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Mischa Barton in town to film made-for-TV thriller

OTTAWA — From The OC to O-Town, actress Mischa Barton has seen much in her young Hollywood career.

The 25-year-old, British-born actress, who starred for three seasons in the hit TV series The OC, is in town this week to film Offline, a made-for-TV-movie. She plays a woman whose parents are murdered by a serial killer. She goes into seclusion, then reappears 13 years later as an accomplished painter, only to be discovered once again by the stalker.

The film co-stars Canadian actors Ron Lea, Daniel Levy (Eugene Levy’s son) and Marco Grazzini. The film, made for Lifetime Channel in the U.S., is produced by Neil Bregman of Sound Venture and directed by Curtis Crawford. The low-budget thriller will shoot for three weeks at various locations around town. It is expected to be released on the Lifetime Network next year.

Barton was to arrive in town Monday evening and begin filming June 15, said Bregman. He said getting Barton for the movie was a real coup.

“We wanted to put someone with cachet in the movie and Mischa was interested in the role and wanted to do it. She has real cachet,” said Bregman, who has made several TV movies for Lifetime.

Bregman said he wasn’t worried that Barton’s past troubles with the law will affect her entry into Canada. In December 2007, Barton was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and driving without a valid driver’s licence. In July 2009, she was removed from her Los Angeles home by police and placed in involuntary psychiatric hold in what police described as a “medical issue.”

“We have her immigration papers, everything is approved and we’re in constant communication with her,” said Bregman. “I’m not worried, but I will feel better when I see her here and understand her a little better and see how she is. So far she’s been delightful and interested and has ideas and thoughts about the role and is motivated.”

Barton’s last TV series, Beautiful Life, was cancelled after only two episodes in 2009. She has appeared in many television commercials and print advertising campaigns, including modelling for Calvin Klein, Bebe stores, Aeropostale and Neutrogena skin care products. She was among the Hollywood stars at AMFar’s Cinema Against AIDS gala at the recent Cannes Film Festival and was among celebrities in London last month at a party following the Champions League soccer game between Barcelona and Manchester United.

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