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TCA press tour: Mischa Barton not in danger of being recast on CW's 'The Beautiful Life: TBL'

August 4, 2009 | 11:47 am


Despite her personal woes, Mischa Barton is no danger of being recast on the CW’s upcoming model drama “The Beautiful Life.” That’s the word from executive producer Ashton Kutcher, who spoke to critics this morning.

“She’s in New York today, working on the show,” Kutcher said. “She was never unavailable for a day of work.” In the series, Barton plays an embattled supermodel fighting to remain hot while a newcomer’s (Sara Paxton) star is on the rise.

In fact, Barton has been indispensable to the production, continued Kutcher. “She’s done this before. In ‘The O.C.’ she was one of the leads in this big soap opera drama. Her navigation and guidance for the rest of the case is essential for us as unit.”

So breathe a sigh of relief Mischa fans. All’s well.

Producers were also asked about another possible source of controversy for the show: too-skinny actresses playing too-skinny models on a network aimed at young women. (Last year, the ultra-thin actresses starring in “90210” were scrutinized for their tiny frames.) Karey Burke, also an executive producer on the series, said that since body image is part and parcel of the modeling industry the issue would be dealt with honestly.

“We are going to address it. It's a struggle for these girls,” he said. “And we’ll deal with it in a responsible way but as authentically as possible. “

Kutcher revealed that the show’s lead character, a newcomer to New York and the fashion world, is partly based on his own experiences going from his hometown in Iowa to the modeling biz. “I didn’t even know guys modeled when I was first approached,” he said.

That transition, he thought, was interesting fodder for a show. “Fish out of water? It’s a fish-in-the-desert story,” he said. “New York is just daunting, and you’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful and eccentric people you’ve ever seen.”

-- Denise Martin

--Photo: Mischa Barton/Credit: CW