort, and it really is a family. So there’s no pressure.

Kidzworld: Who would win in a catfight, Summer Roberts (her character from “The O.C.”) or Zoe Hart?

  • Rachel: Come on! Summer would totally take Zoe. I’m not even kidding but Zoe could stitch her up afterwards!

Kidzworld: Zoe is really shocked in the pilot when she encounters Burt Reynolds, the alligator. How was working with him?

  • Rachel: (laughs) He wouldn’t move. We tried everything. He was scary. He was the best co-star ever but he didn’t move. He kind of just hung out.  

Kidzworld: Is there a place to go in your life that you just can’t get enough of?

  • Rachel: My house! It’s very cozy and I’m painting my walls. They used to be pink and I’m painting them white.

Heart of Dixie

Kidzworld: You went into the film world for a while. Did you realize you enjoyed TV work more?

  • Rachel: In film, you establish these relationships and it’s more short-lived and then you move on. In television you have a family and you’re there every day and you get to create and stay with this character for so long and there is a nice familiarity with it and just to have that stability every day is very nice.

Kidzworld: You do have some movies was haven’t seen yet;  Life Happens and To Do List.

  • Rachel: Yeah, I play the older sister to Aubrey Plaza in To Do List. It’s such a funny comedy and Heart of dixieis a comedy as well and it’s female-driven. They both are and that’s so important.

Kidzworld: How did you like shooting the pilot for this show in Wilmington, North Carolina? (“Hart of Dixie” now shoots in L.A.)

  • Rachel: I loved it. It’s such a charming town. I have family in Johnson City, Tennessee which is really small. I have roots in the South and I can relate although my character has nothing to do with the South.  

Heart of Dixie SceneHeart of Dixie Scene

Kidzworld: Zoe is transplanted from the cig city to a small town. How would you function in a small town?

  • Rachel: I think I would do quite well. I’m pretty small. I think I would fit in with no glitch. I love the (slow) pace. I am a mellow person. I love to sleep and rest. I would just love to hang my feet off a porch any day.

Kidzworld: If you are that laid back, how would you adapt to a doctor’s busy schedule?

  • Rachel: Well, I feel like I do have a doctor’s schedule. I am on call pretty much and I’m waking up at five in the morning every day and have to report to work. But I don’t do what doctors do which is admirable and remarkable. I just have to pretend to do it.

Rachel Bilson Heart of Dixie

Kidzworld: In real life do you freak out at seeing blood?

  • Rachel: I’m fine with blood and shots. I don’t freak out with stuff like that. I can do a suture but I probably wouldn’t save you.

Kidzworld: Does all the medical lingo throw you?

  • Rachel: That’s definitely hard. It takes a few times but I’ve gotten it down now.

Heart of Dixie PosterHeart of Dixie Poster