Mischa Barton was only 17 when she was introduced to the world of television in O.C. A Stranger in Paradise. According to the actress herself, she did not have much sexual experience when she started working on the series and it bothered her.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, she even admitted that she felt like a fraud for doing sexual moments she had never lived. In her role in the film Stolen Innocence, she was only 11 years old and obviously could not understand what sexual abuse was.
“Although the team did everything to make sure I wasn’t exposed to the reality of what it all meant when I attended the film’s press events, it was clear that it was very adult content,” she said.
In 1999, at the age of 13, Barton appeared in the film Pups. Although she did not play an adult role, she had to face a controversy beyond inappropriate. That’s because the actress ended up being seen as a sex symbol in Asia.
When she joined the cast of O.C, her biggest television success to date, she felt pressured to have the first sexual experience.
“Until I was a virgin back then, in that context, it made me feel like a fraud. There I was playing a confident character who was relaxed and yet I was still a virgin. The young people in the series were rich, American and privileged teenagers who drank, used drugs, and, of course, had sex.”
The actress went on to say that she felt that if she did not mature, she could lose the role in the series.
“I knew it was important to get out of the way of this thing – my virginity – that was hovering over me; the elephant in the room. I started to really worry about not being able to play this character if I didn’t rush and mature a little. Have I ever felt pressured to have sex with someone? Well, after being chased by older men who were in their 30s, I ended up committing the crime.”