Mischa Barton Is Touring With ‘Steel Magnolias’ In Ireland

If either a) the recent Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias failed to sate your need for melodrama and Southern accents, or b) you are a casual theater-goer living in Ireland, you might want to pay attention. Beginning in mid-September (following some previews and publicity in July), Ireland’s Solar Theatre company launched a tour of the stage production of Steel Magnolias, featuring a cast of mostly seasoned veterans of stage and screen, including Anne Charleston (Madge from Neighbours) as Ouiser Boudreaux, Gillian Hanna as Miss Clairee and… Mischa Barton from The O.C. as Shelby. Mischa Barton is Shelby in a stage production of Steel Magnolias in Ireland. If you’ve grown weary of watching The O.C. on Netflix Instant but still want alumni of the show in your regular viewing (and Tate Donovan in Argo will not do it for you) then, well, here you go.

After a successful run in Dublin at The Gaiety Theatre and touring all over the country throughout October, the show’s last two nights are tonight and tomorrow at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar. Watch the promo and a couple of fan-shot clips below, including the pivotal scene in which Shelby announces her pregnancy to M’Lynn (who does not take it well) and, in the trailer, some close-ups of Mischa Barton emoting pretty intensely about her new hairdo. And, if you’re in Ireland, you might wanna get to Castlebar tomorrow. 

Drinking Diary: A Week in the Life of LA’s “Coke Talk”

LA is fun. There’s plenty of blow and Jack Daniels and private sex parties to be had. Just ask Lindsay Lohan. But if you need further proof, ask Coke Talk. Coke Talk is a real person with a secret life as a blogger, advice columnist, and partier, who prefers to go nameless because she doesn’t want to be a hero. That, and she’d most likely get fired from her real life job at an entertainment industry firm. “I’m pretty respectable by day” she says. “I can’t really go into specifics, but I’ve got pant suits and a masters degree.” But she’d be dumb to not tell the world just how much alcohol, venue, drugs, and debauchery the average LA inhabitant can consume. This means our dear Coke Talk keeps an LA drinking diary with “names omitted to protect the guilty.” Aside from not being able to call up your gynecologist to tell him how you read about his Sunday-night orgy, it’s still pretty wonderful.

Sunday

8:20AM Awake and not hung over. This is a minor miracle.

9:55 Venice Beach. I park on the street next to a dreadlocked hippie who’s hand buffing a black Porsche. The visual pretty much sums up the neighborhood. I’m meeting the Crazy Redhead to carpool down to the O.C. for a house party that The Doctor’s Wife throws every year. We split a Corona and spin around a few times on the stripper pole in her breakfast nook. She’s not a stripper. She’s a reality television producer. She considers the pole exercise equipment.

1:17PM We buy a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon for the Doctor’s Wife. She thinks it’s fucking hilarious when we show up with beer in a can.

1:41 We’re the first to show. The Doctor’s Wife is making guacamole with the daughter. The Doctor is playing Xbox with the son. Seeing them in the daylight always makes me smirk. I’ve known the doctor and his wife for years. We met at an underground after hours club in LA, each of us rolling our faces off. That first night we all ended up in a hotel suite orgy together. They’ve been like family ever since.

1:42 We fire up the blender. The Doctor’s Wife and I crack open beers.

3:28 Republicans start to arrive with blonde children. I forgot how much these people breed. More Margaritas. Kickoff. Couldn’t give less of a fuck.

4:42 Someone brought iced tea flavored vodka and lemonade. Why yes, I’ll have an Arnold Palmer cocktail. Delicious. Refreshing. Sneaks up on you like Rohypnol. Everyone is wine-soaked and cackling. The Doctor pulls me aside and whispers nasty shit into my ear. He loves getting me all hot and bothered with his golf buddies standing around.

5:52 Hammered. Totally lost the margarita count. Best if I just keep track of pitchers. Also, horrified with the sudden realization that most of these people voted yes on Prop 8.

7:22 Sneak away to the guesthouse to get away from the children with the Redhead and Landscape Architect, who says he’s got good blow.

7:42 Sure, I’ll do a bump off her nipple. No, you can’t do one off mine. Not yet, Landscape A. The kids haven’t been put to bed yet. We rejoin the party after a gram.

9:25 The Doctor’s Wife and I compare notes on Landscape A. She confirms that he’s one of us, and I give him the thumbs up.

10:00 Bedtime for the kids. The party is dwindling, time to sneak back to the guesthouse.

10:08 Turn my iPod to a party dance mix and drink Pinot Grigio straight from the bottle. The Landscape A cuts us a few more lines. This is the magic hour. It’s the reason I came down here. Just the inner circle, happy and high as fuck.

12:15AM I finally let the architect do a bump off my tits. He does this thing where he licks my nipple clean and then blows on it. Jesus, now it could cut glass. Well played, sir.

