Mischa Barton returns to TV this fall as troubled supermodel Sonja Stone, popping pills and trying to make a comeback after taking a six-month hiatus from her modeling career. No one understands why she had to take the break — but it is revealed in the first episode.
Mischa made headlines of her own last month when she was hospitalized, and the buzz was that she was being dropped from the cast. But exec producer Ashton Kutcher stood by her, and so have her co-stars.
“She’s amazing. She’s here to work. She’s really actually inspirational in terms of her artistic ability and endeavors,” Nico Tortorella, who plays Cole Shepherd, tells ET. “I think she’s an amazing person and I am so glad to have her here.”
And when asked how Mischa is doing, Ben Hollingsworth, who plays Chris Andrews, says, “She’s doing great. I mean, I think it’s really surprising to see just how great she is doing. She seems in great spirits.”
In fact, art may be imitating life in the character of Sonja, who is living her life in the spotlight, hounded by paparazzi, and is at a make-it-or-break-it time in her career.
“There are themes thematically that are exactly what is going on in Mischa’s life and she has embraced all of it in a really smart way. I hope this community will find it interesting that she is brave enough to do that,” exec producer Carol Barbee says.
In fact, having Mischa on board is a benefit, according to series creator/exec producer Mike Kelley, who says Mischa can pickup the phone and call her model and designer friends and get them on board.
“Versace came onboard and gave us a gold shimmer dress,” Mike cites as an example.
“The Beautiful Life” reveals the ugly truth behind the modeling world, telling the story through the lives of young models and their tough agent, played by supermodel Elle Macpherson, who says, “It is authentic in its human relations and it is authentic in its portrayal of the industry.”
The series, which will delve into drugs, sex and love triangles, also stars a “High School Musical” graduate, Corbin Bleu, who is the target of a cougar’s affections.
“It starts off at first as awkward and she’s pretty much just using him,” Corbin says of his storyline.
“The Beautiful Life” premieres Wednesday, September 16 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Click here to watch the cast video of these interviews
Just because Mischa Barton‘s had some well-publicized personal issues lately doesn’t mean the powers that be behind her new CW show, The Beautiful Life, are going to shy away from certain close-to-home storylines.
The big question is: Now that we know Mischa’s not doing a disappearing act—though producers teased someone will in the pilot—will they be holding back the types of stories one might expect a young model in New York to go through?
Here’s what executive producer Mike Kelley told us today at the CBS and CW special online screening session about Mischa’s storylines and a possible Gossip Girl crossover episode with The Beautiful Life…
“No,” he said. “I had that conversation with Mischa, and those stories were going to be told with or without Mischa being the actress in that role, so I just said I didn’t want to be insensitive with what was happening with her. But at the same time I didn’t want to not tell interesting and dramatic stories, and she was so game.’
“There are things that we had planned on doing with Sonya’s character that we did not shy away from at all,” added executive producer Karey Burke. “It’s dealing with a character that is living her life in the spotlight, being hounded by the paparazzi, who is at a massive turning point in her career, where it’s sort of make-it-or-break-it time, and there are things thematically where it’s exactly what’s going on with Mischa’s life, and she’s embracing all of them.”
Yes, this means we can expect Mischa’s Sonya to dabble with drug use. “Mischa’s character ends up sort of taking a page from the whole Kate Moss situation and kind of using it to her advantage,” Karey told us exclusively.
“She had a rough go of it for a bit there,” added Mike. “She’s a kid. She’s 23-years-old, and she’s growing. Things are behind her that were negative, and she’s really focused on the positive. She looks great, and her acting is terrific. She’s very positive and excited, and so are we. We feel really, really lucky to have gotten past this and to have her on the show. Her character is integral to all the stories, so her character is not going anywhere and neither is Mischa.”
Meanwhile, it’s not that hard to imagine Blair (Leighton Meester) and Serena (Blake Lively) sitting front row at a fashion show featuring Sonya or Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) flirting with new model Raina (Sara Paxton), so why shouldn’t we expect a crossover between the two New York-based CW shows?
Mike and Karey spilled that they’re already thinking of a way to get the casts of Gossip Girl and The Beautiful Life to join forces in a mega-New York crossover.
While nothing is set in stone for the crossover right now, Mike teased a possible storyline that he’ll be pitching to Gossip‘s executive producer Stephanie Savage: “My idea—since these things happen—there are blackouts. The idea is that we have two shows that exist in the same city, and if our cast is on the subway, and their cast is on the subway, and then the subway shuts down. We don’t even have to necessarily cross them; we can simply tell two stories with them in the background and maybe have one or two characters cross through.” Karey also told us she wouldn’t mind Chuck Bass stealing some of the models, natch.
Finally, other guest stars you can expect range from designers Matthew Williamson, Erin Fetherston and Project Runway‘s Nina Garcia, to model Jessica Stam and the Versace and Calvin Klein brands. Also, Elle Macpherson is sticking around for seven of the 13 original episodes, and her storyline “takes you into her personal life that gets intertwined with Mischa Barton’s personal life in a really interesting and surprising way,” said Karey. There’s only a slight chance that executive producer Ashton Kutcher could be in front of the camera. For now, his only plan is to hopefully direct an episode.
What do you think of a Gossip Girl and The Beautiful Life crossover? Scared Chuck’s wandering eyes may cause trouble with the models and, more importantly, Blair? How about Mischa’s storylines?
Mischa is featured on the cover of an Australian magazine called “Cream” with a brand new interview. The photoshoot used for the spread is several years old but the layout is still pretty cool and sleek nevertheless. The interview itself is done in Q&A style and appears to have been conducted after the pilot for The Beautiful Life was shot but before Mischa was hospitalized.
I’ve also uploaded Mischa’s 5 page spread from Australian OK! Magazine – well 6 pages counting the Mischa/Nico feature picture.
Candids of Mischa walking Charlie and Ziggy in NYC – Aug 17 have been uploaded. Mischa’s not wearing any make-up in these shots, and it looks like she is heading to the gym or something as she’s wearing training-wear. Big thanks to Katya from Eva Longoria.net.ru for sending through the pics.
A few candids Mischa having lunch in NYC from August 16th have been uploaded. BTW, The Beautiful Life is due to film on location today in NYC so hopefully Mischa is part of the schedule.
Title: Assassination of a High School President
Starring: Mischa Barton
Released: 6th October 2009
SRP: $24.96 (DVD)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced DVD ($24.96) and Blu-ray ($34.95) releases of Assassination of a High School President which stars Mischa Barton, Reece Thompson, and Bruce Willis. Each will be available to own from the 6th October. Extras will include a filmmakers commentary, deleted scenes with optional commentary, extended and alternate scenes with optional commentary, and alternate opening sequences with optional commentary. The DVD artwork is attached:
Candids of Mischa on set for an evening shoot for the show have been uploaded. Mischa is pictured with both Charlie and Ziggy. And also Ashley Madekwe and what seems to be Nico’s puppy. Not all photos are hq unfortunately.
Another set of candids of Mischa on set for The Beautiful Life, these are from August 12th. She is pictured arriving to set with wet hair and then later walking Charlie and Ziggy.