Mischa Barton is heading right back where she started from.
In fact, The O.C. star took a trip down memory lane while reflecting on the beloved teen drama's legacy two decades after its premiere. And that included recently catching up with her onscreen family Melinda Clark, Willa Holland and Tate Donovan—with her expressing how proud she is of them for standing in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actor's Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) amid the strikes.
"It was really fun reconnecting with them recently and getting to talk to them again," Mischa said while discussing what the show meant to her in an exclusive interview with E! News that aired Sept. 18. "It feels like a lot of stuff to do with that has come full circle as it should after 20 years of your life. I mean, these things are supposed to."
"It's been interesting discussing it again and with the book coming out hearing what Josh and Stephanie had to say about it," she continued, appearing to reference the book Welcome to The O.C.: The Oral History by creator Josh Schwartz and producer Stephanie Savage, "and yeah, seeing them all on the picket lines. It's been a long time, and I think there's been a lot of healing and changing going on. So, yeah, it's all positive. It's all been positive, which is a good thing. And yeah, can't wait to see them."
Mischa—who played Marissa Cooper on The O.C.—has previously spoken about her complicated relationship with the Fox series—telling E! News in 2021, without naming names, that while she loved the show, there was "sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really s--tty." (E! News reached out to Warner Bros. TV and Fox in 2021 but did not receive any comment).
In adding to reconnecting with her Newport Beach crew, she's joined a new TV family. After all, the actress plays American Reece Sinclair—the eldest daughter of the wealthy Sinclair family—in Amazon Freevee's reboot of the Australian series Neighbours. And on this show, Mischa's dealing with a whole new kind of drama.
"She's actually the one that runs most of the companies underneath dad," she explained while promoting the show. "She's sent to Australia to check in on some of their hotel chains. She's got another more personal reason as well why her father has sent her there, but we don't find that out at first at all."
However, Mischa makes it clear that her character does find time for romance, too.
"She also manages to get quite distracted by sleeping with the bellboy or having an affair—like a fling—with one of the people there," she added. "She falls for someone local, and then it all kind of unravels what she was originally supposed to be doing when she got there and tries to get her head back in the game."
Neighbours is now on Amazon Freevee. But if you also now feel like rewatching The O.C., you can keep reading for facts about the show.
- Reporting by Rebecca Ray