Former The O.C. star Mischa Barton was once one of the young starlets trailed by paparazzi, and having her every move documented on celeb rags and site; but now the 27-year-old has faded into the background. And she likes it that way.
In an interview with The Daily Beast to promote an indie flick called A Resurrection, the former teen star is happy that her daily coffee run isn’t scrutinized anymore. “I’m so relieved it’s not how it was, she says. “It’s not the person. It was the time. Everything was an ‘It’ girl this or ‘It’ girl that. It was just over the top.”
“I just think there’s a negative side — obviously, that’s an understatement — to having all that attention,” she said. “Because it’s not friendly. It’s invasive. I find, in order to get your job done, actors need a certain amount of anonymity. You’re being blown up to that extent, and everybody is following every little piece of your life. ‘Oh, she went to Starbucks to get a Frappuccino with a caramel.’ Then they follow you to the gas station. It’s impossible to concentrate on the work. When you just want to go on vacation and you hear a twig snap and there’s a guy in a tree, it’s not relaxing. You can’t be a real person. So I’m happy things have changed.”
It’s been a bumpy road for Mischa since her character was killed off The O.C. in 2006, reportedly dropped from her talent agency in 2008, and in 2009 her CW television series The Beautiful Life flopped. A few years ago she endured relentless press about some cellulite photos, had a DUI charge in 2007, and in 2009 she was placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold after a meltdown over “botched dental surgery.”
Because of past experiences, Mischa was a bit gun shy about talking to the press, and The Daily Beast had to agree to not ask her any personal questions.
Jamie Kennedy, a producer of A Resurrection, noted that “the press can get really c**ty. They focus so much less on people’s work. For a girl who comes on as a young ingénue, they love you and start picking on you later.”
One of the reasons that the press hasn’t harassed Mischa in a few years is that she’s been living a pretty calm life publicly. In a 2010 interview the actress said that she was “avoiding drinking” and focusing on her career. In 2012 she attributed her success in moderating her drinking to going on six-week no-booze “fasts.”