This August will mark 10 years since the teen drama "The O.C." premiered and catapulted Mischa Barton to fame and tabloid fodder.
In the mid-2000s, Barton dominated the pages of the tabloids alongside Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, but she has faded out of the spotlight in recent years -- something she's quite happy about. In a rare interview with the Daily Beast, the British-born actress, who doesn't even have a personal publicist anymore, says she's happy to have a more-private life these days.
“Luckily, [I’m not] so much in the spotlight,” Barton told the website. “The craziness of The O.C. has died down and gone away. I’m so relieved it’s not how it was. It’s not the person. It was the time. Everything was an ‘it’ girl this or “it” girl that. It was just over the top.”
Barton made headlines in 2007 after she was arrested on DUI charges (Hilton, Lohan and Nicole Richie were all busted for DUI that year), which was followed by years of reports of "secret rehab" stays, more out-of-control partying and an involuntary stay at a psychiatric facility in 2009.
In recent years, Barton has managed to turn her life around, which she attributes to just growing up.
“I’ve evolved a lot. I’m a lot older now. Not a lot older, but time’s passed," she told the Daily Beast. "I think in your 20s, all your years are quite formative. I’m sure I’m quite different.”
And though it was Barton who was constantly followed by the paparazzi and chastised for her hard-partying ways, her former TV dad, Tate Donovan, recently revealed that her co-stars Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody weren't exactly angels themselves.
"They all started out great. The first year those kids were fantastic, and then, they just … all of them just fell apart," Donovan told Andy Cohen on a recent episode of "Watch What Happens Live." "I do remember there was a lot of drama around that show... It was tough. Those kids became … I’ve seen them since, and they’re like ‘whoa, I’m really sorry."
These days, Barton is glad she can get a caramel Frappacino without being followed by photographers, but she hasn't left showbusiness. Since her character was killed off "The O.C." in 2006, the 27-year-old has made various guest appearances on TV and made a number of straight-to-DVD movies. Next up, Barton stars in "A Resurrection" (which was filmed two years ago, but was released last week), playing a high school guidance counselor who advises a student after his brother is killed by another classmate.
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