WHATEVER happened to Mischa Barton? If you can recall, Hollywood’s golden girl was persecuted by the tabloid press for having — shock horror — cellulite a few years ago, and then we didn’t hear hilt nor hair of her again.
Until now. Barton is in Dublin until September 22, where she is playing the role of Shelby Eatenton in Robert Harling’s heartwarming play, Steel Magnolias at the Gaiety Theatre.
Set in Truvy’s hair and beauty salon in the small town of Chinquapin, Louisiana, it follows the friendship of six local women of varying ages through life’s peaks and troughs. It is a meditation on sisterhood and motherhood. It is laugh-out-loud funny and lump-in-your-throat sad.
Most will know the play from its 1989 cinematic retelling. Julia Roberts played Shelby, while a powerhouse of female talent including the sensational Shirley Maclaine, Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Daryl Hannah starred alongside her.
The title beautifully describes the complexities of women; how they can be as delicate as flowers yet iron strong.
Those who come to see the theatrical version will know the play as a film, rather than the other way around. Expectations will be high, and I don’t think it will disappoint.
Barton sparkles from the moment she steps on stage. We first meet her character on the day of her wedding, and we learn that she is unquestionably kind and relentlessly upbeat — even in the face of illness.
It is so easy to dislike saccharine sweet characters for their lack of edge, but Barton’s Shelby is instantly magnetic.
Another well-known face is Anne Charleston, better known as Madge in Neighbours. She plays the curmudgeonly Ouiser (Maclaine’s role in the film), and she takes to the task with aplomb.
Karen Ardiff (Truvy), Barbara Brennan (M’Lynn), Gillian Hanna (Miss Clairee) and Natalie Radmall-Quirke (Annelle) are equally captivating. Some of the Louisiana drawls occasionally slip when they drag their vowels all the way to Mississippi, but for the most part they give accomplished performances, never missing their beats.
For all the big hair, bright outfits and constant gossip, one forgets how difficult it is to produce an ensemble piece with just one set (the beauty salon). This cast make it look easy.
Check out this behind the scenes video of Mischa from the Heat shoot shared by Inanch London. Thanks to Caleb for the tip!
Scans of Mischa’s spread from the September issue of Front Row Monthly have been added.
Mischa’s made several television appearances in England and Ireland which I’ve already posted about on Twitter, but in case anyone missed it, here are Mischa’s two August appearances – Beat TV and Saturday Night with Miriam. The appearances are mainly in support of Mischa’s upcoming stage production of Steel Magnolias in Ireland.
Here are scans of Mischa’s spread from You Magazine – part of the Daily Mail newspaper in Ireland. Kinda obsessed with the cover shot (actually, the whole shoot!)
Thanks to photographer Patrick Bolger for tweeting about the spread, since I
could have missed it entirely if it wasn’t mentioned.
Check out this shot of Mischa from an OK! UK photo spread promoting Mischa’s recently opened fashion & accessories boutique in Spitalfields, London.I’ll hopefully have scans up from the spread soon.
Mischa is wearing her own collection which you can purchase from the Mischa’s Place website. They do ship internationally btw so it’s not just for British folks.
Photo: OK! UK
INTERVIEW: Hollywood star Mischa Barton and Anne Charleston, Madge from ‘Neighbours’, talk to BERNICE HARRISON about starring in a new Irish production of ‘Steel Magnolias’
I’M SO RECOGNISABLE,” says Mischa Barton in a straightforward, this-is-how-it-is, way and she’s right, she is. For four years she starred in The OC, the US-made nougties mega hit TV series that became a global teen phenomenon. There’s also something instantly familiar about people who have appeared in long-running TV series, even if you can’t recall ever seeing a single episode. It’s all the extra stuff – the interviews, the photo-shoots, the product endorsements and the paparazzi shots – the everywhereness of celebrity culture.
The OC ended in 2007 and she’s worked steadily in film since and although she hasn’t done any work that matches that early mega success, Barton has maintained a high profile. Not that the elderly men playing bowls on Tuesday evening in Leinster Cricket Grounds in Rathmines seem bothered and there’s no paparazzi lurking in the bushes waiting to snap the 26-year-old as we sit in the evening sunshine outside their clubhouse. The bowls club is where director Ben Barnes is rehearsing a new Irish production of Steel Magnolias. Mischa Barton is the star, and – the producers, Solar Theatre, hope – the big name that’ll draw the crowds when the production opens in Dublin in September and then tours around the country.
“It’s nice to have a break from it [the paparazzi]. It’s largely the reason to do a play here. There’s less of the fuss and ridiculousness here.” She’s been a regular visitor to Ireland since she was a small child – her mother, Nuala Quinn from Roscommon, brought the family home to the farm on summer holidays and she recently took a road trip around Kerry and Cork. Tuesday was the second day of what will be a three-week rehearsal period and she’s very much in work mode: black skinny jeans, oversized black combat jacket, battered looking pumps, make-up free, tousled hair – the only concession to fashion is her eye-catching gold trimmed black handbag. It’s from her own range, for sale in the Mischa Barton Boutique, the London shop she opened two weeks ago to stock her bags and her new clothing and cosmetic range.
Read the full article: Irish Times
Melbourne Cup organisers have lured their first celebrity to the November racing extravaganza, with Mischa Barton set to attend the Dublin-themed Emirates Marquee.
Barton is currently combining highly successful careers in both fashion and entertainment. Next month, she returns to the stage in an Irish production of Steel Magnolias with Australian actress Anne Charleston.
Born to an Irish mother and with a grandfather who was Gaelic language professor at the University of Belfast, organisers hope Ms Barton will be a glamorous addition to the exclusive Irish-themed Emirates Marquee on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.
It has been inspired by the famous landmarks of Ireland’s capital and Trinity College. Ms Barton will then join the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) chairman Michael Burn to watch the race in the Chairman’s Suite.
“I am so looking forward to being a guest of Emirates and the Victoria Racing Club at the Emirates Melbourne Cup,” said Ms Barton.
“I am excited to visit Flemington racecourse and witness what I understand is an extraordinary fashion spectacle.
“Being of Irish descent, I’m sure I will feel right at home in the Emirates Marquee and I can’t wait to be involved in this world-famous event.”
Mr Burn said the VRC was looking forward to welcoming the international beauty to Flemington for Emirates Melbourne Cup Day. “Ms Barton’s presence emphasises the international appeal of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We have no doubt her time at Flemington will be one that she fondly remembers,” he said.
Boutros Boutros, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communication, Emirates Airline, said: “We are delighted to host Mischa Barton on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, as we celebrate Dublin, which earlier this year joined Emirates’ ever expanding global network.”
Joining Barton on her trip to Australia will be her boyfriend, London-based actor Sebastian Knapp. The pair will reportedly spend time at Emirates luxurious Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, located in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.