"' recalls Bilson, placing a capacious Zac Posen handbag on the garden table before settling down to a makeshift picnic at the end of the photo-shoot. I did a couple of scenes with Hayden and, yeah, it worked out well, you know,' she says, smiling.
Bilson was busy shooting the final series of The OC when she received a text message from Doug Liman, the celebrated director of Swingers, The Bourne Identity and Mr and Mrs Smith.
Liman was on set in Canada and in urgent need of a new female lead after deciding that the original cast (20-year-olds Tom Sturridge and Teresa Palmer) were too young.
So how does she plead, asks Catherine Elsworth The first I spy of Rachel Bilson is an electric-blue suede platform stiletto peeping out of a doorway, probably 4in high and at least a size too big.
Bilson is standing in the door of a bohemian house atop a hill in Echo Park, Los Angeles, dusty sunlight flooding through a billowy translucent dress, posing for the Stella photo-shoot.
'Hi, I'm Rachel,' she says with a warm smile, politely offering a hand.
Without the shoes ('You can't go wrong with Christian Louboutin') Bilson is tiny, a little over 5ft, doll-like with a perfectly symmetrical face, full lips and professionally tidied brows arching over huge brown eyes.
Do you think that Rachel is hoping to plan her own wedding soon?
Or do you think she and Hayden are happy with things the way they are?
Heard from many Christensen/Bilson fans who were jazzy about the new photos yesterday and today there are a lot more.