"It's something I came so close to not doing. I had a really great thing with film. People say, be grateful for what you have, but it certainly [was] not the kind of thing I was expecting it to be...I've kind of seen it all," Barton says.
When Barton signed on to play Marissa Cooper in 2003, she had no idea that The O.C. would instantly propel her into teen stardom. After three seasons, she quit to pursue a film career, which never quite came together
Since leaving The O.C., Barton's appeared on the canceled CW series The Beautiful Life: TBL, Law and Order: SVU and a slew of projects that went nowhere. All the while, tabloid coverage of her social life turned her into a poor man's Lindsay Lohan.
Barton says she has learned not to care about her bad reputation. "That would really do your head in if you were thinking like that," she says.
Currently, Barton, whose Los Angeles house is in foreclosure, is the face of the e-cigarette VAPESTICK. She's even acting as lead judge of VAPESTICK Style Icon, a U.K. campaign to find the country's most stylish vaper.
"I just like to be seen for the hard-working actress that I am and not for a bunch of extraneous press," Barton admits. "In general people are super quick to harbor on the gossipy stuff and less on how much work goes into it."
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