Mischa Barton’s ‘full-on breakdown’ & subsequent comeback covers People Mag


These are some photos of Mischa Barton from October 9th – she attended the LA premiere of I Will Follow You Into The Dark. Mischa has been showing up on more red carpets lately from what I’ve noticed – most of the time, the events are pretty budget and Mischa is one of the biggest “names” there, so that should tell you something. But I have noticed that she’s been making an effort to be seen, and that she’s been making an effort to look more pulled together. Well, that effort has scored her a People Magazine cover. I know, it’s a weird choice, right? But I have to admit, I kind of want to read this cover story. I feel like People Mag is making more an effort to feature covers with people of my generation rather than my mom’s generation. It’s an interesting change:

mischa people

Ten years ago, the hit TV series The O.C. made 17-year-old Mischa Barton an instant “it” girl. Within a few years, however, she was the talk of Hollywood for a different reason as her partying grew out of control.

“We thought, ‘Work hard, play hard,’ ” she says of those years. In 2007, she was arrested for DUI. Then in 2009, shortly after her parents attempted an intervention, she blacked out under the influence of a sedative and landed in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center psychiatric ward under an involuntary 5150 hold after she threatened to kill herself.

“It was a full-on breakdown,” she tells PEOPLE, speaking about the events in detail for the first time in this week’s cover story. “I was under enormous pressure.”

The terrifying episode forced the actress to slow down and finally focus on getting healthy. But even that led to criticism when body bullies attacked her for gaining weight. When she first shot to stardom, “It was always, ‘She’s too skinny, she must be sick,’” says Barton, now 27. “Then it was, ‘She’s too big.’ I was never the right weight.”

Today, she’s focusing on the positive. In addition to her new supernatural thriller I Will Follow You Into The Dark, she filmed a TV pilot with Frankie Jonas, The Gutsy Frog, in which she plays a crush-worthy schoolteacher. She also has a London boutique, which carries her new makeup collection, a handbag line and some her favorite clothing styles. “I’ve learned a lot,” she says, and she’s proud of her choice to finally speak out about her struggles: “I’m stronger now.”

[From People]

I do like how People Mag kind of glosses over the exact dates and the nit-gritty of how Mischa stopped “playing hard”. Did she go to rehab? Is she following a 12-step program? Has she been sober since 2009? Those are my questions. Still, if Mischa is doing better these days, good for her. It does sound like she’s got her life in order. Check out her IMDB if you want to see all of the projects she’s got going on these days – I doubt most of those movie will be made, but it’s good that she’s at least getting hired for something, I guess.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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64 Responses to “Mischa Barton’s ‘full-on breakdown’ & subsequent comeback covers People Mag”

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  1. RocketMerry says:

    Aw, she’s one of those I would want to see make a comeback. I like when I can see change, when I can see new-found depth and maturity.

    In my mind, she never was as bitchy, manipulative and idiotic as the other starlets; so, don’t prove me wrong, Misha, and good luck.

  2. Kate says:

    She looks so different, I never would have recognized her. Or maybe I’ve just forgotten what she used to look like.

  3. ZAK says:

    I think it’s nice that she has gotten her life together, I hope she stays on the straight and narrow.

  4. bns says:

    She’s a terrible actress. I’m glad she’s doing better, but Hollywood isn’t missing anything without her.

  5. TheOriginalKitten says:

    She looks different because it’s 10 years later. I look different than I did at 24 also.

    I always felt really bad for how harsh people were on her for her weight-gain. The criticism and snark was always so over-the-top.

    Glad if she has her shit together now.

    • ds says:

      I just switched to work in an office full time and have gained some weight since my body is getting used to new rhythm not to mention the changes I feel now when I’m getting to 30 as opposed to early 20′s; imagine what it must be for body to go through so many changes that include stress and new regimes. I also hate this body thing. She looks really nice and I do wish she makes it. She should try TV more than movies.

      • Erinn says:

        I hear you – the transition to full time office work is shit. I didn’t gain as much as most of the people I work with, though I definitely need to lose weight – though I did before this job. Honestly, walking through the cubicles in my company I’d say well over half the people here are morbidly obese.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I’ve noticed a change in metabolism even between 30 and *34-almost-35*. With every additional year, it’s more of a struggle to keep the weight off.

        Working in an office can be really hard in that way, plus people are always bringing in treats etc. I make it a point to go for a 2-3 mile walk on my lunch break just to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. The thing is, I work in downtown Boston so it’s easy to stroll through the park or along the waterfront–much harder if you work in a suburban office park or something a building that’s right off the highway etc.

      • ds says:

        Oh no, I thought it would be like a first month thing, an initial phase. I mean I am petite and never really had problems but when I gain even a bit, like now, I feel it. I need to go back to running. I walk to work and back everyday so that comforts me. At least until snow comes. And yes, my metabolism is changing and I’ve been noticing that; it’s crazy.

