Mischa Barton says she felt “obligated” to lose her virginity playing Marissa Cooper in “The OC”


Mischa Barton talks about the trauma she suffered from being “sexualized” in the past as a young actress in Hollywood.

The “Hills” alum, 35, wrote a lengthy essay published Friday in Harper’s Bazaar in the UK in which she discussed the importance of the Me Too movement and the scrutiny it faced in playing “mature” characters on screen.

She begins the essay by pointing out that while she is “grateful” for the acting opportunities that have come their way, it was the quarantine over the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic that allowed her to reflect and finally talk about the problems she had once avoided.

“The truth is that sexuality has always been a part of my career. Even from an early age I was sexualized. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being an actress and my job on stage. I felt very tall. , proud of my job and really committed to it, but I was still just a kid, ”Barton wrote.

‘THE OC’ STAR MISCHA BARTON SAYS ‘BULLYING’ CAUSED HER TO LEAVE THE SERIES: ‘I JUST FEELING VERY UNPROTECTED’

She noted that her early roles in “Lawn Dogs” and “Pups” exposed her to “very mature” characters.

Cast of 'The OC' from left: Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Benjamin McKenzie, Samaire Armstrong and Rachel Bilson (center).

Cast of ‘The OC’ from left: Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Benjamin McKenzie, Samaire Armstrong and Rachel Bilson (center).
(Photo by Ray Mickshaw / WireImage / Getty Images)

“The lead roles in coming-of-age movies are always directly related to sex and sexuality, and that was a great example,” she said of her role in ‘Pups’ , which also starred Burt Reynolds.

Barton recalled that her character first had her period although she has yet to experience it herself in her own life. She then addressed the pressures she felt to become sexually active taking on the memorable role of Marissa Cooper in “The OC”.

“When I took on the role of Marissa Cooper, I was 18 and had just graduated from high school. While everyone at my age was enjoying the carefree and serene joy of being a teenager, I was working long hours on set, constantly under pressure, meeting the needs, demands and goals set by people my age or older, she explained.

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Barton said she struggled with the reality of being a virgin in real life while playing Cooper, whom she described as a “confident character who was quick and cowardly.”

“Even being a virgin back then in this context made me feel like an impostor,” Barton admitted.

“The kids on the show were wealthy, privileged American teens who drank, took drugs and, of course, had sex. I knew it was important to have this thing – my virginity – towering over me, the elephant in the room if you will, away, ”continues his essay.

Barton says she felt “obligated” to have sex.

“Well, after being chased by older men in my thirties, I finally did the deed. I feel a little bit guilty because I let it go. I felt so much pressure to have sex. sex, not just of him, but of society in general. This was at the start of those critical days and when I finally met someone new and wanted to get out of the situation, this created a toxic and manipulative environment, ”she continued.

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Barton remembers being “chased” by paparazzi and the press focusing on her whereabouts when she first started going out in public. She became a recluse and saw her sanity start to decline, she wrote.

Mischa Barton took a Hollywood hiatus after leaving 'The OC'

Mischa Barton took a Hollywood hiatus after leaving ‘The OC’
(Photo by Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

“What happened gave me PTSD. In the years that followed, the cameras bothered me; any noise that sounded like a shutter gave me a panic attack and made me extremely paranoid,” he said. she declared.

Barton, who also remembers suing an ex-partner for selling a recorded sex tape of her without her consent, stressed the importance of the Me Too movement.

“I can’t tell you how much I wish this had happened sooner, but at least the conversation about women’s rights is underway,” she said. “Today, the focus is more on encouraging girls to protect their own bodies and show it their way from the start.

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Barton concluded that she had learned to control her own sexuality.

“I can’t stay silent anymore, because these things always happen – the exploitation of young girls, of people of color, of all women, sexualized while being separated and humiliated for being alive in their own bodies. my story can help even a young girl defend herself and don’t let the world bring them down then it will all be worth it, ”she wrote.

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