Call it a comeback! After years away from the spotlight, Mischa Barton has returned with a vengeance. In addition to competing in the 22nd season of "Dancing With the Stars," the "O.C." alum has several independent films in the can, including "The Hoarder," which is available on DVD and Digital Video on April 5. Wonderwall.com caught up with Mischa on March 31 to chat about the horror flick, in which she portrays Ella, a young woman who becomes trapped in a storage facility with several strangers -- and a murderous psychopath! Keep reading to see what she told us about her own hoarding behaviors and why her personal storage unit may be even more terrifying than the one in "The Hoarder," plus get the scoop on why she feels like she's been misrepresented on "Dancing With the Stars," why she's struggled thus far in the competition and more!
Mischa Barton on 'The Hoarder,' which is set in a storage facility: "It's set in New York, and we filmed a lot of the exteriors in New York. But there are these massive, really weird storage facilities on the side of the road [in England, where we shot]. The director thought it would be a really interesting horror story: This girl who just doesn't trust her husband starts digging and unearths all this stuff and then disappears."
Mischa Barton on the downright freaky things her family keeps in storage: "I've got a lot of weird stuff. I've got all our family's old creepy furs. My great aunt who's Welsh, she had all these weird animal heads and stuff. One time we were going through the storage unit and we found all of them. That stuff is pretty creepy. They're our family heirlooms. I'm English originally, and I have this one really eccentric Welsh aunt -- she's passed now -- who had this crazy case of furs and hats and all these weird antiques. Her storage facility stuff is the weirdest of everything. It's all locked up now. That's the thing about storage facilities: It's sad what sits in them over the years."
Mischa Barton on her own hoarding behaviors: "I have changed a little bit over the years. I used to have so much stuff, but these days, I'm a lot more like, 'Clean house, clean mind.' I used to have all these things, like weird tchotchkes -- things I picked up when I traveled. I started putting those away in storage facilities and really keeping it down to just the things I wear every day because I have a lot of vintage stuff too. I have a lot of weird things from different countries or from films that I made. I started putting that stuff away and not keeping it around. I'm kind of OCD when it comes to my space now. I like it to be pretty clean and organized -- everything has a place -- but not to the point of it being creepy minimalist."
Mischa Barton on her status as a scream queen: "I never really watched [horror films] growing up. They weren't something I knew anything about. But I'm really attracted to dramatic roles, and I found a lot of those characters to be very interesting. I ended up doing quite a few in a row. It's not really what I've been interested in with the last few films [I've made], but there was a minute there."
Mischa Barton on why she decided to step back into the spotlight with 'Dancing With the Stars' in spite of her complicated relationship with fame: "I'm in a really strong place in my life where I'm doing a lot of interesting work and I'm just really healthy and happy. I'm in a really great place. … I just thought, 'Why not have people see my real personality and who I am?'"
Mischa Barton on how she's been misrepresented on 'Dancing With the Stars': "They've made it out to be tougher than it has been. … Last week's [video] package was very dramatic -- it's not that dramatic. It's just not. We have a lot of fun too. We're having a good time, but they're just very drawn toward the drama of the whole thing. … It's still reality TV, and there are dramatic moments -- and they really feed off of that. That's not really representative of the time we've been having on the show."
Mischa Barton on why she's been struggling on 'Dancing With the Stars' thus far: "I think we got off on [the wrong foot]. It's a little disappointing that we started with such a dark song. I never watched the show, so I'm just realizing that people don't really connect with things like the tango and really serious [dances]. They connect with the fun stuff. So it's a shame. … We kinda just happened to start with pretty heavy stuff."
Mischa Barton on what fans can look forward to from her on this week's 'Dancing With the Stars': "This week is gonna be a really fun one that is just more in line with what the show is, to be honest. To start with the tango was a particularly strange way to start. It's a serious dance, and it's not a particularly fun one to start with. The song that we're doing this week is really poppy and fun. People are going to see a completely different side of us -- and the truth is gonna be in it."