Here’s Why This ‘The O.C.’ Star Turned Down ‘The Hills’

Getty Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke, Peter Gallagher, Rachel Bilson, Kelly Rowan, Benjamin McKenzie and Samaire Armstrong pose at a viewing party for Fox TV's "The O.C."

Mischa Barton wasn’t producers’ first pick for “The Hills: New Beginnings” reboot.

While “The O.C.” alum joined the cast of the MTV reboot in 2018, it was actually her former co-star Rachel Bilson who was originally on producers’ minds.

“I was actually asked to be on ‘The Hills,’” Bilson told Us Weekly. “That, I graciously passed. And then, who they wound up casting was Mischa.”

Bilson, who played Barton’s character Marissa Cooper’s best friend Summer Roberts on the Fox teen drama from 2003 to 2007, admitted that one of the reasons she turned down “The Hills” was because she didn’t really know any of the other cast members.

“I’ve met Lauren Conrad before, but she’s not even on that [new] show … I like Lauren a lot,” Bilson said. “I know her a little, tiny bit and she’s cool. But I don’t know anyone from The Hills, no.”

In addition to Barton, the first season of “The Hills” reboot starred Brody Jenner, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Jason Wahler, Justin Bobby Brescia, Frankie Delagado, Whitney Port, Kaitlynn Carter,  and Brandon Thomas Lee.

Mischa Barton Admitted She Got Thrown Into ‘The Deep End’ When She Joined ‘The Hills’

The Hills Cast

GettyThe cast of “The Hills: New Beginnings” Justin Bobby Brescia, Jennifer Delgado, Frankie Delgado, Brody Jenner, Kaitlynn Carter Jenner, Jason Wahler, Ashley Wahler, Brandon Thomas Lee, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, Mischa Barton, Stephanie Pratt and singer Natasha Bedingfield attend the party for the premiere of MTV’s “The Hills: New Beginnings” at Liaison on June 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Barton never really fit in with “The Hills” cast, some of whom knew each other from the original incarnation of the show more than a decade prior. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Barton revealed that she did know Patridge and Port socially and knew Jenner from their younger days in Malibu and knew Delgado from “that club life.” Still, she wasn’t prepared for the reality TV drama with the circle of friends.

“I definitely got thrown in the deep end,” Barton revealed. “I feel like it is a little jarring for me…. [The cast] had a lot of unresolved drama that they really had to work through that I wasn’t privy to. It sort of took me a minute to jump on board with what exactly was going on and why certain things were such triggers for people.”

Unfortunately for Barton, her stint on “The Hills” was short-lived. An insider told TMZ that producers found her to be “boring” with no interesting storylines to add to the show, so she was cut from the cast after one season.

Caroline D’Amore Replaced Barton on ‘The Hills’

Caroline D'Amore

GettyCaroline D’Amore attends the alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet x FriendsWithYou Collection LA launch party at the Hollywood Athletic Club

Early on,  Barton shut down rumors that she was being replaced on “The Hills” by her former friend, Pizza Girl CEO Caroline D’Amore.  In March 2020, Barton posted and deleted a message that said, “As if anyone would watch @carolinedamore try to hoc her boring a** pasta bowls and greasy pizza on tv. Tried that it was like watching paint dry.”

D’Amore later told Hollywood Life that her former friend’s comment was “really hurtful.”

“It was really insane,” she said of Barton’s rant. “That’s my livelihood. It made me feel like — I don’t know — There’s a sensitivity chip missing. Very confusing.”

D’Amore also teased that her falling out with Barton had everything to do with “The Hills.”

“I found out from some insiders that she was doing some sneaky things behind the scenes to keep me off the show,” Caroline said “So when I found that out I called her out on it and that was the last time we spoke.”

READ NEXT: Is ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ Renewed For Season 3?

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