Barton currently plays Reece Sinclair in an extended guest role in Neighbours but rose to fame during her stint as Marissa Cooper in The OC. In that teen drama, Marissa engaged in a same-sex relationship during the second season with Olivia Wilde's Alex Kelly.
While the storyline was highly publicised and debated, the show never explicitly referred to Marissa as bisexual. This upset some fans who, in recent years, have called Marissa a bisexual icon. In an interview with Gay Times, Barton agreed that Marissa is bisexual.
"I do think that. That’s the thing, they were trying to write off so many of her things as 'phases' like her drug use and alcohol use. I mean, [her bisexuality] was touched on but not really properly looked into. I definitely see that for Marissa," Barton said.
"But, it was hard to even get that approved at the time. We really wanted that storyline, and we have some regrets that we weren’t able to do more with the Olivia and me storyline and really explore it more," Barton said.
"They really fell for each other and were a really cute couple, but I think Josh [Schwartz] wishes he could’ve written it a bit more in-depth."
"I was like, 'More blood, more blood. It was going to border on being, like, a TV death and I really wanted it to be super dramatic and as realistic as you can get for The OC so that she went out with a bang... all the blood, it was like what really kills her, if you're gonna kill her it has be to like [shown on screen]."
Neighbours returns in the second half of 2023 with new episodes streaming free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. Network 10 will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new series.
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