12:25 We all fool around a little bit. No sex. The Doctor’s Wife is on her period. If the hostess isn’t getting laid, then none of us are. That’s fine with me. The Redhead and I have to be up at the ass crack of dawn anyways, and I get to see the Landscape A’s cock without having to fuck him yet. Everyone goes home and Redhead and I pass out.

Monday

6:00AM The Redhead’s iPhone alarm wakes us up with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Morning bumps.

8:04 We get back to Venice Beach and find that some motherfucker has slashed my rear passenger tire. Call AAA, smoke cigarettes, and curse. The Redhead has to go or she’ll miss her call time. She leaves me with four Parliaments and a hug.

8:23 I take a deep breath, a quick bump, and pull it together. I put my game face on and leave a voicemail for my assistant letting her know I’ll be late to the office. Here comes the tow truck.

1:12PM Quick purse inventory in the restroom at lunch. Last bump to finish off the baggie. Gonna get some work done this afternoon.

9:42PM Curled up in bed with a glass of red wine and a tivo’d episode of “Modern Family.”

Party Count: 4 cigarettes, three bumps, 1 glass of red wine

Tuesday

10:00AM No booze, no drugs, no cigarettes, just work.

10:00PM Phone sex with my long distance relationship. He’s flying down from San Francisco this weekend to see me.

Wednesday

8:38AM Tiramisu and a Parliament for breakfast. Fuck you, that’s why.

1:32PM Stylist absolutely destroys my hair. Filled with thick, oily hate. I am going to drink Jack Daniels tonight. My recently single friend texts me. Drinks? Fuck yes, sister.

9:32 Bigfoot Lodge. Whiskey shot with a cherry lambic back. My friend was hoping for more men with beards.

10:08 Street smoke.

10:23 Jack and Coke at a dive bar. We may have stumbled upon a lesbian birthday party. There are cupcakes.

10:31 Yep. It’s dyke night here at The Garter. Didn’t bring the right shade of lipstick for these gals. We’re out of here.

10:50 Walk into a karaoke bar just as Lunch Lady bumblefucks her way through INXS lyrics. Ugh, gross. We don’t even finish our drinks. Realize that we’re bar hopping. This is pathetic. Time to go home.

11:54 In bed. I’ve learned not to fight it when a night doesn’t want to happen.

Thursday

10:00AM Getting a shit ton done at work makes me feel like I earn my night out.

7:34PM Glass of 2-Buck Chuck as I gear up for dinner and dancing with friends.

9:18 Geisha House. Warm sake shots with two of my favorite people in the world. She’s a promoter and he’s a producer. Cliche, I know. What can I say? It’s fucking Hollywood. The promoter’s date shows up. He’s a former actor who now owns a string of tanning salons in the valley. Nice enough guy. He buys everyone a round of cocktails and launches into a series of self-deprecating stories that involve his penis.

10:04 We excuse ourselves to do blow in the bathroom.

10:48 Arrive at the club. It is embarrassingly empty. They offer us free bottle service if we’ll stay, which is the nightlife equivalent of a guy offering oral sex when he can’t get it up.

10:55 We politely decline the bottle service and leave, but not before the producer makes a quick purchase from a dealer we know works there. Six hits of ecstasy and a eight-ball, a respectable little weekender kit.

11:04 We pull up to a place on sunset where we know the owner. The owner sees us at the bar and gives us big hugs. You know that underground after hours club where I met the doctor a few years back? This is the guy who used to run it. He grabs shot glasses and a bottle of Don Julio 1942 off the top shelf. “Trust me,” he says. “It’s like going down on Frida Kahlo.”

11:28 The owner’s girlfriend sneaks up behind me with a big hug. Love this bitch. Haven’t seen her in over a year, and she’s looking fabulous. We spend a couple hours telling old stories and drinking tequila.

1:51AM The lights go up and the music shuts off. The bar empties out except for the staff and a handful of the owner’s friends. As soon as the doors are locked, he brings the music back up and pours us all another drink.

2:11 I make the switch to water. I still have to work tomorrow.

3:32 It’s about to go from late to early, and everyone is still going strong. I say my goodbyes and slip out before anyone has a chance to talk me into staying.

3:55 I fall into bed. Still in my makeup. Fuck it.

Friday

8:32AM Deserving every inch of this hangover. Nothing but water for me, thanks.

7:30PM Friends start checking in for the evening, but after last night, nothing sounds better than being fully rested for tomorrow.

8:15 Start ignoring calls.

9:45 A glass of red wine and a quick chat with my long distance man to double check his flight information.

11:59 In bed by midnight on a Friday. Damn.

Saturday

11:15AM Pick up my man at LAX. We make out in the car until the airport cop threatens to ticket us.

12:00PM Back home. We hop in the sack for a nooner to start the weekend.

