Peter GallagherPhoto by Getty Images
At one of the last shows of his monthlong residency at Feinstein’s at the Regency last week, erstwhile O.C. star Peter Gallagher charmed the captivated audience with song (“Luck Be a Lady,” “She’s No Lady,” “Danny Boy”) and stories (drinking with famed boozer Peter O’Toole, playing “cool dad” Sandy Cohen, battling those uncooperative eyebrows). Particularly intriguing, though, was the story of a “promising” young actor he worked with last year who Gallagher was appalled to learn hadn’t the faintest notion who the great playwright Arthur Miller was. The ever-affable Gallagher didn’t name names, but luckily, his O.C. tenure kept him too busy to do much else in recent years, so he made our job easy.
SUSPECT: BENJAMIN MCKENZIE
Relationship: Broke into Hollywood with his role as Peter Gallagher’s badass adopted son from Chino.
Likelihood of actorly cluelessness: Nil. His brother, Nate, is a Yale grad working in “avant-garde theater in New York,” and his uncle is Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. Plus, according to IMDb, McKenzie’s pre-TV credits include a role Off Broadway in Life Is a Dream and lots of festival work. Everyone knows you can’t go near a summer-stock stage without someone mentioning The Crucible.
SUSPECT: CHRIS PRATT
Relationship: Played irritating Brown U. activist Che on the O.C.’s spotty final seasons.
Likelihood of actorly cluelessness: Moderate. Though he wasn’t into acting before his “discovery” on a beach in Maui by b-actress Rae Dawn Chong, and his résumé isn’t very high-drama (Everwood, Cursed Part 3), IMDb lists his outside interests as “writing, shooting short films, painting, and fishing,” and that’s good enough for us.
SUSPECT: ADAM BRODY
Relationship: Played Gallagher’s smart-alecky son Seth Cohen on The O.C.
Likelihood of actorly cluelessness: High. Brody spent his formative years surfing and hanging around in San Diego, Calif., an area not particularly known for its high ratio of thespians to surfers. Prior to The O.C., his only credits were playing Peter Brady on Growing Up Brady and a slew of guest spots on shows like Gillmore Girls and Smallville. Plus, we hear he was a guest on last week’s party plane to the Life Ball, and something about hanging with Heatherette and making witty repartee about Death of a Salesman just doesn’t add up.
SUSPECT: SETH GREEN
Relationship: Worked with Gallagher on two episodes of Robot Chicken in 2006.
Likelihood of actorly cluelessness: Off the charts! The dark-horse candidate in this roundup, Green’s CV reads like a greatest hits of bro-it-up flicks, and he’s known for making statements like “There are two kinds of people in this world: Michael Jackson fans and losers.” Our money’s on the little guy. —Sara Cardace
Related: The O.C. [IMDB]
Related: Why Did Viewers OD On the ‘O.C.’? [NYM]
All photos by Getty Images.Who’s Peter Gallagher’s Clueless Young Actor Friend? We Help You Decide.