Mischa Barton: I felt pressured into losing my virginity
Mischa Barton felt “pressured” into losing her virginity because of how “confident” her character in ‘The O.C.’ was.
The 35-year-old actress played Marissa Cooper in the Fox drama series, and has said she felt “like a fraud” in the role because while Marissa was “fast and loose”, Mischa herself was “still a virgin”.
And Mischa says she thought it was “important” to get her virginity “out of the way” so that she could properly portray her character.
She admitted: “Even being a virgin at the time in that context made me feel like a fraud. Here, I was playing a confident character [in ‘The O.C.’] who was fast and loose and yet I was still a virgin. The kids in the show were quintessential rich, privileged American teenagers drinking, taking drugs, and of course having sex.
“I knew it was important to get this thing – my virginity – that was looming over me, the elephant in the room if you will, out of the way. I started to really worry that I couldn’t play this character if I didn’t hurry up and mature a little. Did I ever feel pressured to have sex with someone? Well, after being pursued by older men in their 30s, I eventually did the deed.”
Mischa also said she was sexualised at a very young age, after one of her early film roles in the 1999 crime drama ‘Pups’ lead her to becoming a “strange sex symbol” in some parts of the world, despite only being 13 at the time.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine, she said: “My film debut, ‘Lawn Dogs’, explored themes of child molestation, and – while the crew did everything to ensure that I wasn’t exposed to the realities of what all that meant – when I did press for the film, it became clear that it was very mature content.
“Two years later, I did ‘Pups’ with Burt Reynolds. Lead roles in coming-of-age films are always directly tied to sex and sexuality, and this was a prime example.
“It was for ‘Pups’ that I had my first kiss on screen and in real life, in front of an entire crew. My character had her first period in one scene, something I hadn’t even experienced in life yet. The movie blew up in Asia, and I became a strange sex symbol over there. I was 13.”