‘The Hills: New Beginnings’: This Is What Mischa Barton Has Been Doing Since ‘The O.C.’ Ended

To many people, she’ll always be Marissa Cooper from The O.C. But actress Mischa Barton is taking on a new role as a reality TV star in MTV’s rebooted version of The Hills. The 33-year-old actress has endured some ups and downs since leaving the Fox show that made her famous, but she says she hopes that The Hills: New Beginnings will give fans a better understanding of who she really is. 

She wants to clear up the mystery 

Barton is one of two new cast members joining The Hills: New Beginnings, along with returning stars like Stephanie Pratt, Heidi Montag, and Whitney Port. (The other fresh face is Brandon Thomas Lee, son of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson.) 

In an interview with Page Six, Barton explained why she decided to join the show. 

“I think there’s always been a lot of mystery around me, and people always have a lot of questions about who I really am and what I’m really like,” the actress said. “I’m not sure that this show will clear up any of that, but what I do think about that is that I am a voice of reason and I am a pretty chill person.”

Barton’s life since The O.C. 

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for MTV

Barton was a child actress (she had a memorable role in The Sixth Sense) who shot to fame in 2003 with a starring role as troubled rich girl Marissa Cooper on teen drama The O.C. She exited the show in 2006 when her character was killed off at the end of Season 3. 

After leaving The O.C., Barton struggled with drinking and drugs; she was arrested for driving under the influence in 2007. She was also hospitalized multiple times for mental health issues.

Though Barton’s star dimmed after leaving The O.C., she continued to work. Over the years, she’s appeared on TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Recovery Road and was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2016 (an experience she later characterized as “awful”). She also appeared in movies like Don’t Fade Away, a 2010 drama with Beau Bridges and Ja Rule, and Mining for Ruby with Billy Zane, as well as horror films like The Basement, The Toybox, and Ouija House. 

Not everyone on The Hills loved that she was joining the show 

While many people were excited to learn that Barton was joining The Hills, not everyone from the original cast was enthusiastic about the idea. Montag, for one, said it took her awhile to get used to the idea of the actress being on the show, especially because Barton was a bit reserved at first. 

“I think it was a little frustrating for me at first, because, like, we’ve put our whole lives into this show before and after, so to have someone come in and, like, be so reserved was a little bit frustrating,” the 32-year-old told Us Weekly.

But Montag said that she embraced Barton once she let her guard down.

“I think she’s really quirky and funny and … she’s a great addition to the cast. I really like Mischa,” Montag said. 

The Hills: New Beginnings premieres Monday, June 24 at 10/9c on MTV.

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!