In an era when film production is an increasingly risky business, a triumvirate of New York City natives with familiar last names have decided to throw their hats into the ring. Bingo Gubelmann (brother to Phoebe and Tantivy and cousin to Marjorie); Austin Stark (an heir to Stark Carpets) and their friend, banker Benji Kohn, formed Paper Street Films two years ago. This weekend, their very first effort, teen thriller flick “Homecoming,” was released and garnered a flurry of tabloid attention when star Mischa Barton landed in the hospital the eve of the premiere.
Stark talked to WWD.
WWD: Why did you cast Mischa Barton as the villain, former homecoming queen Shelby?
A.S.: There are very few actors that are that age who can validate the budget for your investors. So Mischa was on a very short list.
WWD: How do you think her involuntary pyschiatric-hold might affect the film?
A.S.: First and foremost, we hope that Mischa gets well soon. Mischa’s health first, movie second. That’s the important thing here. But, honestly, “Homecoming” is a pulpy teen thriller that appeals best to the younger set. If anything, it’s probably brought more awareness. But it’s certainly not how we wanted this to play out.
WWD: Did this come as a surprise to you or did her behavior on-set indicate that this would be a risk?
A.S.: She was a total professional. She came prepared every day, was always on time, and delivered a fantastic performance. I’m not too close with Mischa personally, so I was a bit surprised by all of this, but certainly not shocked. I hear the rumors like everyone else. The whole thing makes me a little sad.
First photos of Mischa have emerged from July 19th allegedly taken inside the psych ward at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Beverly Hills. No other information was given, but at least Mischa is well enough to be up walking and fully dressed. Its unclear if she will be leaving the hospital soon but I’m sure we’ll get more information over the coming days. Hit up Celebrity-Gossip for the photos as these shots will also not be added to the mischa-b gallery archive.
Just a quick post to mention that Ben Hollingsworth who plays Chris opposite Mischa in their upcoming show The Beautiful Life, left a nice little Twitter message about Mischa:
Mischa TBL is thinking of you. It’s tough. Get well soon.
Here is another newish promo for The Beautiful Life. This one doesn’t feature Mischa, but still cool to see new stuff from TBL. Raina (played by Sara Paxton) and Chris (played by Ben Hollingsworth) seem like the IT couple of the show.
And here is a re-post of the Mischa-centric promo from last week in case anyone missed it:
There are a series of photos that have been released of Mischa the day before she was hospitalized. She is pictured resting at an LA hotel with an extremely bloated/swollen jaw. I have to say that these photos really don’t support the Access Hollywood story that Mischa was placed on a psychiatric hold. She looks like a girl suffering from medical complications from an oral surgery. Mischa looks very ill and fragile, I really really hope she’s recovering smoothly.
I don’t have any solid facts but as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. I do wonder why the paparazzi took so long to release these photos? And why Mischa’s reps aren’t commenting on the situation. There are so many conflicting reports, I think its time someone came out with the truth.
I won’t be posting the full set of photos as she’s just so vulnerable in them, but I know everyone is concerned and curious due to the media turning the situation into a free-for-all.
Edit: Received some emails overnight from people complaining that I’m feeding lies about the Dental complications story, lol. Just for the record, my personal stance on this situation is that I don’t know what the truth is. I’m not sure of either story. I want to hear from Mischa’s team for clarification. It is not my intention to flat out deny the psychiatric hold story, I just think that people should keep in mind there are other possibilities. We just have to wait and see. All that matters is that she is okay.
Actress Mischa Barton, who has been trying to resurrect her career after it got sidetracked following the end of The O.C., couldn’t have picked a worse day to end up being hospitalized for a reported nervous breakdown, as it caused her to miss the New York premiere of her newest film, Homecoming. on Thursday night.
“I found out she wasn’t going to be here last night,” producer Benji Kohn revealed to OK!. “We were very surprised. We didn’t have the details. We just heard the basics — that she was going through personal issues. That was the extent of it.”
One irony repeated by everyone at the premiere was just how well Mischa slipped into playing the role of a disturbed young woman who gets nasty revenge on her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.
“She was fantastic,” says the film’s director, Morgan J. Freeman. “She really enjoyed carving out this sort of psychotic character.”
However, Freeman made it clear that Mischa is not the twisted person you see in the film. “She was playing a character that needed to be institutionalized,” he explained. “But that was acting.”
Producer Bingo Gubelmann said he actually surprised at how grounded Mischa was during the 20-day shoot. “She’s been an actress her entire life, and a lot of people who are like that, have kind of a disconnect,” he explained. “But she was, and she is, very professional and normal, and is very fun to hang out with. It is very fun to hang out with her, and hopefully it’s going to be fun to hang out with her sooner rather than later.”
As for Mischa’s arrest for DUI that caused the filmmakers to halt production, Gubelmann said, “I thought that was going to be the end-all. We weren’t really sure how she was going to be when she came back, but she was so apologetic and she was just like ‘let’s get right back at it.’ It was awesome to watch. She dove deeper into the character, and could take some of that anxiety of the stress of that situation out on a film that was shooting in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania.”
And while Gubelmann hasn’t talked to Mischa since hearing of her hospitalization, he does have a positive message for her: “This in no way affects my opinion of her as an actress, and I would gladly work with her in any project moving forward.”
Is life imitating art for Mischa Barton?
The 23-year-old plays a former homecoming queen who goes berserk on her ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend in the new flick “Homecoming.” Barton missed the New York premiere last night after being taken to the psych ward at Cedars-Sinai in L.A.
The film’s director, Morgan J. Freeman, doesn’t believe Barton’s role played a part in the real-life drama. Freeman tells “Extra,” “She was very professional on-set in playing a character who got to lose her mind in the movie, but I don’t see that in having any relationship to her real life.”
Freeman enjoyed working with Barton and says she was “cheery” and “funny” while on the set of “Homecoming.” He adds, “She was excited about some other job things happening.”
He also says the former “The O.C.” star was “100% professional” and “prompt,” and that Barton knew her lines, and that the news of her hospitalization was a complete shock to him.
The production start on CW’s new drama “The Beautiful Life” has been pushed back by a week, from July 22 to July 31.
And despite the widely publicized recent meltdown and hospitalization of co-star Mischa Barton, sources close to the show say the reason for the delay is far more mundane: Some of the sets for the show were not completed on time.
“Beautiful Life,” executive produced by Ashton Kutcher, revolves around a group of models living together in a coed residence in New York. On the series, which is scheduled to premiere Sept. 16 behind “America’s Next Top Model,” the “O.C.” alumna plays a supermodel and veteran of the high-fashion circuit who is struggling to keep on top and is in danger of slipping.
“Beautiful Life” has been getting an extra dose of prelaunch publicity from the tabloid exploits of Barton, who, following a call to the police on Wednesday night, was put under an involuntary psychiatric hold at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She spent time in rehab last year.