Mischa Barton on why she left LA: ‘I got to this place where I needed space’

Mischa Barton is milking the last little bit of notoriety she gained by appearing on Dancing with the Stars. She recently opened up about why she left Hollywood after her character, Marissa, was killed off the show that made her a star, The O.C. Mischa told People Magazine, “I just got to this place where I needed space. I needed to rediscover what I loved about being an actress because, at a certain point, I was robbed of the fun aspects by being that much under the microscope.” ( Reports vary about why Mischa left The O.C. in the first place, with some claiming that Mischa’s bad attitude contributed to her character’s fate. The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz has said that it was a creative decision, and that she was professional on set.)

After The O.C., Mischa moved to London and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – we can only assume she didn’t take any dance classes there because, did you see her dance? Mischa was actually born in London as her mother is Irish and her father is English. She moved to the US when she was five. She told People “I needed that time for myself to really do that self-exploration and get back in touch with my roots. I just needed time to be me and be a regular person. That balance is important. I am nothing but happy to have had that time in my life.”

I wonder if Mischa will ever look back and be grateful she had her time on DWTS. No sure about that, as she started out with a terrible attitude and had a change of heart a little too late to win over the audience. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Mischa was asked if people close to her were surprised that she was going on the show. She said “It’s been a real eye-opener for me. I kind of live under a rock, to be honest. I very much stay in my little film world. I’m not like massively into these big shows. I’ve been really surprised how many people are really involved in it and know about it.” That kind of lends some weight to the argument that she did it for the face time – and the paycheck.

In a post-elimination interview with E!, Mischa put on a happy face and said that after a “rough start” – and some very unflattering rehearsal footage – “it’s been a fun experience and I’ve learned a lot from Artem.” She even joked that her personality clash with Artem would make for some “must see TV,” telling E’s Sibley Scoles, “We should’ve had our own show!” Ummm…thanks, but no thanks.

Mischa may have predicted her own demise in a pre-elimination post on the blog she was writing for People. She ended her last post with “If we get voted out this week, or in the coming weeks, I know I’ll carry that – and a newfound love of dance – for the rest of my life.” I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see any love of dance in her DTWS experience. She might have a newfound love of dancers, because that Artem is kind of cute and quite charming. He is a snappy dancer and deftly danced around questions of Mischa being difficult to work with, so he’s a winner in my book.

Celebs At The 'Dancing With The Stars' Studio

Photo credit: Getty Images, Fame Flynet

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8 Responses to “Mischa Barton on why she left LA: ‘I got to this place where I needed space’”

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  1. doofus says:

    I’ll say this…she looks worlds better than I’ve seen her look in years. I know she’s had issues with booze/drugs, so I hope she’s gotten that in control.

  2. Pandy says:

    I wondered if she was on something on Monday. Very giggly that night. Quite a departure.

  3. Juliette says:

    All I can think about is how gross and nasty it is to walk around on a cement lot in bare feet. In one of the smaller pictures, you can see her feet are literally black from dirt. I can just imagine putting dirty feet inside of shoes, transferring the filth.

  4. MC2 says:

    Oh Mischa…..her story is sad but a cautionary tale to me. She was like a young Heigl with a substance abuse problem. She always seemed insufferable to me and it looks like she hasn’t changed at all based on her attitude & still blaming others for “robbing” her of her joy in acting. I’m thinking this is the final nail in her coffin in the US . She can’t even get people to comment about her on a celebrity gossip site (I have too much time on my hands) and she used to be a magnet for dish.
    *Set to sad music*
    I’ll miss all your messy times & you were amazing fruit for gossip. I hope retirement from tabloids is good for you & you find peace & happiness. Wherever you go, please say hi to Paris for me.
    Bye Felicia.

  5. princessbuttercup says:

    Half-assed as this was, she at least seems to be making the first somewhat legit attempt at mainstream relevancy that she has in ages. It didn’t turn out well of course…

    She seems a cluelessly un-proactive with her career? Most actors who aren’t getting decent work actively go out and build new skills to keep busy and stay hirable. It is very, very common for people to take dance classes, boxing, martial arts, improv lessons, or ANYTHING they can add to their resumes. She doesn’t seem to do any of that. I mean, great for going to RADA but if I recall directly she did a movie then and the director urged her to go, which was his nice way of saying she needed more training. And it was only for a few weeks. She doesn’t even work with an accent coach to figure out how to do a plausible American OR British accent, so she just speaks in a weird mixed accent from spending so much time both places. I have an inexplicable soft spot for her, but she really needs someone on her team to slap her back into reality. It’s like she thinks her It Girl days will return when all she should really be aiming for is steady work in something people actually watch.

    • Crimson says:

      … and when her “It Girl” days don’t magically reappear, it could be enough to put her back under the rock she emerged from and into the underworld of substance abuse. I would hope that this turn at DWTS would open her eyes to the fact that she should look into some professional dance instruction. It would make her more graceful and aware of her body. That walking outside with bare feet across the lot is YUK.

  6. Davidh says:

    After The OC she went downhill. Looks Rachel Bilson she had a kid, she’s 4 years older than Mischa and Rachel looks millions time better.