It’s 2018—not to be confused with 2008—but Mischa Barton and her former The O.C. costar Ben McKenzie are still sharing real estate in headlines. That’s because McKenzie, who has been actively working over the past decade since the show went off the air, is still being asked about his former onscreen love interest.
While promoting his current show, Gotham, McKenzie was asked about his thoughts on Barton joining the upcoming Hills reboot, to which he replied, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” The shade! Or the disinterest! Either way, it’s safe to say that McKenzie will not be making a cameo on the new iteration of the aughts-era show.
It’s perhaps not surprising that McKenzie doesn’t keep tabs on Barton’s career these days. After all, the last time they worked together was in 2006, when Marissa Cooper tragically died in a car crash. It’s been 12 years; people’s lives move on; people’s careers move on. Well, sort of—Barton will be revisiting that era of her life when she appears in The Hills: New Beginnings, as the reboot is rooted in both the aughts and The O.C.
Barton mentioned as much when she announced that she was joining Brody Jenner, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Stephanie Pratt, Audrina Patridge, Justin Bobby Brescia, Jason Wahler, and Whitney Port. “The secret’s out…I’m joining the cast of The Hills,” she wrote on Instagram. “When MTV approached me with the chance to be part of the reality show that was inspired by The OC, it felt like the perfect opportunity for an irresistibly inviting new chapter.”
While it’s been a while since Barton herself answered any questions about McKenzie, she did reveal back in 2004 that he’s a good kisser. “I probably shouldn’t say anything, but yes, he is,” she told Cosmopolitan, adding of the rumors that they were dating, “It’s terribly weird, but it’s kind of amusing now that I can laugh about it. I think it’s funny because they announce it like it’s a fact: ‘O.C. Stars, They’re Dating. That’s hysterical. There’s no basis for it. They never called me and checked it. When I first hear it, I cry and get upset, but finally, I get past the point of actually being mad. We actually make fun of the press. We pretended for a whole day that I was dating Adam [Seth] and Rachel [Summer] was dating Ben, just throw everyone off. But they were like [to Ben and me] ‘So, are you guys dating?’ And Adam goes, ‘No she’s my girlfriend.'” As for Brody’s opinion on Barton’s career in 2018, the jury is still out.