3:22 Moonshadows in Malibu. The crowd here always looks like it arrived for a reading of Christian Audigier’s will, but the outdoor patio overlooking the ocean is still one of my favorite spots for brunch. We sip mimosas and tell dirty jokes to tacky people in higher tax brackets.

4:57 The people watching is stale and the champagne is flat. We peace out.

5:08 Traffic on the PCH is brutal. As we’re inching along, I spot one of my good friends walking from the beach. Behind him are two of his kids in wetsuits and surfboards. It’s ridiculously cute. We pull over to say hi, and he invites us up to his house for drinks.

5:18 We arrive at the tip top of a canyon overlooking Malibu. Jaw dropping view. We’re greeted at the door by his wife, one of my favorite women on the planet. Together, they have three beautiful kids, three rescued dogs, and one of those homes that’s filled with love and positive energy.

5:22 They pop open a bottle of red and we all toast to happy accidents. Neither of them have met my long distance man yet, so this is a treat.

5:41 Another bottle of red as the sun sets. Breathtaking.

6:06 We move on to vodka and start planning a crazy get together for late March. Can’t wait.

10:40 We kiss our goodbyes and drive back to my place.

11:33 My man and I each drop a tab of ecstasy and we spend the next two days fucking our brains out.

RUNNING TALLY

Twelve Parliaments, two pitchers of Margaritas, eight cocktails, six glasses of red, four beers, two mimosas, a half bottle of pinot grigio, a half bottle of champagne, about a gram of blow, one softcore orgy, about an hour of phone sex, one tab of ecstasy, and at least three hours of sex.

Ryan’s Song

In a faraway land, not so long ago, there lived a royal family who threw lavish balls, wore costumes made from the richest of fabrics, and ate their weight in bagels. The princess, a recovering alcoholic, was killed off in season three. Her younger sister was a raging bitch. The court jester, for whom summer was more than a season, doodled his days away with comic books. But what of Prince Ryan, he who held court over the bottle-blonde denizens of Newport Beach on FOX’s primetime phenomenon “The O.C.”? For starters, 29-year-old Ben McKenzie ditched the Chino schtick to tackle Amy Adams, figuratively, in 2005’s widely-praised indie Junebug. He then flew below the radar, both on and off camera, managing to escape the trappings that so often swallow young Hollywood whole. This week, the articulate actor blasts onto the silver screen with 88 Minutes, a popcorn-throwing nailbiter starring Al Pacino, Leelee Sobieski, and Alicia Witt. Up next, he’ll anchor Johnny Got His Gun, a heady mix of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, and Pat Barker’s Regeneration. Below, McKenzie comes clean about his near-death experience with Pacino, his aversion to underwear, and his brush with becoming this generation’s Luke Perry.

BEN McKENZIE: I’m so sick of hearing myself speak. Instead, I’ll ask you the questions. BLACKBOOK: That sounds more like a therapy session than an interview.

BM: Lie down, honestly. Take a load off. What did you think of 88 Minutes?

BB: At the beginning, I found myself thinking, “Pacino, tick tock, get the lead out!” He doesn’t seem to be in much of a rush to, you know, save his own life.

BM: [Laughs.] You’re like, “Come on, where’s the Jack Bauer in you?” I do think, though, that he’s right to act the way he does—if I started getting these weird death threats, my first reaction would be, “This is a crock of shit.” Once Al gets going, though, it’s hard to stop him.

imageBB: What would you do with only 88 minutes left to live?

BM: Are you trying to tell me something? If so, this is going to be a really short interview—no offense. I’d probably watch half of an episode of “American Idol” and eat a tub of ice cream. I don’t even think I could reap the benefits if I started drinking and doing drugs. Life would be over too soon. What would you do?

BB: No! This is not my therapy session. Working opposite Al Pacino has to be quite intimidating, especially when his character says to you, “It’s my job to be convincing.”

BM: I’ve definitely had those experiences when we were in the middle of a scene and I’m trying to stay in character, and then he does his Al thing and you’re like, Oh, oh, I’ve seen that before! You’re doing that thing that you did in that movie I saw when I was ten!

BB: Al Pacino moments are often comparable to Christopher Walken moments in Hollywood. Any standouts?

BM: I’ve heard Christopher Walken eats a lot of garlic. But seriously, with Al, he wanted to rehearse all the time, he wanted to do a lot of takes, he wanted to really talk about the characters and their situations. I saw an incredibly dedicated actor, particularly for somebody who’s been doing it for so long.

BB: He could phone it in if he wanted to.

BM: He could! But he really didn’t. He always wanted to rehearse, always wanted to work harder, which is pretty inspiring given that he’s at least twice my age. I remember flying with him on a plane back from Vancouver—I hopped a ride on his private jet in order to get back in time to start working on “The O.C.” again—and we hit turbulence. That was the one time when I realized that he was just human and he freaks out about the same things we all freak out about. We were jumping up and down and I realized that he was just a human being who was worried he might die. He was kind of freaking out. BB: Was it a relief to wrap “The O.C.” after four seasons? I mean, you were poised to become our generation’s Luke Perry.

