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  1. #1
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    Reece (Misha Barton)

    We are excited to announce a new character who will be joining Ramsay Street in the upcoming season of #Neighbours. Mischa Barton will join the cast as a guest star, playing Reece, an American new to Erinsborough who?s not quite who she appears to be...

  2. #2
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    DailyMail article with pictures of Mischa Barton on set"

    What will the Neighbours say? Mischa Barton cuddles up to her Ramsay Street co-star Xavier Molyneux on set of soap reboot in Melbourne

    Neighbours viewers were shocked when it was announced last month that Mischa Barton had joined the soap opera reboot in a guest role.

    The O.C. star has spent the last few weeks filming scenes on the fictional Ramsay Street, which is located in Melbourne's Pin Oak Court.

    The American actress, 37, was pictured on location on Thursday with her co-star Xavier Molyneux, who happens to be a former Big Brother contestant.

    Neighbours marks 25-year-old Xavier's first dramatic role in a TV series.

    The pair looked thrilled to be filming together as they linked arms in between shots.

    Mischa wore an '80s-inspired outfit comprising a pair of bell-bottom jeans, a brown knitted jumper, a neck scarf and a checkered blazer.

    She completed her retro look with high-heeled brown boots, and wore her long blonde hair in loose waves.

    Xavier dressed comfortably in light-wash jeans, a charcoal shirt and brown dress shoes.

    The Neighbours newcomers were joined by Ramsay Street favourite Jarrod 'Toadfish' Rebecchi, played by actor Ryan Maloney.

    Mischa underwent a dramatic hair transformation before jetting to Australia to film Amazon Freevee's revival of Neighbours.

    She has been a brunette for years, but dyed her locks blonde about two months ago.

    'What a crazy transformation. Australia, here I come,' she wrote on Instagram as she debuted her lighter look.

    Mischa will play Reece, an American woman who has just arrived on Ramsay Street, but whose identity 'is not what it seems'.

    Her character is designed to appeal to American viewers, as Neighbours, which is set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, will screen in the U.S. on the ad-supported streaming platform Amazon Freevee.

    'I'm excited to be part of this iconic show's next chapter, and I am really looking forward to being back in Australia ? a place I know and love!' Mischa said in a statement.

    'I think the character of Reece is going to be a great role for me to explore and play with,' she added.

    Neighbours' executive producer Jason Herbison said: 'With Neighbours launching on Amazon Freevee in North America, we are beyond excited to have an actor of Mischa's calibre join us for the beginning of this exciting new chapter.

    'Mischa's character is dynamic and unpredictable, and will have an instant presence on Ramsay Street. Our loyal viewers are going to love her, locally and abroad.'

    Cameras began rolling for Amazon's revived Neighbours in April, and the series should be back on screens by the end of this year.

    The continuation of the long-running soap series follows the finale in 2022, which was watched by millions of fans.

  3. #3
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    "Why Mischa Barton said yes to surprise role on Neighbours

    She was the star of the hottest teen drama of the noughties, but The O.C?s Mischa Barton shocked everyone when she signed on to the revival of Aussie soap Neighbours. Now she exclusively reveals to Stellar why she gave up work in the US for a show she?d never seen in suburban Melbourne.

    After starring in the hottest teen drama of the noughties and being idolised for her every fashionable move, Mischa Barton surprised everyone when she signed up for some suburban drama on Australia?s most famous cul-de-sac in a revival of Neighbours. But then the British-born, US-based actor ? who started her career on the stage and in soap operas ? has never relished the role Hollywood chose for her. In an exclusive interview with Stellar, the 37-year-old recalls being cast in The O.C. because she ?wasn?t anything like the other young blonde girls going in and trying out? and reveals how she?s taken charge of her own narrative.

    Craning her neck forward, Mischa Barton lets out a squeal of excitement as she hears the first bars of Neighbours actor Stefan Dennis? 1989 single ?Don?t It Make You Feel Good? emanate from a mobile phone. ?I?m adding that to my playlist!? she exclaims with a throaty laugh, before plotting how she will tease Dennis on the Neighbours set the next day, her first suggestion being that she might just broadcast the tune loudly in her dressing room.

    While Barton was a fan of Kylie Minogue before joining the Neighbours cast, she was far less familiar with the era-typifying swerve into pop music made by Dennis (who has been playing the show?s ?villain? Paul Robinson since 1985), let alone its reputation for turning out future Australian music superstars. As such, she can confidently say it?s ?very, very unlikely? that her 10-week stint on Ramsay Street was motivated by a secret desire to follow in the footsteps of Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem or even Dennis.