      • Pandy says:

        God, wait until 45-55 period. No metabolism left, it’s depressing!!

    • Veronica Lodge says:

      Have a c-section after 30, with a month on bed rest, body goes from 130 to almost 200. That is a problem. 10 pounds here and there with access to personal chefs and gyms, not so much. Spare me. Her parents are very wealthy. And her face looks great. Nothing that money and botox can’t do.

  6. MonicaQ says:

    Glad she’s better now. I never watched the OC or The Hills so I never knew who she was before the craziness.

    Every time I see her name though, I think of tumblr and that Misha guy from Supernatural. They seem to be all about him.

  7. Grace says:

    > . I feel like People Mag is making more an effort to feature covers with people of my generation rather than my mom’s generation.

    It is because you are getting old, girl. lol

  8. Mia4S says:

    She got hit with the sad realization a lot of them do moving from child/teen actor to adult…she’s not actually good enough to compete for top projects. That must be a brutal revelation and I do feel bad for her. Good for her for moving forward though.

    What ever happened to her sister? Sadly as I recall there was a suicide attempt.

  9. Talie says:

    She was Blake Lively before Blake existed, but far, far less smart about how to conduct herself.

  10. paola says:

    I hope she’ll make a come back. She in my opinion is eligible for a second chance, unlike Lindsay Lohan that keeps screwing up every single chance she’s been given. Mischa looks clean, pulled together and undertone.

  11. pretty says:

    i miss the OC.. california here we come~ ♬

  12. MisJes says:

    Gosh, I remember how gorgeous she was when she was on The O.C. Those limbs; the bone structure! Glad she’s getting her act together, it would be interesting to see where a comeback would take her.

  13. Miss M says:

    Whenever I think of her, I remember her performance in the movie “Sixth sense”, which gives me hope for a comeback.

  14. GeeMoney says:

    She looks healthy… glad that she’s getting herself back together.

    That skirt she has on in that pic above does not flatter her at all.

  15. lucy2 says:

    She seems to be doing a lot better. Hope she keeps it up and is able to make a comeback.

  16. Anna says:

    “I was under enormous pressure.”

    Gimme a break, girl. Why do they all say the same thing?

    • bananapanda says:

      The pressure comes from the people around you – parents, agents, managers, stylists – who take over your career and schedule. She started very young in this business and you rarely get to say “Hey I don’t want to do this anymore”.

      I hate to mention it but 20s are when mental illness (bipolar, depression etc.) manifest. Drugs are a symptom, not a cause of that.

      • Anna says:

        Plenty of people (famous and non-famous) deal with pressure. This oft-used excuse and reasoning just doesn’t fly. Sorry. It’s flimsy and overused.

      • Brittney says:

        Anna – you may be reading too much into claims like these, assuming that celebrities like Mischa are dismissing “real world” types of pressure. I don’t think that’s what Mischa’s saying, but I also do think there are certain issues that plague young women in particular, and these issues are incredibly amplified by being in show business. She was objectified and critiqued on a constant basis during one of the most mentally and psychologically pivotal times of a woman’s life. Of course she felt the pressure! Of course she struggled to adjust to it! The fact that others — yourself included, I’m assuming — have also faced pressure doesn’t mean her particular kind of pressure wasn’t a huge trigger that contributed to her downward spiral. Whether you “buy” it or not, it was a huge factor. Ask any addiction or mental health professional — coming under intense scrutiny, whether about your body, your career, or anything else — is a VERY common contributor to addictions and breakdowns. It just is. That’s why it’s “overused” — it’s the truth.

      • Bridget says:

        I’d be willing to buy it… If she wasn’t partying SO HARD at the time. She was in the middle of the supposed Young Hollywood scene, and and that pressure was her own making. That whole crowd loved their tabloid fame, and then she tried to break out of the OC and the partyibg caught up to her. I’d have way more respect for her if she didn’t try to explain away her bad choices on external pressure.

      • Anna says:

        Agreed, Bridget! Thanks for your eloquence.

  17. Kiddo says:

    She looks good. I wish her luck.

  18. Rachel says:

    I hate people who say this kind of thing, but: My ex is friends with her ex. She was a full on drug addict, getting paid for appearances with drugs and fully enabled by those who wanted to exploit her weaknesses. So he said anyway. It must be a hard thing to break free of. Good on her.

    • Kiddo says:

      I don’t know why you hate this sort of thing, but anyway, a drug addict usually needs help to fuel the addiction, unless they are a Walter White character who can produce their own drugs.

      And I agree, good on her. Hopefully she has severed ties with the bad influence.

    • littlestar says:

      That is just so so so sad. No wonder she was such a huge mess after she left the OC. I remember how gorgeous she was when she first came on the scene – I actually do hope she has some kind of comeback and can be successful.

