In an interview with InStyle, Barton recalled how difficult it had been to juggle everything associated with being on reality TV, or in this case, a staged reality TV show, as the publication put it.
When asked what she did when filming wrapped, Barton remembered how she remarked to fellow cast members on the intensity of being a reality TV star.
“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,” the 33-year-old said.
“After we wrapped, I went to a spa retreat in Austria called Vivamayr and completely unplugged,” she added.
Barton, who previously said she had been “thrown in the deep end” when she joined the cast, has since adjusted to being in front of the camera as herself, not an actress.
The Hills and its predecessor Laguna Beach were inspired by The O.C., Fox’s teen drama about high school students growing up in Newport Beach, California. Barton’s role as Marissa Cooper, a Southern California it girl, made her famous and remains her most well-known role today.
Unlike some of her castmates on The Hills: New Beginnings who grew up in Orange County, California, Barton only played a teen who grew up in the wealthy area of SoCal while their real lives reflected her TV portrayal.
Today, she’s come full circle returning to Orange County but this time to play no other role but herself.
Doing so proved to be the hardest role ever for the actress. According to her co-star and The Hills alum, Frankie Delgado, 38, Barton shared with him she had a tough time opening up to cameras.
“What we do is really hard to do and I think that she kind of proved it right,” Delgado told Us Weekly. “Like, she was like, ‘Yo, listen, this is the hardest thing I’ve done,’” he added.
Barton has ‘a newfound respect for reality TV stars’
Barton, an experienced film and TV actress, learned a great deal about what it means to be the star of a reality TV show after filming The Hills: New Beginnings.
“I have a newfound respect for reality TV stars,” she told InStyle. “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.”
Even though Barton had a big learning curve when she took on reality TV, she said she’d be willing to do it all again.
When asked if she’d be willing to do another season of The Hills: New Beginnings, Barton said, “Yeah, for sure. It certainly is an intense schedule, but we really love each other and have fun at this point, so I would definitely be up for it,” adding, “Let’s get through season one first though.”
Watch Mischa Barton and the rest of the cast of The Hills: New Beginnings on MTV at 10 p.m. EST every Monday.