The following is an article from the Mayo Advertiser by Kernan Andrews.
While she is best known as a television and film actress, particularly for her role in the iconic noughties’ TV series The OC, Mischa Barton finds the most challenging and rewarding parts to play are in the theatre.
Mischa Barton will be in Castlebar next week where she will star in Solar Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias which will take to the stage in the Royal Theatre. In many ways, this production, which has been running since September, is a return to her roots, as her career began in theatre, off-Broadway, in the mid-1990s.
With Steel Magnolias about to begin its Mayo run, how did Mischa become involved in the production? “It was a bit last minute really,” Mischa tells me during our Monday afternoon conversation, “but the fact Ben Barnes was directing it swayed me as he is a great director, and the cast is terrific.”
While Mischa is the most high profile cast member, her co-stars will be familiar faces from TV – Anne Charleston (Ouiser Boudreaux in the play) was Madge in Neighbours and more recently Lily Butterfield in Emmerdale; Barbara Brennan, (M’Lynn) has appeared in The Tudors and Veronica Guerin; and Gillian Hanna whose credits include Casualty, Drop The Dead Donkey, Poirot, Brookside, and Mr Nice.
“It was luck that everybody happened to be available as after this we’re all working on other things,” says Mischa, “and we might not get another chance to do this.”
Working with an all-female cast, Mischa admits, is an unusual situation to find herself in. “There are usually some men there to break it up,” she says. “Ben I think was terrified directing an all-female cast. I would have thought they would have had a woman direct it. So it was very brave of him as it’s a lot for a man to take on.”