Mischa Barton returns to TV this fall as troubled supermodel Sonja Stone, popping pills and trying to make a comeback after taking a six-month hiatus from her modeling career. No one understands why she had to take the break — but it is revealed in the first episode.
Mischa made headlines of her own last month when she was hospitalized, and the buzz was that she was being dropped from the cast. But exec producer Ashton Kutcher stood by her, and so have her co-stars.
“She’s amazing. She’s here to work. She’s really actually inspirational in terms of her artistic ability and endeavors,” Nico Tortorella, who plays Cole Shepherd, tells ET. “I think she’s an amazing person and I am so glad to have her here.”
And when asked how Mischa is doing, Ben Hollingsworth, who plays Chris Andrews, says, “She’s doing great. I mean, I think it’s really surprising to see just how great she is doing. She seems in great spirits.”
In fact, art may be imitating life in the character of Sonja, who is living her life in the spotlight, hounded by paparazzi, and is at a make-it-or-break-it time in her career.
“There are themes thematically that are exactly what is going on in Mischa’s life and she has embraced all of it in a really smart way. I hope this community will find it interesting that she is brave enough to do that,” exec producer Carol Barbee says.
In fact, having Mischa on board is a benefit, according to series creator/exec producer Mike Kelley, who says Mischa can pickup the phone and call her model and designer friends and get them on board.
“Versace came onboard and gave us a gold shimmer dress,” Mike cites as an example.
“The Beautiful Life” reveals the ugly truth behind the modeling world, telling the story through the lives of young models and their tough agent, played by supermodel Elle Macpherson, who says, “It is authentic in its human relations and it is authentic in its portrayal of the industry.”
The series, which will delve into drugs, sex and love triangles, also stars a “High School Musical” graduate, Corbin Bleu, who is the target of a cougar’s affections.
“It starts off at first as awkward and she’s pretty much just using him,” Corbin says of his storyline.
“The Beautiful Life” premieres Wednesday, September 16 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Click here to watch the cast video of these interviews