Mischa Barton to join cast of Neighbours for soap’s revival

Mischa Barton is set to join the Neighbours cast. Credit: PA

Mischa Barton is set to join Neighbours for the Australian soap’s revival on Amazon Freevee.

The OC actress will guest star in the forthcoming series, which was confirmed last year after the soap was axed from its previous home on Channel 5.

Barton will arrive in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough as Reece, an American who is new to the area and “not quite who she appears to be”.

Speaking about joining the soap, which first aired in 1985, the 37-year-old said: “I’m excited to be part of this iconic show’s next chapter, and I am really looking forward to being back in Australia, a place I know and love!

“I think the character of Reece is going to be a great role for me to explore and play with.”

The final episode of Neighbours on Channel 5 aired in July 2022 when the soap failed to secure new funding after being dropped by the broadcaster.

Despite its initial axing, the long-running show has been revived by streaming site Amazon Freevee and production company Fremantle, with a new series to begin on the service in the autumn.

Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison said: “With Neighbours launching on Amazon Freevee in North America, we are beyond excited to have an actor of Mischa’s calibre join us for the beginning of this exciting new chapter.

“Mischa’s character is dynamic and unpredictable, and will have an instant presence on Ramsay Street. Our loyal viewers are going to love her, locally and abroad.”

Barton is best known for her portrayal of Marissa Cooper in TV series The O.C. but has also appeared in a number of films, including Lawn Dogs and The Sixth Sense.

Mischa Barton is well-known for her role in The OC. Credit: PA

The London-born actress has also starred in a variety of stage productions, including Where The Truth Lies, Twelve Dreams, and One Flea Spare.

The forthcoming Neighbours reboot, which will see the return of a number of recognisable on-screen characters including Susan and Karl Kennedy, Toadie Rebecchi and Paul Robinson, began filming in Melbourne on April 17.

The revitalised series will premiere free of charge exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US and the site will also stream thousands of Neighbours episodes from previous series.

The series will also stream on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Listen to Unscripted - the arts and entertainment podcast from ITV News