Mischa Barton Has ‘a Newfound Respect for Reality TV Stars’ After Filming ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’

Mischa Barton thinks of reality TV in a new way since starring in The Hills: New Beginnings, MTV’s reboot of The Hills. Learn why the 33-year-old actress has a “newfound respect for reality TV stars” ahead.

Barton joined veterans of The HillsHeidi Montag, Audrina Patridge, Brody Jenner, Spencer Pratt to name a few — as a newbie to that style of TV, coming from scripted productions in film and TV, most notably her role as Marissa Cooper on The O.C., Fox’s hit teen drama of the early aughts. 

She’s been forthcoming about how hard filming The Hills: New Beginnings has been for her. Barton noted in an interview with InStyle she went to a spa after filming on Season 1 wrapped. 

“I told the other girls halfway through the season, ‘This is so intense, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ And they told me that it’s all about self-care. Everybody is really working their a—s off,” Barton said. 

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton attends Sony Pictures Classics & The Cinema Society Host A Hamptons After Party For “David Crosby: Remember My Name” on July 13, 2019, at Mobys in East Hampton, New York. | Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

“After we wrapped, I went to a spa retreat in Austria called Vivamayr and completely unplugged,” she added. 

Barton on her ‘newfound respect for reality TV stars’

As the actress said, halfway through shooting she realized how taxing filming a reality TV series could be both mentally and physically, which led to her to think differently about reality TV stars. 

“I have a newfound respect for reality TV stars,” she told the publication, adding, “You’re not just putting your life out there, but you’re managing every aspect of it, from hair and makeup to wardrobe and events. It’s a lot.”

Unlike her co-stars — all except fellow newcomer Brandon Thomas Lee — Barton didn’t have any experience in reality TV. She’s the first to admit it took getting used to. 

Heidi Montag, Audrina Patridge, Mischa Barton, and Whitney Port, Cosmopolitan cover. | Mischa Barton via Instagram

There was definitely a bit of a hazing process. It was interesting getting used to the cameras just roaming around and not knowing what anybody was going to say or what mood they were going to show up in,” she said. 

Barton didn’t think her joining the cast of the show was ‘a good idea’

When MTV offered Barton a role on The Hills: New Beginnings, she had traded life in Los Angeles for upstate New York. She explained because of her being “a private person,” she didn’t agree to join the cast right away. 

“It took me a long time to take this offer seriously. I mulled it over for about three-and-a-half months because, initially, I didn’t think it was a good idea,” Barton said. 

So, what made her change her mind? 

“Then I saw [the cast] together at the [MTV] VMAs and they were very happy and friendly. That’s when the whole thing became very real,” she said. 

Clip of Mischa Barton in The Hills: New Beginnings. | Mischa Barton via Instagram

Barton had specific hopes for being on the series she shared with The New York Times in a May 2019 interview.

“[I hoped] to situate myself in a different part of my career, make a new friend group, and move out of the stale typecasting I had gotten myself into,” the actress said. 

Judging by her social media activity and that of her co-stars, Barton’s made new friends. As for transitioning to a new part of her career, she may be on to something with reality TV because MTV renewed the show for Season 2. 
Watch Barton on The Hills: New Beginnings Monday nights at 10 P.M. on MTV.