Mischa Barton, the former star of the hit teen drama The OC, has opened up about her decision to join the Australian soap Neighbours instead of reprising her role as Marissa Cooper in the reboot of The OC. Barton, who played the troubled rich girl in the original series from 2003 to 2006, said that she was not interested in going back to the past and wanted to do something different and challenging.
“I was offered to do The OC reboot, but I declined,” Barton told Variety. “I felt like it was a bit of a nostalgia trip and I didn’t want to revisit that character or that world. I wanted to move forward and try new things.”
Barton said that she was drawn to Neighbours because of the opportunity to play a complex and mysterious character, who is revealed to be Reece Sinclair’s long-lost daughter. Reece Sinclair is a powerful businessman and politician who has a dark history with the Kennedy family, one of the main families in Neighbours.
“I was intrigued by the character of Harlow Robinson, who is Reece’s daughter that he never knew he had,” Barton said. “She is a smart and independent woman who has a lot of secrets and a complicated relationship with her father. She also has a connection with David Tanaka, who is Reece’s son from another woman. It’s a very juicy storyline and I was excited to explore it.”
Barton said that she enjoyed working with the cast and crew of Neighbours, especially with Tim Robards, who plays Reece Sinclair. She praised Robards for his acting skills and his professionalism.
“Tim is a great actor and a lovely person. He has a lot of charisma and presence on screen. He was very supportive and helpful during our scenes together. We had a lot of fun and chemistry,” Barton said.
Barton also revealed that she had to adjust to the fast-paced and demanding schedule of Neighbours, which produces five episodes per week. She said that it was a challenge to memorize the lines and deliver them convincingly in a short amount of time.
“It was definitely a different experience from working on The OC, which had more time and resources,” Barton said. “Neighbours is very fast and efficient. You have to be on your toes and ready to go at any moment. It was hard at first, but I got used to it and learned a lot from it.”
Barton said that she hopes that her fans will enjoy watching her on Neighbours and appreciate her new role. She said that she is proud of her work on the show and grateful for the opportunity.