    So if not music, then what did prompt the former star of the early 2000s teen drama The O.C. to say yes to a stint in suburban Melbourne working on a show that she has never seen, and that has no cultural footprint in the US, where she lives?

    Certainly for Network 10, adding Barton to the cast was a shrewd move to create buzz when the series returns later this month, resurrected just over a year after its 37-year run came to an end and also airing for the first time in the US and Canada via Amazon?s streaming service Freevee (as well as streaming in Australia and New Zealand on Amazon Prime). For Barton, who wasn?t yet born when Neighbours debuted in 1985, it was a serendipitous chance to try something new, as well as reconnect with some old friends in Australia.

    When Stellar spoke to Barton in June, a week before she returned to the US, she explained the role had ?come at a really good time, because while I was loving living in New York, there?s a writers? strike on. And it?s [Northern Hemisphere] summertime. So there?s really not that much work going around for a lot of my actor friends.?

    Of course, the Hollywood actors? strike ? which was called in mid-July ? has also compounded the issue for Barton?s fellow actors. However, practicality and picket lines aside, the real lure for Barton was the role of Reece Sinclair, a wealthy American who arrives in Erinsborough under the guise of doing business ? but in reality, has a much more personal agenda to fulfil. ?And then she falls for a guy,? Barton says with a smile. ?It actually just felt like a very good fit for me in terms of a role I could really play. And I don?t always feel that way with television.?

    Her sentiment is understandable given the 37-year-old?s most high-profile project since leaving The O.C. in 2006 was her surprising gear-shift into reality TV on The Hills: New Beginnings. A sequel to the popular MTV series that followed the daily lives of TV personalities Brody Jenner, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, it was sold to her as an opportunity to let people see ?the real Mischa Barton?. Ultimately, she felt let down by the process.

    ?Would I do it again? Probably not something like The Hills,? Barton tells Stellar. ?I think they?re even continuing to try to do it, but it just wasn?t really all the things that were promised around it, like clearing up any misconceptions or getting people to know you. There are just people putting on too many fronts and they?re not being themselves. So if people aren?t being themselves, it?s impossible because I?m used to having a script. That middle ground is just too trying for me. It?s partially scripted but it?s not, but they can?t really say that. So it wasn?t my favourite experience.

    ?But I?ve never been attracted to that kind of fame, either,? she adds. ?It?s not something that I chase. I actually veer away from it.?

    Fame has long been an uncomfortable by-product of Barton?s chosen career. Asked whether she?s grateful to have become a celebrity in an era when smartphones couldn?t capture her every move, Barton sighs wearily. ?You can always play the grass is greener thing, and I just don?t feel that way,? she says. ?I mean, in a sense, it would have been much easier for me if there had been social media to combat all the ludicrous stories in the press. Now, kids can really show their own narrative. You can use your own social media to be whoever you want to be.?

    She qualifies her reply after a brief pause: ?At the same time, I don?t really love social media. So I?m fine with having come up in a time when it wasn?t around and things were, in one sense, a lot simpler.?

    That?s why, rather than opting for a luxury hotel suite, Barton relished staying in a relatively humble cottage nestled behind Melbourne?s bustling Chapel Street for the duration of her time filming Neighbours. There, she could cook meals for friends, do her own laundry and, when her schedule allowed, walk to the Prahran Market to pick up fresh fruit and veg. She also found time to indulge in a bit of shopping, and admits that she would be going home with far heavier suitcases than when she arrived. ?I really liked a vintage store I found there,? she says of Chapel Street, which is known for its eclectic mix of high-end boutiques and second-hand clothing markets. ?I did a lot of damage in there.?

    Filming in Australia meant such excursions could be enjoyed without being recognised or photographed, and added a layer of protection for Barton, who has learnt the tricks to staying incognito ? the easiest being to steer clear of bars and clubs where people inevitably want selfies.

    Avoiding unwanted attention wasn?t always so easy. When The O.C. first aired in 2003, it catapulted Barton and the rest of her young co-stars into a searing spotlight of adulation and attention. For someone who had been acting steadily since she was eight ? making her screen debut in the US soap opera All My Children in 1994, and going on to appear in two of the biggest films of 1999, M. Night Shyamalan?s thriller The Sixth Sense and Richard Curtis? hit romance Notting Hill ? the sudden and frenzied interest in both The O.C. and her personal life was a shock to the system.

