Adam Jared Brody (born December 15, 1979) is an American film and television actor and part time musician. He began his career in 1995, appearing on the Gilmore Girls and other series and subsequently came to fame for his role as Seth Cohen on The O.C., establishing his defining screen persona. Joel Stein of Time magazine has described Brody as creating an "Adam Brody type", a screen persona of a "nerdy, sarcastic, obscure-reference-laced Jew". Brody has also appeared in several film roles, including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Thank You for Smoking, and In the Land of Women.
Brody was born in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California, the oldest son of Jewish parents Valerie (née Siefman), a graphic artist, and Mark Brody, a lawyer. He has younger twin brothers, Sean and Matt. Brody attended Wangenheim Middle School and Scripps Ranch High School, receiving "poor grades", and grew up in suburban San Diego, spending time surfing. He has said that while he was not a "Casanova", he had "cute girlfriends" and "pretty much lived at the beach". Brody attended community college for one year and dropped out at the age of nineteen, moving to Hollywood in order to become an actor. He subsequently hired an acting coach and signed with a manager.
After a year of training and auditioning, Brody landed the role of Barry Williams in the 2000 TV movie Growing Up Brady. He was cast in recurring roles on Gilmore Girls as Dave Rygalski, Lane's bandmate and love interest, and the Canadian comedy television series The Sausage Factory. In 2001, he played a small role in American Pie 2, named as "high school guy". He was one of two high school guys who get chased away from Steve Stifler's party. In 2003, he wrote "Home Security" (a short film), appeared in the feature film Grind, and began playing his most famous role to date, Seth Cohen, a slightly awkward teenager, on the television show The O.C. The role turned Brody into a teen idol, with the character having been described by the Los Angeles Times as "TV's sexiest geek" and by Time as having "redefined" the screen persona of "unapologetic" nerdiness; his character (defined by director Jon Kasdan as the "new kind of nerdy Jewish guy: both self-deprecating and self-obsessed") has since inspired scripts to describe particular characters as "Adam Brody types". The role also developed Brody a female fan following and as a result, Brody was ranked No. 17 in Independent Online's "100 Sexiest Men Alive", was twice placed on Teen People's annual list of "25 Sexiest Stars under 25", and was the first male on the cover of Elle Girl. Brody improvised some of the character's comic dialogue.
During the show's run, Brody appeared alongside Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2005's film Mr. & Mrs. Smith and played a Hollywood studio assistant in the 2006 film adaptation of Thank You for Smoking. Brody was signed to a seven-year contract for The O.C., playing the role of Seth Cohen, where he acted much like himself. The show was eventually canceled in 2007 and ended its run in February of that year; Brody has said that he is "not unhappy" with the show's cancellation and that although he was "fortunate" to be on a successful series, he was also glad to "not be on it for 10 years". After the end of The O.C.'s run, Brody turned to a full-time film career. His next role was the film In the Land of Women, a romantic comedy co-starring Meg Ryan and Kristen Stewart and released on April 20, 2007. In the film, Brody plays the lead role, a writer who returns to his mother's Michigan hometown in order to take care of his sick grandmother. Brody did not have to audition for the part, but was almost unable to appear in the film because of scheduling conflicts with the second season of The O.C.; the film's director pushed filming back eight months because he wanted Brody to star. The same year, Brody also appeared in supporting roles in the lower budget films Smiley Face, playing a pot dealer, and The Ten, as a skydiver. He also guest appeared in the Smallville episode "Crush".
Brody, along with actor Zac Efron, was in consideration for the lead part in the film Speed Racer, a role which was eventually given to Emile Hirsch. Brody was also set to produce a remake of Revenge of the Nerds, which was canceled early during filming.
Brody was also in the music video of a song called "Too Bad About Your Girl" by The Donnas. He and Josh Lucas have signed onto the Boaz Yakin directed drama, Death in Love. As of March 2008, he is also in Academy Award winner Diablo Cody's new horror flick Jennifer's Body, co-starring Megan Fox.
Brody lives in Los Angeles. He dated The O.C. co-star Rachel Bilson, a three-year relationship that ended in December 2006. Their relationship was both on screen and off screen.
Brody plays drums for the band Big Japan with actor Bret Harrison. He writes screenplays and songs during his spare time and has co-written, along with Danny Bilson (father of ex-girlfriend Rachel Bilson) and Paul DiMeo, a comic book miniseries for Wildstorm Comics called Red Menace. Brody has also volunteered as an actor with the Young Storytellers Program, which is dedicated to developing literacy, self-expression and self-esteem in elementary school children.
Brody has described himself as a "fake intellectual" and his sense of humor as sarcastic. He is a secular Jew and has stated that he "couldn't be less religious". Brody has said that when he moved to Hollywood he became "more nerdy" and embraced his "neurotic side".