By now it is no secret that The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz regretted killing off Mischa Barton‘s beloved character, Marisa Cooper. But until now, the actress in question has remained tight-lipped about the entire experience. On the 15 year anniversary of her departure from the series, Barton has revealed what she really thought of that fateful scene.
“I’ve always felt ashamed in a way to really talk about what went on behind the scenes because I’ve always been a very private person and very aware of people’s feelings,” Barton told E! News. “Now that we’re living in this era where we do speak out about our experiences and women do come clean about what was really going on behind the scenes and how they were treated, it’s a slightly different thing.”
Barton says that she expected the end of her character on the series and that producers gave her a choice on if she would return.
“The producers were like, “Well, do you want your job and to sail off into the sunset and potentially you can come back in the future in some bizarre TV scenario or we can kill your character off and you can go on with your career that you want and what you want to do?”,” Barton explained.
She continued, “I was getting offers from big films at the time and having to turn them down. I had always been supporting in The Sixth Sense and any of those things. My dream was to be offered those lead roles, so that’s what happened. It just felt like it was the best thing for me and my health and just in terms of not really feeling protected by my cast and crew at that point.”
No one will quite forget that fiery scene. Marisa Cooper being pulled from a car wreckage and carried away from an explosion; “Hallelujah” played. Barton admits she loved the way her character was killed.
“It’s tragic, it’s poetic. I knew they would find a great song to put it to because music was such a huge part of the show and I know her, as a character, she had really battled to keep it together and was unable to do so,” Barton said. “She was just trying to find herself and she was always put into these very complicated situations from a young age to be a perfect society girl. I felt like it was actually a great ending when I read it.”
Last month Schwartz revealed on an Instagram live with Barton’s co-star Rachel Bilson that he regretted the decision but that it was for “informed reasons”. Speaking to The Daily Beast in 2017, “It was born out of a number of issues: Creative, cast chemistry, ratings.”
Schwartz will serve as executive producer on the hotly-anticipated Gossip Girl reboot.