Mischa Barton Explains Exactly Why She Left ‘The O.C’

She’s looking out for number one.

Mischa Barton, who was eliminated on Dancing with the Stars on Monday night (Apr. 4, 2016), opened up about her decision to leave The O.C. during her last appearance on the ABC dancing competition. Though she found success playing Marissa Cooper from 2003 to 2006, the actress ultimately felt it was her time to step away from the spotlight after the third season of the teen drama.

“I think I just got to the point where I was like, ‘I’m not sure I’m enjoying this anymore,'” she said in a pre-taped interview, adding that she wanted to exit “when The O.C. was at its prime.”

“I just felt like I was in a machine and I couldn’t really get off,” she continued. “So it was time to step back. So I went back to England and it was just a year of real self-exploration.”

However, Barton doesn’t regret ever doing the show. Though fans often associate her with the series, the 30-year-old revealed she’s “never annoyed it.”

“It was just so long ago: it really had its time and place,” she said in a recent Vanity Fair interview. “It changed pop culture. It’s amazing all the things that kind of spawned out of it. So, no, I’m not annoyed by it, but I’m just like … people love to talk [about it].”

She added, “I know It’s recently on television again so everybody’s been watching it again. So people at work will be like, ‘I was watching you this morning!'”