On Wednesday, Mischa Barton will make her big return to TV since leaving "The O.C." in 2006 after three seasons playing complicated rich girl Marissa Cooper. Now she's playing an equally complicated model, Sonja Stone, in the CW's "The Beautiful Life," and she's very happy to be back at work on the small screen.
"[It's] great, amazing this time around," she told MTV News. "It's just nice to do it a second time after the success of 'The O.C.,' which was so crazy. It's just nice to do it and know what's going to come and sit back and relax and enjoy it this time."
The glitzy New York locale of "The Beautiful Life" is quite a change from the easygoing SoCal setting of "The O.C.," but Barton thinks that's a good thing. "It's so different. I grew up in the city, so for me, it's just great to be back and have an apartment here and be near my best friends," she said. "I'm totally grateful to be back in New York, and I also like playing a character that's a lot closer to my personality. Marissa was a little more of a stretch. It's a breeze filming here."
Barton describes Sonja as "a little bit bitchy ... but she's also a sweet, well-rounded, fleshed-out character," and she's not only a model but also a mom. The real-life model-turned-actress explained that her character's situation is not so uncommon in the fashion world.
"A lot of these young models have babies," she said. "I know a lot of young models who are moms and are great moms. So, Sonja's obviously completely fictionalized ... but she's definitely taken from real life things."
Barton knows a thing or two about real life spilling into her career after being hospitalized in July and allegedly placed under psychiatric hold. But now, she insists that she's putting that difficult time behind her.
" I'm just so happy at work. I love my job. It's the best job," she said. " 'The Beautiful Life' is amazing, so we're having a lot of fun filming, and the stress of the summer is over, which is nice."