Ten years ago, the hit TV series The O.C. made 17-year-old Mischa Barton an instant “it” girl. Within a few years, however, she was the talk of Hollywood for a different reason as her partying grew out of control.
“We thought, ‘Work hard, play hard,’ ” she says of those years. In 2007, she was arrested for DUI. Then in 2009, shortly after her parents attempted an intervention, she blacked out under the influence of a sedative and landed in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center psychiatric ward under an involuntary 5150 hold after she threatened to kill herself.
“It was a full-on breakdown,” she tells PEOPLE, speaking about the events in detail for the first time in this week’s cover story. “I was under enormous pressure.”
The terrifying episode forced the actress to slow down and finally focus on getting healthy. But even that led to criticism when body bullies attacked her for gaining weight. When she first shot to stardom, “It was always, ‘She’s too skinny, she must be sick,'” says Barton, now 27. “Then it was, ‘She’s too big.’ I was never the right weight.”
Today, she’s focusing on the positive. In addition to her new supernatural thriller I Will Follow You Into The Dark, she filmed a TV pilot with Frankie Jonas, The Gutsy Frog, in which she plays a crush-worthy schoolteacher. She also has a London boutique, which carries her new makeup collection, a handbag line and some her favorite clothing styles. “I’ve learned a lot,” she says, and she’s proud of her choice to finally speak out about her struggles: “I’m stronger now.”
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her “terrifying” breakdown and how she recovered, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Follow Mischa on Twitter @MischAmazing
Mischa Barton’s latest film, indie I Will Follow You Into the Dark, is a romance-meets-scary movie that costars the very handsome Ryan Eggold as her supportive boyfriend who suddenly goes missing, causing Mischa to go searching for him in…you guessed it, the dark. It’s a lighter scary-movie fare for those who are scaredy cats this October. I caught up with the original Marissa Cooper to talk about what it’s like on set, her favorite OC moments, and more:
Tell me a little bit about the movie. What attracted you to the role?
Mischa Barton: Well, I thought it was just a really sweet character, and she had some interesting depth to her. I just liked the idea of the role and the director’s passion for the project too. It was a story he wanted to tell about faith and all these questions in life: “Where do we go when we die?” And the match with Ryan was really good. I thought that he was great. The whole thing really depended on the chemistry between me and the guy. When we got Ryan, I just thought it would be a really good cast.
What is it like filming a scary movie? Is there a different vibe on set?
Mischa: It depends. The bit that gets scary is the whole end of it, but then you have this whole other portion that’s not scary at all—the romantic stuff between me and Ryan. It was two different atmospheres. The scary bit gets filmed pretty quickly and some of it was really intense, especially toward the end it’s quite intense, the acting. But it’s just a small portion of it, so it’s like being in two different movies. We had a good time on both sides of the film.
London-born Barton says she was flummoxed by life in L.A. during the Fox melodrama, and that she prefers
working in indie films and theater
It’s been a long strange trip from “The O.C.” for Mischa Barton.
The classically trained, London-born, New York-raised actress — whose range of credits in theater and indie films barely survived her brush with teen stardom on the hit Fox network melodrama — says she’s much happier to be flying under the radar.
“That was a foreign world to me, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it or feel much at home there,” says Barton, 27, of the show that aired from 2003 to 2007. She now stars in the dark, brooding and cerebral romantic ghost story “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” opening Friday.
The actress, who got her start in heavy dramas (including the critically lauded “Lawn Dogs,” with Sam Rockwell) and drew critical attention for a scary turn in 1999’s “The Sixth Sense,” was thrown into a reality show-like world as “The O.C.” made her a star. Her character, Marissa Cooper, was a prototype of teen angst in the new millennium.
Continuing promotion for the October 11th release of I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Mischa had a great chat with PopSugar. Check it out below:
It looks like Mischa Barton isn’t ready — yet– for a reunion with The O.C. cast. Playing the lead role of Marissa Cooper from 2003-2006 until her character’s untimely death at the end of Season 3, a glowing and trimmed down Barton opened up about a possible reunion just days after the FOX teen soap celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
“You know — never say never,” Barton, 27, told Us Weekly at the Cosmopolitan Summer Bash in Hollywood, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 10. “But, I think things have to feel right and it doesn’t feel right. You can’t say that you feel one way or another about things, but before The O.C. I was on track to do some great films, as well, and one things happens and then I got this mega stardom all from this show. It is what it is, but I’m not looking to get sucked back into the limelight of it.”
