Mischa Barton Joins O.C. Costars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke to Rewatch Marissa's Death: 'So Hard'

Mischa Barton Joins O.C. Costars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke to Rewatch Marissa's Death: 'So Hard'

For Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, some things are just never forgotten.

In PEOPLE's exclusive look at an upcoming episode of their podcast Welcome to the OC, Bitches!, Bilson and Clarke welcome former castmate Mischa Barton to discuss The O.C.'s 20th anniversary — and the horrific scene in 2006 that instantly changed the landscape of the beloved teen drama: Marissa's death.

"It needed to be a thing, after everything she's been through, but if it's here I'll watch it with you," Barton, 36, says, referring to the scene in which her character Marissa Cooper died in a tragic car crash.

"I couldn't do it, Mischa, I couldn't do it," says Bilson, 41. "But I'm going to do it if you're going to do it."

"I don't particularly want to, but I will," says Barton.

The O.C.
The O.C.

RELATED: Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke Address Mischa Barton's 'Perplexing' Claims About Her Departure from The O.C.

"I feel you," Bilson responds. "I'm with you. I don't want to. It is so hard to watch."

As they watched the unforgettable scene for the first time together, Barton says, "Poor Marissa. She really, really goes through it." When Bilson begins crying, Barton adds, "Oh no, I'm getting really sad too. You can't cry, Rachel!"

"What is this next bit?" Barton asks, as she watches a clip of onscreen love Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) looking back at Marissa.

"It flashes back to when you guys meet each other," says Bilson as she wipes away tears. "I can't, you guys."

THE O.C.: Marissa (Mischa Barton) dies in Ryan's (Ben McKenzie) arms in THE O.C. season finale episode "The Graduates" airing Thursday, May 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2006 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Desmond/FOX
THE O.C.: Marissa (Mischa Barton) dies in Ryan's (Ben McKenzie) arms in THE O.C. season finale episode "The Graduates" airing Thursday, May 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2006 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Desmond/FOX

Michael Desmond/FOX

RELATED: Rachel Bilson Says She Was Asked to Join The Hills Before Former O.C. Costar Mischa Barton Was Cast

Welcome to the OC, Bitches! launched in March 2021, but this is the first time that Barton has been on her former costar's podcast.

In May 2021, Barton opened up to E! and revealed that she left The O.C. after three seasons because "there were people on that set that were very mean to me."

"It wasn't, like, the most ideal environment for a young, sensitive girl who's also been thrust into stardom to have to put up with," she said. "But, you know, I also loved the show and had to build up my own walls and ways of getting around dealing with that and the fame that was thrust specifically at me."

"Just dealing with like the amount of invasion I was having in my personal life, I just felt very unprotected, I guess is the best way to put it," she continued. "I was working so hard, the longest hours probably out of all the characters. It wasn't an easy character for me to play because it wasn't me, which is why I think people liked it or thought Marissa was funny and latched on to her. They felt like this is entertaining because she's all over the place and who is this girl? It's like because this New York girl was trying to play this ditzy L.A. rich kid, you know?"

The OC
The OC

Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

The following month, Bilson and Clarke addressed her comments on their podcast.

"You know Melinda and I were talking immediately after [the interview] came out," Bilson admitted. "And we were just like, 'Wait, what?'"

Clarke added that while she and Bilson could talk about their own experiences, they didn't want to speak for anyone else.

"Someone who is 16, 17, 18 — that amount of hours of work, pressure, at such a young age — at best, you're exhausted," she explained. "And at worst, it's overwhelming and chaotic so, it kinda breaks my heart a little to know [that]."

She continued, "We knew there was a lot of pressure on her, but if it was really that bad of an experience, that's not right for any young person. But, some of the comments were very perplexing to me. So, I don't know what the truth is about that. I do know that, yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure for her. And for everybody."

THE O.C., Peter Gallagher, Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, 'The Risky Business',
THE O.C., Peter Gallagher, Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, 'The Risky Business',

Everett

"Some of the comments were very perplexing to me," she concluded. "So I don't know, I don't know what the truth is about that, but I do know that yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure — for everybody."

Bilson also addressed Barton's remarks about her — that she was made a series regular later on.

"The one thing that I can say is like, in one of her first comments she says that I was added last-minute after the first season, which is actually completely false and not what happened," she said. "So it starting out that way, I was like, 'Well, that's misinformation. Where are we going with this? And what is she trying to say?' Which I would actually like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective because I saw things a little differently."

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The newest episode of Welcome to the OC, Bitches! featuring Barton will be released on Tuesday.