Mischa Barton explains reasons for initially turning down Neighbours role

Mischa Barton in a TENSE row with dancing partner Artem

Former The O.C. star Mischa Barton has joined the cast of the newly revived Neighbours as a mysterious character called Reece.

However, the 37-year-old British-born star has revealed that this isn’t the first character she was approached about playing in the iconic long-running Australian soap and that she had previously turned the show down.

“I had been asked to be on Neighbours years and years ago, she revealed exclusively to Express.co.uk and other press, “but it had never been the right time. Probably not even the right role,” she reflected.

“But this time it was obviously it’s a reboot so restarting and Reece I think she’s a character I actually really liked and kind of relate to and I thought she’d be a good role for me actually.

“I like her. So yeah, it just seemed to be all of those things converging, it was the right thing.”

READ MORE: Neighbours newcomer details on set problem which led to major scenes being cut

Reece arrives with a bang in the first episode and immediately makes waves and Mischa also divulged that she had a hand in shaping the character.

“I felt very grateful for the way that she was written because I was able to find a voice within her.

“They [the writers] were very supportive of me kind of manipulating it so that if it was too many Australian-isms, I could change it and make it more American.

“But I did have an idea in my head of who…I thought she should be and…I wanted to make sure that we set the right tone for her character, which was, a lot to do in a very, very short period of time,” she admitted.

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Mischa isn’t the only Hollywood star appearing in the revamped series. LA Confidential and Memento star Guy Pearce is also back.

Having returned for what everyone believed was the finale last year fans were thrilled to see his character Mike Young, who first appeared in the show in 1986, reunite with his first love Jane Harris (Annie Jones) and move back to Ramsay Street.

Speaking on the Good Weekend Talks podcast earlier this year he explained that since his character was now living on the soap’s famous street, he would appear in the new season out of respect for the show.

Neighbours will stream on Amazon Freevee Monday to Thursday from September 18.

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