Mischa Barton was one of early 2000s biggest breakout stars. After playing Marissa Cooper in Fox’s popular television show, The O.C., she was catapulted to global stardom.

Barton played Marissa, one of the show’s most loved characters and her death at the end of third season changed the show for many people.

The O.C. continued its run for one more season without Marissa but many fans of the show felt like the show was something completely different without her.

Dozens of rumors and speculations flew about, suggesting a plethora of reasons for Barton having left the show.

Back in 2017, Josh Schwartz, the creator of the show told The Daily Beast that it was the complicated chemistry with the cast that made her leave. He also added that she wasn’t actively trying to leave the show.

Why Did She Leave ‘The O.C.’?

After almost fifteen years of her exit from The O.C., Barton recently spoke with E! News about why she left the show.

The actress revealed that her decision to move on from the series could be attributed to several reasons, including bullying on the set, unfair pay, and her personal troubles adjusting to the newfound fame.

Rachel Bilson was added as a series regular after the first season at the last minute and everybody’s pay was evened out.

It wasn’t a fair way to go about things, especially for Barton, who was working the longest hours out of every actor.

She revealed that the working environment wasn’t ideal too as there was “some sort of general bullying from some of the men on set” which was unpleasant. To top it all off, she was having a hard time adjusting to the fame, which came all at once.

Things started falling apart halfway through season two when they started doubling up on episodes. Barton says the shooting grew much tougher, and she was also a little lost as to where her character was heading. 

The Sixth Sense actress decided to leave the show because of the aforementioned reasons and she was provided with two options.

Well, do you want your job and to sail off into the sunset and potentially you can come back in the future in some bizarre TV scenario or we can kill your character off and you can go on with your career that you want?

Barton chose to kill her character and be done with the show, but she wanted to go out with a bang. For that reason, she wanted her death to be gory. She recounted that at the time; she was squeezing the fake blood onto her to make it look as bloody as she could.

Barton felt both sad and relieved when she was done with her last shoot. She also felt her character’s death to be a fitting conclusion to her part of the story.