Mischa Barton confirms she dated The O.C. co-star despite concerns over age gap
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 22
Mischa Barton has confirmed she dated The O.C. co-star Ben McKenzie (Picture: Amazon Freevee)

has confirmed long-standing speculation that she dated The O.C. co-star .

, the , California, and centred on Ryan Atwood (played by Ben), a troubled teenager from a broken home adopted by the wealthy Sandy and Kirsten Cohen.

Ryan and his adoptive brother Seth (Adam Brody), a socially awkward, quick-witted teenager, deal with life as outsiders in the high-class world of Newport Beach, with Mischa playing girl-next-door Marissa Cooper.

Now, 18 years , Mischa, 38, and Ben, 45, dated when cameras first started rolling.

Despite rumours swirling at the time they were more than friends, Mischa always insisted that wasn’t the case.

However, she has now confirmed what really happened during the latest episode of the podcast.

They started dating when Mischa was 17 (Picture: Warner Bros TV/Kobal/Shutterstock)

‘Yeah, that was my first… I had no idea what I was doing,’ she said.

‘I think that kind of set things off on the wrong foot too because… we threw ourselves all into it very fast… It definitely was tricky that it happened right out of the gate and I felt overwhelmed and not ready for any of that.’

The actress explained how the producers were concerned about the relationship because Ben was more than seven years older than her.

‘I remember they were like, “Mischa’s disappeared with Ben and like she’s only 17-and-a-half, 18”. The producers went to my parents. It was kind of a whole ordeal,’ she recalled.

‘That’s in the beginning of the show before we’re even halfway through a season.’

The actors starred in the teen drama together for three seasons (Picture: Warner Bros TV/ Kobal/ Shutterstock)

When host Alex Cooper asked if she lost her virginity while filming the show, she replied: ‘Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, I had no idea about relationships at all, or sex, and so it was like kind of a whole learning curve for me.’

She then said she ended the relationship because she didn’t feel mature enough.

‘I mean, yeah, (it was) one of those things where you’re so young and you’ve realised, “I’m not ready for this. I have no idea what I’m doing”,’ she said.

‘(It was) overwhelming and too close to home. It would be a very very tricky thing to keep going on set… I felt not mature enough, younger than them (her co-stars) in that sense, I had not dated before.’

Looking back, Mischa said the break-up had already happened when they filmed Marissa and Ryan’s first kiss on a Ferris wheel in the first season.

The actress said they ‘hated each other’ after the break-up (Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

She confessed that they ‘hated each other at that point’ but the tension proved helpful for the show on screen, but off it was another matter.

‘I think he was really angry with me, to begin with, and I felt the punishment of that. I felt that from the producers as well, that they were not happy about that,’ she explained.

‘We had to just suck it up and get on with it but there was a lot of jabs behind the scenes and off camera.’

The actors continued to work together until her character was Ki**ed off in the season three finale in 2006.

Mischa said she ended the relationship because she didn’t feel mature enough (Picture: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Last year Mischa, who now stars on Australian soaps Neighbours, claimed she was in order to further her career when she was a teenager.

In the 2005 interview, given to outlet Harpers & Queen at the height of The OC’s popularity, Mischa recalled seeing a then-30-year-old Leo at a photoshoot with her then-publicist Craig Schneider.

She claimed that Craig had told her: ‘For the sake of your career, go and sleep with that man.’

However, Mischa told the outlet she wasn’t interested in older men, asking: ‘Isn’t Leo like 30 or something?’

Metro.co.uk has contacted representatives for Ben McKenzie for comment.

The O.C. is streaming on ITVX.