Mischa Barton talks exclusively to marieclaire.co.uk
Former star of The O.C, Mischa Barton, 21, takes the lead in Richard Attenborough’s WWII drama Closing the Ring, in which she plays Ethel Ann, a Michigan war widow who loses her man in combat.
In Closing the Ring you get to play the younger version of Shirley MacLaine’s character. How was that?
It was so fantastic. The Children’s Hour is one of my favourite movies, and she’s such an idol to me. It was great. She shot her whole part of the movie first, so I was able to watch her footage and draw on that and see what she does and see her mannerisms and try to figure out how to compliment that as a younger her.
You have to do some nude scenes in the film. Was that a tough decision to make?
You know, we talked it over. When it plays in the film, I felt – and so did Richard – that it was necessary for the character. It shows a certain vulnerability. It was in the script. I like the way he shot it.
You’ve also just worked with producer Dino De Laurentiis on Virgin Territory. What is it with you and veteran filmmakers?
I just really love hanging out with really old people! They’re the best dinner dates you could ever have! I feel so comfortable around Dino and Richard. All that life experience – especially Richard.
How do you cope with being increasingly in the public eye?
I’ve made a thing of not letting it change me at all. I just love to be able to be in control of my life. I do whatever I want and I figure I just have to learn to live with it and work around that. It’s nice to be in New York more and more these days because you get a bit more anonymity and it’s not an issue. You can just live a normal life. In LA, you can’t avoid the paparazzi – they’re everywhere. It’s become a whole thing now. I still go back there all the time. I just go out less and stay at my house.
So how do you have time for boyfriends at the moment?
I don’t right now. I’m so happy I’m single!
Closing the Ring opens on December 26.