I know we’ve put off this conversation for years guys, but it’s time. It’s time to talk about Mischa Barton. She emerged last night in Los Angeles looking chic and stylish in a short grey dress and a long fur coat. Her hair shined, her eyes sparkled and her aura glowed. But her healthy appearance only makes us wonder what happened to her?
No seriously, where has she been? Where does Hollywood hide their starlets after their stars burn out? Obviously Michael Lohan’s involved with their escape, but beyond that, I can’t begin to guess where they go.
In other words, where did she disappear to after leaving The OC in one of the most fiery car crashes in recent TV history? We’re going to explore that today. And so much more. Or a little more. I’m investigating her IMDB profile as I write this so I don’t want to make promises that I can’t keep.
Like a tumblr post written right after a tragic middle school break-up, let’s begin at the end — when Mischa Barton left The OC in 2006 to pursue a film career. That’s what happened right? That’s what always happens to up-and-coming celebrities who get one too many magazine covers. One second they’re starring on a hit TV show and the next second they’re starring as a Gladys Dalton in Law & Order: SVU.
Sure they don’t envision themselves turning into Gladys Dalton, but it’s almost inevitable. Just look at Jessica Biel. She wiggled her way out of 7th Heaven only to go on to star in a series of forgettable movies. Unless of course, you’d like to argue with me that Home of the Brave was a classic. If she hadn’t married Justin Timberlake in the wedding coup of the century, she’d surely be begging Ruthie Camden to help her organize a 7the Heaven movie as we speak.
I’m not an emerging starlet, but even I know that you don’t leave your TV show until you’re legally contracted to appear in a few films. Or at least one. Ideally one that’s premiering at Sundance and will make critics say, “wow! Looks like this actress deserves a lot better material than what they’re giving her on that mediocre sitcom that we all hate!” See Shailene Woodley for a shining example of this strategy. Then see all her nominations for her role in The Descendants and all the praise she’s getting for The Spectacular Now.
But alas, Mischa Barton left The O.C to pursue a film career that turned out not to really exist before she even knew that it didn’t exist. Sure she’s starred in several movies since leaving, but not one that’s good enough to make us stop thinking of her as Marissa Cooper.
For awhile after leaving the show we read about her a lot. Apparently she partied hard and got into weird legal troubles. That didn’t surprise me though, I figured she was weaning her way off the method acting she used to fully inhabit the character of Marissa Cooper. But then after that, she went completely MIA. We stopped hearing about her completely. And now, years later, she pops up in paparazzi photos simply for eating dinner with her friends. How did that happen? And why?
Is Mischa Barton back now? Is the girl who I once told people was the prettiest person alive returning to our collective consciousness? Not in a career way, but in a “I’m going to start showing up in a lot of tabloids for doing mundane things” way. Maybe. Only time will tell. And photos of her shopping for groceries. The grocery shopping photos are always a dead giveaway that someone’s back.
(Photo: Josephine Santos, PacificCoastNews.com)