Mischa Barton has ''found herself'' in Paris.

The former 'O.C.' actress decided to move away from Los Angeles to focus more on herself and become less of a ''punch bag'' and has enjoyed spending time in the French capital.

She said: ''I was ready to go and live in Europe for a minute. You know when you're maxed out? I'd spent a lot of time in the public eye.

''I'd become people's punch bag and was ready to get out. Living in Paris was really formative for me. I found myself again and made new friends.''

Mischa has juggled an acting and a fashion career since rising to fame on 'The O.C.', and admits her work has not always been successful.

She said: ''Everyone's career has different levels of momentum. It's very rare you see a career which has a perfect trajectory. In general, everyone goes through their ups and downs.

''As an actor, you can only enjoy what you're doing and be behind projects, that's always been my philosophy having done a few successful cult indies.''