Sep 1, 2009
Mischa is featured with a cover and spread in Signature Magazine – brand new photoshoot! Hopefully someone living in LA will be able to send through full size scans. Meanwhile, here is what they have available on their website.
Mischa Barton Is Back
Photographed & Styled by Hellin Kay
Hair-Stephanie Pohl Makeup-Lisa Storey
The last few months haven’t been easy on one of the tabloid’s favorite subjects. What people presume to know and what they should know about Mischa Barton are two separate matters. Growing up in the spotlight is not an easy task for anyone, much less someone with a voice, an opinion and an otherwise healthy need to rebel. Most of us did it when we were young, but not in front of millions of people who are scrutinizing our every move, judging every word and every article of clothing. Our private and sometimes painful moments were ours and ours alone. Mischa doesn’t seem to have that same privilege.
Mischa Barton, known to close friends as ‘Meesh’ or ‘Meep,’ was born on January 24, 1986 in London, moved to New York City at age four, and obtained her first off-Broadway gig at age eight. In order to accommodate her active theatrical and on-screen pursuits, the talented young Barton attended Manhattan’s Professional Children’s School while securing numerous supporting roles in films such as The Sixth Sense, Skipped Parts, Lost and Delirious all before the age of 17. Barton preferred these ‘edgier’ roles to that of the sweet and simple young Hollywood siren that would seem the obvious fit for a slender blonde with arresting blue eyes. In fact, prior to landing the lead role of the rich and rebellious socialite Marissa Cooper in the hit television drama series The O.C., the majority of Mischa’s roles were in R-rated films involving sex, drugs, horror and homosexuality. Mischa Barton pushes the envelope, attracts the attention of her audience and presses them to look deeper — to see beyond her 5’ 9” modelesque frame. “I guess I prefer edgy to obvious,” says Barton. When asked about her greatest strength and Achilles heel, her response is identical, “The ability to draw attention.”
This Fall, Mischa stars in the much talked about series, The Beautiful Life. Premiering on the CW, the Ashton Kutcher produced show features Mischa Barton as a supermodel and Manhattan veteran struggling to maintain her position at the top of the high-fashion circuit of New York City. The parallels people will draw are obvious, life imitating art and vice versa.
So, what happens when the real life Barton, an accomplished actress familiar with the pressure of growing up in front of the Hollywood camera, makes a few unfashionable and quite public faux pas?
It came as no shock to family and friends that Mischa insisted on playing Shelby, the ‘bad girl’ in the summer ‘09 thriller Homecoming, directed by Morgan J. Freeman — a role originally intended for the film’s co-star, Jessica Stroup. “Given her role on The O.C., we all originally thought to cast Mischa as the pretty rich girl,” says Jim Young, the film’s producer. “She has a sweetness about her face with a girl next door quality that makes her relatable to an audience. However, upon meeting with Mischa, it was clear that she was not afraid to explore and experiment with darker characters. By the end of the sit down, we were convinced by her passion that she could play Shelby.”
“Though the film is intended as pure, unadulterated fun, I think Shelby is still a complex character… it’s always fun to play a character in which there’s a little trouble inside, but manages to keep it under control… at least for a stint,” says Barton in reference to her attraction to the part of Shelby. And Barton does manage to keep her personal life under control, at least when it comes to being on-set. On December 27, 2007, during a two-week hiatus from production of Homecoming, Mischa experienced her first public hiccup when she was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence and without a valid license. Despite the arrest, Barton returned to set without discussion of her personal drama and completed the film in accordance with the production schedule.
“She was professional despite the public embarrassment,” Young continues in reference to his film’s lead actress. “I don’t think that what is currently going on in Mischa’s personal life will hinder her ability to be very successful in the future. My experience on set showed that she was very professional, driven, and really strived to challenge herself with new types of roles.”
Not unlike other child stars, Mischa Barton has had to make the transition to adult actress under the scrutinizing eye of the Hollywood cameras. This metamorphosis on the movie screen does not always take place without public growing pains which troubled childhood actresses like Drew Barrymore have proven to confront, address, and successfully move beyond. “I live my life to the best of my ability,” says Barton, “we all travel a different course inclusive of hiccups along the way. I’m only human.” Not unlike other 23 year-olds her age, Barton enjoys spending her summers at the beach with her friends, shopping at trendy Los Angeles boutiques like Opening Ceremony, and vegan dining at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood. She enjoys playing with fashion and her style runs the gamut from flea market vintage to runway couture, noting Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, Matthew Williamson, Versace, Chloe, Jenni Kayne, Alice Temperley, and Zac Posen as her favorite designers to wear and work with.
Despite the recent media frenzy surrounding Barton’s physical and mental health, Barton has committed herself to stay, “healthy, happy, and focused on her work” over the year to come. When asked what the fairytale ending of her life would be, Mischa responds “She lived life to its fullest; both personally and professionally, and lived happily ever after.” Clearly Mischa has the talent to move forward from her public personal struggles, the support of her colleagues to achieve her goals, and if she maintains her current resolve, only The Beautiful Life to look forward to.
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