The O.C. was not as drama-filled behind-the-scenes as some might say, co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke claim. The pair are reacting to comments Mischa Barton made about toxicity and bullying on the set of the Fox teen hit.
“The one thing going into this podcast — and Rachel and I discussed this — I can tell you about my experience with total honestly and transparency, I cannot speak for somebody else’s experience,” Clarke, who played Barton’s mother, Julie Cooper, began on the Tuesday, June 1, episode of the “Welcome to the OC, B**hes” podcast. “We have touched on this, that someone who’s 16, 17, 18, that amount of hours of work, pressure, at such a young age, at best you’re exhausted and at worst, it’s overwhelming and chaotic.”
The Vampire Diaries alum acknowledged that “know there was a lot of pressure” on Barton, now 35, it “breaks my heart a little” to hear her accusations.
“That’s not right for any young person,” Clarke, 52, continued. “But some of the comments were very perplexing to me, so I don’t know what the truth is about that. I do know that, yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure.”
Bilson disputed Barton’s claim that she was a “last minute” addition to the cast. Bilson called it “completely false and not what happened. So it’s starting out that way, I was like, ‘Well, that’s misinformation. Where is she going with this and what is she trying to say?’ I would actually like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective. I saw things a little differently, I guess.”
Clarke added, “Like I said, everyone has their own experience, and, to me, I couldn’t wait to get to work. It was like going to musical theater camp, I just loved being there.”
All four seasons, which also starred Adam Brody, Ben McKenzie, Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan, are available to stream on HBO Max.