  19. Bridget says:

    Okay, I’m just going to say it: part of her problem was that she was a complete asshole. She thought she was going to be huge after the OC and instead the drugs and the partying caught up to her (why do you think she started gaining weight in the first place?). This woman dated Brandon Davis and Cisco Adler for goodness sake! I’m all for a redemption story, but don’t blame your terrible behavior and massive drug use over pressure to be thin.

  20. REALLY???? says:

    I don’t think People is making an effort, I think these are the only type of celebs willing to give People the time of day anymore. Has beens and B-Listers and below. Anytime anyone decent is on the cover, they have no direct interaction with the mag, all sources.

  21. Apsutter says:

    Ugh I hope she stays gone. We don’t need yet another mediocre mocktress

  22. miriam says:

    She’s completely irrelevant now. Too many other young actresses on TV and film have eclipsed her.

  23. Naddie says:

    She’s never been better, I’d say. On O.C. her face was so thin that I thought she was in her middle 20s. But, acting is not her thing, really.

  24. Flounder says:

    I LOVED her on the OC. She always looked like a model and worethe most beautiful Chanel handbags. I’m so happy she’s getting it together.

    • Camille (TheOriginal) says:

      I liked her on the OC as well, always thought she was very pretty. But I think she let the fame go to her head way back then- she thought she could leave that show and go on to become a big Movie Star. That didn’t happen, but a drug addiction did.

  25. lisa says:

    she’s always had a middle aged face

    but maybe it will work for her when she’s 60 if she can still look middle aged then

  26. nicegirl says:

    I think I read somewhere once that she was born in England but is now an American citizen? I may be confusing her with someone else . ..

  27. Penguin says:

    She was good in that homecoming movie. Watched it on Netflix the other week. She played the part of the small town, psycho ex girlfriend. It was a bit cheesy & low budget but mischa was really creepy in it. I felt sad watching it though, you could tell the alcohol & drugs had taken it’s toll on her looks. I’m pleased to see her looking happy & healthy again.

  28. shellybean says:

    I kind of like this girl for some reason. She seems like a down to earth person. I’ve always thought she was quite beautiful, although for a while there she looked kind of bad, mostly because she was dressing horribly. Glad to see she’s doing better. I saw her in some Lifetime movie recently, I think it came out the last year or so, and I actually liked her in it. It was entertaining, for Lifetime anyway, lol.

  29. Aurelia says:

    Good comparrison. She was the Blake Lively before Blake Lively was Blake Lively, and Blake had her real honker nose and snaggle teeth.

    Anyhoo, Misha is looking so much better. She has dropped some weight and looks healthy and very pretty. Harking back to her glory years. Remember when every designer was dressing her.

    Misha put on weight after her breakdown because she was put on anti-depressants. This chick is definately more worthy of a second chance than Lilo and her 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and into infinity chances.

  30. Aurelia says:

    Misha has always had the most amazing blue/grey eyes that looks totally amazatron with grey smokey eye makeup.

    Anyhoo, mental illness must run in the family because her younger sister turned druggy/suicidal too.

  31. MegG says:

    My sister and I loved The O.C. Haven’t really seen her in anything since. Seems like her real life wasn’t too far from her on screen character?

  32. MegG says:

    I find it hard to understand why people who seem to have so many lucky breaks like this, turn to drugs. Compared with people who never make it in this industry because they don’t have the connections

  33. MegG says:

    I find it hard to understand why people who seem to have so many lucky breaks like this, turn to drugs.

  34. Jayna says:

    When that show first came on, I thought she was going to be a huge star from it. Boy, was I wrong. I always felt bad for her when she gained weight. Bad genes gave her a lot of cellulite for someone so young in her twenties, and the paps would really take the most unflattering shots of her trying to humiliate her. I would imagine it would take a hit on your body image to continually be picked at like that on the gossip sites and rag mags. She’s beautiful. I’m glad to see she has come through it substance abuse-wise.

  35. Norman says:

    I have to admit “The O.C.” was a guilty pleasure of mine in part because it was based “though not filmed” in Orange County, not far from where I live. I also liked to see Mischa and Rachel because they where “are” hot though I have to admit my favorite was Rachel. With the exception of “The Hills”, pro LC, I’ve always had a thing for the “second girl” on these shows that I don’t even watch like Rachel, Dianna, and Leighton but I most certainly liked Mischa.

    Even though many pictures from the tactical media have been less than complimentary to her image, I think she is very much ready and has been ready for a long time. These events along with Kutcher’s show of two episodes happened four years ago and no other major drama known has happened since her breakdown.

    To be frank I actually think her appearance has changed little since her entry into “The O.C.” despite her troubles. I think she is very recognizable from the show. I hope she will be successful in her return to showbiz.

  36. Alita says:

    Never watch The OC, but she always stuck me as having a gorgeous facial structure. But many have commented that she can’t act, which a terrific bone structure won’t fix ;)

  37. allison says:

    her face is looking really good!