Mischa Barton laments being on The OC and says she very nearly didn't take role

Actress said her time on the hit teen drama was not what she had expected it to be

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The Independent Culture

If Mischa Barton could go back to the beginning of The OC and re-live it all again she wouldn’t, she says.

It was staple TV viewing for those of us in school or sixth form during its tenure as one of the most popular teen dramas in the mid-Noughties. And it catapulted Barton to a household name.

However, playing well-to-do protagonist Marissa Cooper wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, Barton has said.

She told Metro that she almost didn’t accept the role after having some success with the movie industry, suggesting that a glittering Hollywood career was disrupted by her time on the Fox series.

“It’s something I came so close to not doing. I had a really great thing with film.


“People say be grateful for what you have but it [was] certainly not the kind of thing I was expecting it to be… I’ve kind of seen it all.”

Prior to The OC, she had parts in 1999 classics Notting Hill and Sixth Sense.

When asked if she would take up the role of Marissa again, she said: “Probably not.”


Barton, 28, ran into some turbulent times after her three-series stint on The OC.

She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and without a valid license in 2007, while in 2009 she was sectioned in a psychiatric unit for two weeks, following a trip to the dentist.

“It’s tough. It’s really tough when you are young in this business. People blow a lot of hot air at you,” she explained.

“That’s the main thing. Keep your head on your shoulders – even when you think your head is on your shoulders, sometimes it isn’t!

“It’s just one of those things when you are growing under a microscope and changing and that evolution is human. That humanity aspect means flaws – which people don’t want to see.”

She then warns young, ambitious thespians: “Keep your private life private to the greatest extent that you can. People have this insatiable appetite for it – so how far can you go with that?”