Hollywood actress Mischa Barton is currently playing Shelby Eatenton in Steel Magnolias and reconnecting with her Irish roots. She is enjoying her time on stage and is excited to visit Northern Ireland again, according to The Belfast Telegraph.

The OC star was last seen in Belfast in 2007 when she was promoting Richard Attenborough’s wartime romance, The Closing of the Ring. Barton starred in the production alongside actress Shirley MacLaine. She was on the front page of The Belfast Telegraph, which she says would have made her family so proud.

Barton’s mother, Nuala Barton, nee Quinn, was born and raised in Newry, Co Down before moving to England. She married foreign exchange stock broker Paul Marsden Barton and had three daughters with him, Zoe, Mischa, and Hania. Mischa was born in west London, raised in New York, but has always felt a special connection with Northern Ireland.

She says, “I’m really excited about getting back to Northern Ireland. There’s something about that place that just really touches the soul.”

Barton still has relatives in Northern Ireland. Some of her second cousins and distant relatives are currently living there. Her maternal grandfather, Hugh Quinn, who was an Irish language professor, lived and died in Sion Mills near Starbane. She used to come to Northern Ireland to visit her grandfather and her great uncle Joe Morgan.

The Hollywood actress was recently seen a couple weeks ago on the Dublin stage in Steel Magnolias. Barton said about the Gaiety Theater, “To star in this play and to get the chance to act on stage at the Gaiety Theater has been a dream come true for me. The Gaiety is such a beautiful place. It’s wonderful to have been part of it, when so many great Irish actors have started out there.”

The touring cast of Steel Magnolias includes several familiar names including Anne Charleston, Karen Ardiff, Barbara Brennan, Gillian Hanna, and Natalie Radmall-Quirke. After Dublin, Steel Magnolias had a quick run at the Cork Opera House and will continue to the Millenium Forum in Londonderry.

Barton’s first film role was in Lawn Dogs and she later appeared in the romantic comedy Notting Hill and horror movie The Sixth Sense. She is most known for her role as Marissa Cooper in the TV series The OC. She has received several awards for her work, including It Girl of 2003 by Entertainment Weekly. Barton will continue acting in Steel Magnolias for a month and she does not know what project she will tackle next, but is excited for the future.