Mischa Barton Opens Up About Why She Left Hollywood After 'The O.C.'

Marissa Cooper. Never forget.

She might not have gone home with the Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars, but Mischa Barton says she's already won a far more valuable prize.

"I just got to this place where I needed space," the former DWTS contestant said to People of life after the OC. "I needed to rediscover what I loved about being an actress because, at a certain point, I was robbed of the fun aspects by being that much under the microscope."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Barton, who made a permanent move to London following a DUI in 2007, says that in Europe she was finally "able to take time and really explore who I was and who I wanted to be."

"I needed that time for myself to really do that self-exploration and get back in touch with my roots. I just needed time to be me and be a regular person. That balance is important. I am nothing but happy to have had that time in my life."

Happy for you too, Mischa. Though about that musical...

Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.

Read Next: