‘The O.C.’ Mischa Barton reveals costar Ben McKenzie was her ‘first’

Mischa Barton and Ben McKenzie previously denied ever dating off-screen while filming 'The O.C.

By Web Desk
February 22, 2024
‘The O.C.’ Mischa Barton reveals costar Ben McKenzie was her ‘first’

Mischa Barton admitted to dating The O.C. co-star Ben McKenzie briefly after she the two denied that they ever dated.

The actress, 38, appeared on the Call Her Daddy podcast, in which she reflected on her experience being on the show and having never being in a romantic relationship before.


Barton and McKenzie played star-crossed lovers Marissa Cooper and Ryan Atwood on the teen sitcom.

She revealed that the romance on the show, when she was only 17 McKenzie was 25, “wasn’t just on screen either.”

“I went into that [show] a virgin, a kid,” she said. “Acting with people older than me was a bit like, ‘Oh wow, they know what they’re doing. There’s going to be relationships on this show and you’re going to need to play that part.’ I didn’t feel really ready for that.”

She explained, “I was always a really late bloomer in school, and I hadn’t really dated. I just had no idea what I was doing really. So, I felt like I needed to catch up.”

Barton admitted that the onscreen relationship with the Gotham alum was her “first,” adding that she had “no idea” what she was doing.

“I think that kind of set things off on the wrong foot too because it was like people hook up on these shows and, whatever, and these things happen, but we threw ourselves all into it very fast,” she shared.

“Then when you break up and things don’t work, and they see you dating other people. Notoriously, there was a lot of dating on that show and different people getting together.”