Though the series proved to be breakout roles for Barton and her cast mates Benjamin McKenzie, Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson, she admits that she hasn’t stayed close with the actors. “I don’t,” she said of keeping in touch. “I mean, I run into people every once in a while, but I’m doing my own thing. I work a lot, so I feel like I’m never around in L.A. and I know that Ben and Rachel work on shows here.”
As for the 10-year anniversary, “I was like, ‘I hope everyone doesn’t start watching it again!'” she exclaimed.
Source: Us Weekly
I almost can’t believe the amount of projects Mischa is attached to star in this year! The latest to be added to the list is a movie called Disengaged that Mischa briefly mentioned on Twitter back in June. I wasn’t able to find any details back then, but an early website and Stage32 profile have recently come online touting Mischa’s involvement.
Other cast members attached to the project are: Martin Sheen, Denise Richards and Mena Suvari. Mischa also mentioned Adrian Grenier’s involvement in her initial tweet, but his name is not listed on either site.
The synopsis is as follows:
During an undercover drug deal that turns fatal, two police officers of different divisions are forced to compromise their integrity by a split second decision to plant evidence. A rigorous investigation by Internal Affairs Detective Jessica Pierson is far reaching and affects everyone, including the devastated mother of the young boy that was shot and killed during the bust. A street gangster witness to the shooting who now struggles to leave the gang life, while being hunted by a rogue drug addicted narcotics officer. The Captain of the LAPD treads carefully during the investigation as a young Assistant DA discovers details that threaten his chances of becoming Police Chief. Meanwhile, the recently recruited police officer that pulled the trigger is overwhelmed with guilt and the stress of his expectant wife. Events unfold and relationships unravel, forcing dangerous decisions that put everyone and their families at risk. Morals and values hang in the balance as Jessica Pierson uncovers the real truth and has to decide what is right.
At this stage all the actors are only listed as rumored, so unlike most of Mischa’s other upcoming projects, this one appears to be a little more tentative. But the plot sounds very interesting and the cast list is exciting, so I hope this goes ahead.
Ralph Server and TriQuest films announce a new film starring Timothy Hutton, Mischa Barton and Philipp Durand. The film is called BUTTERFLY LOVE. It is a story of star crossed lovers.
The story is set in wondrous Alaska – in the towns of Seldovia and Homer. Principal photography begins September 26 for a six week shoot. It is a drama about the power of love to transform.
Nazanin Bodiani rounds out the cast in the role of Sarah and Michel Legrand will compose the music score. Al Kasha is set to compose the love theme. Both musicians are Academy Award Winners and share four academy awards between them.
An additional unnamed Academy Award Winner may be added to the cast for which the company is presently in negotiations.
She never thought that Love would be having to choose between life and death, until that day…
- Plot Outline:
ALASKA. EMMA, an American girl aspiring to become a sculptor, is struggling between her job as a waitress and a failing relationship with her wealthy boyfriend, JEFFREY. She soon shares a mutual physical attraction with JEAN-PIERRE, an unsuccessful French painter working in an antique shop. But Emma’s strange behavior, characterized by tormenting and unexplained panic attacks, jeopardizes both Jean-Pierre’s and her life at times.
Source: TriQuest Films
BTW, thanks to everyone who ‘liked’ the I Will Follow You into the Dark FB page. The page is now well past the 3,000 mark I, for one, can’t wait to see this movie.
ET Online reports:
July 11, 2013
Billy Zane and Mischa Barton have signed on to star in Mining For Ruby, ETonline has exclusively learned.
The film follows Jack (played by Daniel Ponickly), a widower who falls for Ruby (played by Antoinette Kalaj), a passionate environmental hydrology grad student with a troubled past, who is embroiled in a poisonous waste controversy.
Mining For Ruby, written by Daniel Ponickly and directed by Zoe Quist, will shoot in Los Angeles and Alaska.
Thanks to Chris for the tip!