Mischa Barton reveals she dated co-star Ben McKenzie while on The OC

Mischa Barton revealed on 'Call Her Daddy' podcast that she dated real-life costar Ben McKenzie while filming 'Orange' season 1

During the February 21 episode of the show, host Alex Cooper asked Patton, 38, how she felt about having to perform with her 25-year-old lover when she was only 17 years old. "It's not just on screen, either," the actor said. "I mean, it's a little complicated for me."

Patton explained that this was her first relationship and she "had no idea what [she] was doing" when they were dating. "I think that's where things start to go wrong as well...people get hooked on these shows and these things happen, but we quickly get wrapped up in it," she said. "As soon as this happened, it was really tricky. I felt overwhelmed and not ready to face it."

She recalls a time when people on set became worried. "I remember them all saying, 'Misha disappeared with Ben,' and she was 17-and-a-half, 18 years old, and the producers went to my parents," she said. "It was such an ordeal. This was at the very beginning of the show and we weren't even halfway through the season."

Mischa Barton and Ben McKenzie at the InStyle/Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party in Beverly Hills, California. KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Eventually, she said she ended her relationship with Mackenzie. "It's one of those things where you're so young and you realize, 'I'm not ready. I don't know what I'm doing.' It's overwhelming and it hits so close to home," she said. Like most co-stars who dated off-screen and then broke up, they had to "suck it up and carry on" while filming on set.

Patton is open to filming Orange County , telling E! In 2021, she encountered bullying on the show. “Someone was really mean to me on set,” she said. "It was not the most ideal environment for a young, sensitive girl who was also forced into stardom and had to endure it."

As she said on "Call Her Daddy ," the age difference between her and her 20-something cast members also made her feel "ostracized" from the group and forced to grow up faster.

"Acting with people who are older than me is kind of like, 'Oh, wow, they know what they're doing. There are going to be relationships on this show and you need to play this character,'" she said. "I was always a late bloomer in school and I never really dated. So, I guess, a lot of the time I had to catch up."