    ?I was 17 or 18 and it was a very specific kind of fame,? Barton recalls. ?Most actors, they can work their whole lives and have a very normal level of notoriety or fame. But, for some reason, The O.C. was just one of those things. It was a time and a place, and it just took off in a very different direction. It was kind of an uncontrollable beast. But I?ve been in this industry for a long time and managed, for a large portion of it, to get away with just living a very normal life.?

    Both Barton and her character, rich girl Marissa Cooper, became fashion icons of the time, with the actor regularly centre stage on red carpets and front row at fashion weeks, while young girls everywhere mimicked her onscreen style of low-slung jeans and spaghetti-strap tops.

    Recalling her time in the fashion spotlight and the pressures to look a certain way in Hollywood, she says she?s ?learnt how to get away from it. I don?t really live in LA anymore, so I don?t put myself under that constant scrutiny and pressure. I?ll only dip into [the Hollywood scene] when I feel like it?s healthy and something I want to do.?

    Even so, Barton recalls how a ?bizarre amount? of people found it hard to separate the British-born and New York-raised Barton from the quintessential Californian teenager she portrayed. ?People were obsessed with Marissa Cooper,? she says. ?I?d get sent a lot of [scripts] that are rehashes of her. And I was always like, ?Do you not realise that?s actually not something I like to play?? I didn?t really enjoy having to play that character. I had to find my own version of Marissa and I think the real reason I was cast is because I wasn?t really anything like the other young blonde girls going in and trying out for it.?

    Barton left the show in its third season in 2006, when Marissa died in a shocking car crash. The series? creator Josh Schwartz recently told Vanity Fair that he regretted killing off her character, saying he wished he?d found a way to give Barton ?the break she needed and wanted that still would?ve allowed for that character to return?.

    Fans say The O.C. never recovered from Barton?s departure, but the death scene ?

    in which Marissa?s body is carried from the flames by her longtime love Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) ? is etched into TV history.

    ?I?ve only just rewatched that scene recently,? Barton admits. ?I never watched it after I did it because there was really no reason to, but I just did the podcast [Welcome To The OC, Bitches!, hosted by her former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, who played her best friend Summer Roberts and mother Julie Cooper] and we rewatched it together, and it was weirdly emotional. I was like, ?Oh, I forgot the car is on fire.? And I forgot there?s no music playing for once in the show. It was done in a really interesting way.?

    Despite the enduring affection the public still has for the series, Barton isn?t sure that a reboot of The O.C. would work for audiences today. ?It?s not like it hasn?t come up before, but obviously, I?m dead,? she says with a smile. ?Honestly, it?s more likely to work as an offshoot of it or something based around those characters that?s not exactly the same, rather than trying to simply resurrect them. You?d have to think outside the box if you want to resurrect The O.C. culture or characters.?

    And while The O.C. featured former Neighbours co-star Alan Dale, who played his screen dad and is one of his good mates, Dennis had never seen the US series. He was only aware that Barton ? or, as he knew her, ?the vomiting girl from The Sixth Sense? ? was coming to Ramsay Street.

    ?[I thought], ?Oh, here we go, they?ve cast a Hollywood hero to show us how it?s done,?? Dennis admits to Stellar. ?There was a cautious shyness initially as she was alone on the other side of the world, thrown into a building full of people she didn?t know and working day-by-day in a show she didn?t know or understand the way it worked. This cautious shyness was misread by me. I now like to think we have cemented a long-term friendship.?

    Another castmate, Annie Jones (who rejoined the show in 2020, reprising her 1980s character Jane Harris), was equally impressed by Barton, enthusing that she brought

    a ?beautiful, serene calmness to the set. It?s great for the show to have someone of Mischa?s calibre on it. She was gorgeous. Everyone loved her.?

    And while Barton may be back in the US as Neighbours returns to air, she tells Stellar she remains excited that ? unlike her very final departure from The O.C. ? the door has been left open for a return. And the plot wheels are already turning in her head, as Barton teases, ?Reece might pop up on FaceTime from New York.?

    Neighbours returns at 4.30pm on September 18, on Network 10 and 10Play, and 6.30pm on 10Peach. The series starts streaming on September 25 on Prime Video."

  4. #4
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    Mischa Barton arrives in Neighbours
    A sneak peek of the arrival of Mischa Barton as Reece Sinclair in Erinsborough.

