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The O.C. Co-Star Ben McKenzie and Mischa Barton Talk About Their Secret Romance

Recently, Mischa Barton, one of the O.C. co-stars, disclosed that she dated Ben McKenzie. The 38-year-old actress disclosed that her and Ben’s relationship “was not just onscreen” long after her character Marissa was shockingly killed off in season 3. Ben was the series’ Ryan. 

Mischa discussed her thoughts on Marissa and Ryan’s relationship, taking into account their age difference, in an appearance on Alex Cooper‘s “Call Her Daddy” podcast. When they both landed their roles at the start of the series, Mischa was 17, and Ben, who is now 45, was 25. 

Mischa said of Marissa and Ryan’s romance, “It was not just onscreen either.” “I mean, it was kind of complicated for me because, as I mentioned, I approached that as a child, a virgin, and I felt like I had to mature quickly to portray… It was a little overwhelming to act with people older than me. As though they are experienced in their field.”

Mischa said, “There will be relationships on this show, and you are going to need to play that part.” And because I would always be a late bloomer in school, I had not dated, and I honestly had no idea what I was doing, I did not feel particularly prepared for that. I often felt that I had to make up for lost time.”

Mischa answered, “Yeah,” when asked if she was romantically involved with any members of the cast. After all, that was my first… To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing.”

Ben McKenzie and Mischa Barton
Ben McKenzie and Mischa Barton

And we threw ourselves into it all very quickly, Mischa added, “and I think that kind of set things off on the wrong foot too because it was like, you know, people hook up on these shows and whatever, and these things happen.” “And then, when things do not work out after your breakup and they catch you seeing other people, It was well-known that the show featured a lot of interracial dating and people meeting new people, but it was also challenging because it happened so quickly and I felt unprepared for it all.” 

Producers contacted Mischa’s parents after she and Ben disappeared together, and she recalled an incident from when she was either 17 or 18. “It was quite the experience,” Mischa noted. 

Mischa and Ben have not acknowledged their relationship until now. The initial affirmation of their previous relationship comes from her most recent interview.

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