"All kinds of things keep me grounded. My dogs and having to wake up and walk them every morning and having to walk them before bed at night," the actress, 23, says. "The routine of everything I do – going to work every day here and working on a television series and how much work that is."
Barton is in New York to film her new CW series The Beautiful Life, though, lately, her own life's been far from pretty. Barton says her close friends in the city have been her safety net, and that, eventually, the media madness will subside.
"I think, for the most part, I've been growing up in this city, and the people who do know me just know what I'm like," she says. "And I've got a lot of good friends and the people in the press, who have seen me grow up, know me too. Eventually that comes across and people will eventually get over this thing for punishing people for being human."
But there's still a lot to chew over.
Forbidden TopicIn July, she was reportedly hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. Last month, she explained her episode away as being "down in the dumps" and botched wisdom-tooth surgery.
But at Saturday night's premiere party for The Beautiful Life, which debuts on Wednesday, her publicist warned reporters that anyone who mentioned "what happened in July" would have their interviews cut short.
Instead, Barton focused on her bright pink dress ("It's just a happy premiere-party dress"), working with the show's co-creator Ashton Kutcher ("He is so rad. He's amazing. He's really fun and cool."), and working and living in New York City, where she was raised.
"This job is really great," she said. "It's a great group of people to work with and a great stability. At the same time, it means that if you work really hard, you can enjoy your private life and know that you're doing a really good job at something and have a lot more peace of mind."