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Ben McKenzie says rewatching ‘The O.C.’ with his 7-year-old daughter was a ‘bad idea’

The actor, who portrayed Ryan Atwood, said he was trying to impress his kids before joking it was “terrible parenting.”
Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, Benjamin McKenzie and Rachel Bilson of "The O.C." at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards.
Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, Benjamin McKenzie and Rachel Bilson of "The O.C." at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards.KMazur / WireImage
/ Source: TODAY

Ben McKenzie was trying to impress his kids with his role in “The O.C” — until he regretted it.

The actor portrayed Ryan Atwood in the hit teen series, which premiered in 2003 and ran for four seasons. McKenzie revealed that he rewatched the show with his 7-year-old daughter, Frances, and called it a “bad idea.”

“I haven’t been working in the last couple years because I’ve been doing this stupid book thing, and so (the kids) think that their mom is cool because she’s in movies, but they’re not aware of my work,” McKenzie said of wife Morena Baccarin on the May 9 episode of Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke’s “Welcome to the O.C., Bitches” podcast. “So I let Frances watch 'The O.C.' at 7 years old ... bad idea, bad idea."

“She, of course, loves it. Like, absolutely loves it. I had to cut it off after two episodes because I was like, ‘Oh my god, I forgot about the smoking,’” he continued. “I remembered the drinking. And there’s cocaine!”

McKenzie said that his daughter “really wants to continue watching it.” And while her enthusiasm is “adorable,” he also said it was “really weird to watch it with your daughter.”

The actor joked that his Batman prequel “Gotham” would have been a better show to begin with. “Even though there’s people dying left and right.”

However, rewatching a couple episodes with his daughter made McKenzie, who also is father to a 9-year-old and 2-year-old, reflect on his time on the show.

“It was interesting to watch it with my daughter and to look at myself as a younger person,” he said. “I have to say on many, many, many levels it holds up. Like, it’s still a very entertaining, addictive (show).”

He added that his daughter was “ready to go with the next episode as soon as it’s over.” Quipping, “Which again, is terrible parenting.”

Meanwhile, “The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz, who was also a guest on the episode, shared that he’s still reluctant to let his 11-year-old watch the show.