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Irish Times – Mischa & Madge

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

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