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Mischa Barton breaks her silence on the 15th anniversary of Marissa Cooper's The O.C. death: I was "not really feeling protected by my cast and crew at that point"

  • Marissa's death on the May 18, 2006 "The Graduates" episode as Imogen Heap's haunting cover of "Hallelujah" played was one of the most memorable moments from The O.C., especially since Barton is rumored to have wanted off of the show. In an interview with E! News, Barton confirms she wanted out. "It's a bit complicated," she said. "It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel (Bilson) in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody's pay—and sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really sh*tty. But, you know, I also loved the show and had to build up my own walls and ways of getting around dealing with that and the fame that was thrust specifically at me. Just dealing with like the amount of invasion I was having in my personal life, I just felt very unprotected, I guess is the best way to put it. I was working so hard, the longest hours probably out of all the characters. It wasn't an easy character for me to play because it wasn't me, which is why I think people liked it or thought Marissa was funny and latched on to her. They felt like this is entertaining because she's all over the place and who is this girl? It's like because this New York girl was trying to play this ditzy L.A. rich kid, you know?" Barton added: "This has been said before, but they kind of gave me an option. 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?' 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."

    TOPICS: Mischa Barton, The O.C., Retro TV