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.
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.
The same producer from below changed his tune for Access Hollywood:
LOS ANGELES, Calif. —
After police were called to assist Mischa Barton with a medical issue on Wednesday a rep for the star broke the news to Access Hollywood that Mischa would not be attending the premiere of her new film, “Homecoming,” on Thursday in New York. And now the film’s producer says he has several concerns.
“I found out yesterday right around when it happened because we live in a world of technology where things are immediate,” Bingo Gubelmann told Access at the movie’s premiere. “I was bummed out, and we tried to figure out exactly what was wrong first – [Was] she going to be OK?”
Though Gubelmann was concerned for the actress, he admitted he was worried that Barton being a no-show would hurt the movie’s premiere.
“Selfishly I was like, ‘Oh man! It’s never going to happen! No one is going to show up. [People are] going to come to a premiere with no stars,’” he told Access.
Gubelmann said he has not been in contact with the actress since her incident.
“I haven’t been able to [speak with her,] I think she’s under lock and key right now,” he continued.
Despite Mischa’s recent trouble, Gubelmann said he would indeed cast her again in future projects.
“It was amazing,” he said of his time spent working with the actress on the horror movie. “She was so professional. I would definitely work with her again, no matter what. No matter how this goes down.”
On Thursday a rep for Barton told Access, “Ms. Barton was safely transferred to medical treatment for which she remains hospitalized, as per the recommendation of her doctor.”
A producer on Mischa Barton‘s new flick Homecoming isn’t thrilled she missed the NYC premiere after being involuntarily checked into a psych ward Wednesday.
“It’s frustrating. And it’s not ideal,” Bingo Gubelmann told Usmagazine.com at the Thursday premiere. “It’s frustrating, but I’m not going to sit here and trash her because we’re young as a company and we’ve got to live and learn…I don’t want to be known as the producer that will turn on any actress at the drop of that hat.”
While rolling his eyes, Gubelmann continued that “it’s hard to remember” why he chose Barton to star in his indie flick, “because, you know, she’s not here right now.
“Now, I haven’t spoken to her yet because she’s totally unreachable, so I don’t know exactly what happened. I mean, I’m not as good at taking the high road a some people and yes, it would obviously be nice if she was here. Even just to hang out,” he went on.
Gubelmann said Barton didn’t seem “at all” unstable while shooting the flick in less than a month, 16 hours a day.
“She did it and she did an amazing job. It’s like, maybe she went method and maybe that’s what happened!” he said, laughing.
Producer Austin Stark was more sympathetic toward the actress, who required a police escort from her Hollywood Hills home to the hospital.
“I think we would have loved to have had her come out and support the movie, [but] you know, we wish her the best and obviously we hope she gets better,” he told Us. “Obviously, it’s a trying time for her. I mean, obviously we’d like her to be here but I don’t think it hurts the movie.”
Added producer Benji Cohen: “She’s going through a rough patch and she can’t be here. And it’s really too bad.”
Director Morgan J. Freeman told Us: “I hope Mischa is doing OK. My thoughts and prayers are with her. Health first, movie second.”
That first producer guy, Bingo Gubelmann, what an absolutely horrid example of humanity.
NOT SO PRETTY: “She is sick.” That’s what Karey Burke, executive producer of Mischa Barton’s upcoming “The Beautiful Life,” CW series told WWD on the set of a shoot for the paper on Thursday. Barton had been scheduled for a photo shoot and interview, together with co-stars Sara Paxton and Ashley Madekwe, to promote the show. “Mischa wants very much to be a part of the piece and be interviewed later, but she has to get well so that she can be healthy in order to start actual production next week,” Burke said. Production for the show was scheduled to begin next Wednesday, although a CBS spokesperson later e-mailed she does not know when Barton will be in New York.
A rep for Barton had called WWD on Wednesday to say she would not be able to make the trip. Almost immediately thereafter, rumors started swirling on the Internet. Supposedly, on Wednesday Barton placed a call to the Los Angeles Police Department, and was subsequently admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In “The Beautiful Life,” she is set to play a Kate Moss-esque model who resurfaces after a mysterious absence.
Paxton and Madekwe did arrive as scheduled for the WWD shoot. Though neither had spoken to Barton, at least Paxton was following the rumors. “I read on People.com that she’s under 5150 (involuntary psychiatric hold) à la Britney,” said Paxton. “I don’t know what’s going on. I hope she’s OK.”