    Neighbours has released a sneak peek of the arrival of Mischa Barton as Reece Sinclair in Erinsborough.

    In this clip she is seen alongside Xavier Molyneux now as Byron Stone and Stefan Dennis as Paul Robinson.

    Monday, September 18 at 4:30pm on 10 (6:30pm on 10 Peach).

  5. #5
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    DS article:

    Neighbours star Mischa Barton responds to Reece Sinclair's big secret
    "Reece is quite fierce!"

    Neighbours spoilers follow from Wednesday's episode (September 20), which is streaming now on Amazon Freevee.

    Neighbours' big-name guest star Mischa Barton has spoken about her character Reece Sinclair's major secret for the first time.

    Mischa's character claimed to be called Reece Peters in the first two episodes of the new season, but Wednesday's visit to Erinsborough confirmed that she has been concealing her true identity.

    Reece is a member of the Sinclair family, the wealthy US investors who now have a significant stake in the hotel.

    Paul Robinson believed that the Sinclairs were silent investors who weren't interested in the day-to-day running of the business. Sadly, it seems that he misjudged the situation as Reece has been witnessing the unprofessional behaviour of Lassiters' new employee Holly Hoyland in recent days.

    Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about where the storyline goes from here, Mischa revealed: "Reece is definitely going to get involved in the business side of things. That's going to make some people happy and some people not."

    Asked whether Reece is a match for Paul and his ruthless ways, Mischa replied: "Yeah, Reece is quite fierce actually! As a character in general, she's a woman in business who doesn't like to take any ****. That really irritates Paul."

    Since the first episode, Reece has been enjoying a fling with Byron Stone ? another of the Lassiters employees ? although he was alarmed when he eventually discovered what she had been hiding.

    Mischa told us: "I think Byron is definitely a bit of escapism for Reece, that's for sure. She's been through a very structured, very businessy type of background.

    "I think that during her time in Australia, she wasn't expecting to fall for the bell boy, but hey, these things happen!"

    Asked whether Reece's feelings for Byron are genuine, she replied: "That's the ongoing drama ? how much can she love him and commit when they are from two different worlds?

    "That will be the whole push and pull of the situation. Her permanency there is not great, so how much can that relationship really work out?"

    Mischa, best known for her role as Marissa Cooper on The OC, has joined Neighbours for a guest stint to kick off the revival season on Amazon Freevee.

    Neighbours releases new episodes from Mondays to Thursdays for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. In Australia, the show airs from Mondays to Thursdays at 4.30pm on Channel 10, with a 6.30pm repeat screening on 10 Peach.

  6. #6
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    DS article:

    Neighbours star Mischa Barton reveals sister twist in Reece Sinclair story
    "She's not been completely honest."

    Neighbours spoilers follow.

    Neighbours star Mischa Barton has revealed an upcoming twist in new character Reece Sinclair's plot line in Erinsborough.

    American businesswoman Reece arrived in Ramsay Street under mysterious circumstances as the newest investor in Lassiters hotel ? but she's already made an enemy of villain Paul Robinson and engaged in a fling with hotel porter Byron in the soap's revival, which launched last month on Amazon Freevee.

    Speaking to Inside Soap magazine, Mischa has revealed another twist in Reece's story, which is set to focus on her character's sibling.

    "We find out that she's really in Australia because of her sister, and there's a lot going on there," Barton said.

    "She's not been completely honest."

    Elsewhere in the interview, when asked if her character had landed in Erinsborough for business or pleasure, Barton told the publication: "A bit of both.

    "She's never really had a chance to take a break from work and get away from her family; she's never had a chance to live a normal life and not be under her father's strict guidance."

    Barton added that despite the upcoming turmoil with Reece's sister, leisure time is on the cards ? at least to start with.

    "She wants to have some fun and actually relax, which is when she realises that she's not been doing what she's supposed to be doing!" she explained.

    Sinclair's introduction to the newly revived soap was shrouded in mystery, and Reece claimed that her surname was 'Peters' in the first two episodes of the return to Ramsay Street.

    However, it was soon that she had been concealing her true identity when Byron spotted her name on paperwork in her hotel room.

    Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy previously about where her storyline is set to go, Mischa revealed: "Reece is definitely going to get involved in the business side of things. That's going to make some people happy and some people not."

    Neighbours releases new episodes from Mondays to Thursdays for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. In Australia, the show airs from Mondays to Thursdays at 4.30pm on Channel 10, with a 6.30pm repeat screening on 10 Peach.

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