BM: Yes, although I see myself as more of an Ian Ziering than a Luke Perry—but let’s not quibble over our “Beverly Hills, 90210” references. With 88 Minutes, it’s a relief to play someone who’s not monosyllabic. It was nice to be a little more verbose, a little more talkative. But yeah, you do worry that you’re going to be stuck playing the same brooding-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold forever.

BB: So many people are really interested in the lives of serial killers like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Do you have any morbid fascinations?

BM: I’m from Austin, so I’ve always been weirdly interested in the guy who did the UT tower killings in the ‘60s. He went on top of the tower with an automatic rifle and killed a dozen people or more. [Charles Whitman killed 16 people at the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.] I always thought he was kind of interesting.

BB: It’s ironic that interest in tragedy becomes somehow more acceptable as the body count rises. It’s as if death becomes unfathomable.

BM: Well, there hasn’t yet been a Lifetime movie of the week about the Virginia Tech killings because it’s too soon. We get our fix of the facts from “Dateline,” anyway. After a certain point, there’s something really sick about paying too much attention to [the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho]. I’d prefer to focus on the people who were killed instead of glorifying the murderer’s existence. But you’re right—if it’s a single murder perpetrated against a single person, it’s just a crime, but if multiple people are affected, it becomes a sensation, a miniseries.

BB: Let’s change gears. How much do you hate the Hollywood scene?

BM: It’s a bit redundant. It also gets a bit claustrophobic when you’re partying all the time. But, you know, people have a lot of money out here and they like to spend it, and so they throw these lavish, over-the-top parties.

BB: Your co-stars on “The O.C.,” especially Mischa Barton, seem to have been sucked in by the glitz. How does that happen?

BM: I think it’s a personality thing. I have days and weeks where I like to go out and do the stupid stuff that people who aren’t yet thirty do. But, I don’t know. It’s for some people and it’s not for others. And it’s not for me.

image Al Pacino and Ben McKenzie in 88 Minutes. BB: You’re a welcome anomaly as a young actor who isn’t smeared across the tabloids.

BM: I try man, I really try. They just won’t run my pictures!

BB: Maybe you should stop wearing underwear.

BM: Here’s a secret: I have never worn underwear, ever, in my entire life.

BB: Do you keep in touch with any of your co-stars from the show?

BM: Adam Brody and I are still close. We see each other a lot, probably too much. I just got a dog, and he’s got a dog, so we do a little walking. They’re both pitbulls. I’ve seen Peter Gallagher maybe once or twice since the show wrapped. To be honest with you, life goes on and there’s no reason to get together unless you’ve formed some sort of deeper friendship.

BB: You’ve often said that you would rather work on less stylized projects, films that don’t rely so heavily on Hollywood magic. So why follow-up “The O.C.” with 88 Minutes?

BM: In terms of what I would actually watch on my own time, yeah, I prefer stuff like Junebug. That being said, actors have a lot less control over what we do than people might imagine. The reason I did 88 Minutes was to work with Al. All my scenes are with Al. They said, “You want to do a part opposite Al Pacino?” and I was like, Fuck, yeah, I do! Even if it’s not the kind of movie that I’m going to go see at the Cineplex, it was an experience. BB: Speaking of experiences, you went to high school with the Bush twins.

BM: I did, I did. But they were at least three years younger than me. They were freshmen or sophomores when I was as senior. To be honest with you, I was too cool for them. I was like, “I’m not going to hang out with these people.” But they sounded like they would have been fun to know at that time. I missed out, apparently.

BB: You’ve been vocal with your support for Barack Obama.

BM: I went to Texas for the primary caucus on a college tour with Kerry Washington. We spent three days going to various schools in central and south Texas, trying to get students to vote for him. I really believe in Barack. I think he could be a transformative figure, not only for our country, but also for the world.

BB: What holds up as being your most career-defining moment to date?

BM: I have a subscription to The New Yorker and they reviewed “The O.C.” when it first came out in 2003. They did one of those drawings, you know, one of their cartoon things, with Adam and me. That was pretty surreal. My dad bought the original.

BB: Was the caption something that nobody could possibly understand?

BM: [Laughs.] No, there were no obscure references to 17th-century poetry. BB: Have you since been plagued by offers to play characters that are conspicuously similar to Ryan Atwood?

BM: Definitely. But I’ve done that; I know how to do that. And I’m not, you know, dying for money. Some people feel like, Yeah, why not? Strike while the iron is hot and keep doing the same thing over and over again. But I’d rather fail in the right way than succeed doing something that makes me miserable.