Melissa Joan Hart Transcript


Moderator Our first line is Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation. Your line is open.

J. Steinberg Hello, it’s a pleasure to speak with you.

M. Hart Thank you, hello.

J. Steinberg I was wondering, what made you want to be a part of the film?

M. Hart I read the script and I wanted to make this movie, so we got the rights to the script, we met with the writer and the other producer and we acquired the rights. We brought it to ABC Family and they picked it up in a weekend.

J. Steinberg What did you find the most challenging about your role?

M. Hart Actually I just found it really fun, because I’ve never gotten to play a character quite like this. She’s a very gutsy strong female who thinks she can tell people by a glance, and she realizes pretty quickly that – well, actually not very quickly. She actually finds out over the course of the story that you can’t judge a book by its cover and she was just really fun to play, because it’s a character unlike any I’ve ever played. I kind of tend to play a little nicer, sweeter, more happy-go-lucky character, and this one for me was really exciting and different.

J. Steinberg Was there instant chemistry when you started working with Joey Lawrence, or did it take a bit of time to develop?

M. Hart Yes, I mean, Joey and I have known each other since we are four. We are a day apart. Our birthdays are this weekend. We have a lot in common, we’ve known each other a really long time. Our families are pretty well acquainted, and it was really – it was the first time we’ve worked together, though, and it was really nice, and right off the bat there was instant chemistry. That worked so much they’re considering doing a TV show version, and we’re exploring all sorts of things. Joey and I, I think, worked really well together.

J. Steinberg Great. Thanks so much.

Moderator Next, from Troy Rogers with Please go ahead.

T. Rogers Melissa, how are you?

M. Hart Hello, good.

T. Rogers You sound busy there.

M. Hart We’ve got kids. I’m at my dad’s house for Easter and my nephews and my sons are running all over the place, chasing ducks and doing all sorts of stuff.

T. Rogers Right on. Now, if Jennifer and Vince are only together to get free wedding gifts, what else happens along the course of the thing to keep it going?

M. Hart I think what’s funny about it, it reminds me of the movie House Sitter, which was one of my favorite movies, with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, and how they pretend to be in love, and it just gets them deeper and deeper in these lies. Of course, they start off thinking to themselves that they’re buying gifts for all these other people and when does it pay off for them, and they’re never going to get married so why would they – when are they going to get this money back to them; so they decide to pretend to get married so they can get what they want.

They’re just disenchanted with the whole idea of weddings and love and all that, and – it’s just two people that are feeling like they’re trying to get in there, where they’re over the whole romantic idea of it. So they decide to do it for practical purposes and in the course of the movie they actually grow to – at first they have stereotypes about each other and they stand by those, and then they slowly grow to learn about each other. I think anyone, when you develop a relationship, you either love or hate the person, and they grow to respect each other and they understand each other when they see the backgrounds, where they came from, what they like and don’t like, that sort of thing, and the kind of person that they really are. When they see each other for who they really are, they actually respect each other. So they become more than just business partners.

T. Rogers Right. What’s it like to work with Steve Schirripa? Were there any fears of getting whacked?

M. Hart No, he’s – I love the Italian men. They make me feel right at home because I feel like I’m back in New York. Working with him was kind of like – it felt warm and cozy.

T. Rogers Nice. Now, since Gil has experience working with ABC Family, what was he like as a director?

M. Hart Gil is a guy who really knows funny, and he’ll let you know it. And he loves – he’s a real – he likes the collaboration and he loves rehearsal. So between Gil, myself and Joey, we were in a lot of rehearsals and we worked stuff out, and we worked on jokes and we worked on scenes. We worked on blocking and dialog, and – there’s a shorthand to people that work in television that’s really warm and refreshing, and we got to really explore that and just – I love the shorthand I have as a professional from television. It’s just so different than other acting types, and we were able to kind of just work through it and make it funny, and make it really warm and endearing at the same time.

T. Rogers Okay. Also I want to know, what’s it like to star and be an executive producer on the same project?

M. Hart That’s what I’ve been doing most of my life, so it would be kind of hard for me to do it another way. When I work on other people’s movies and I’m just the actor, it’s kind of difficult, because – not knowing where you can put in your two cents. But when you’re the producer, they have to listen to you, so it’s nice.

T. Rogers Okay. One more quick thing: Real life, what would you pick, gifts or cash?

M. Hart Ah – hmm. I’d go with cash. You can use it for more practical purposes than just a toaster.

Moderator Next, from the line of Sara Fulghum with Please go ahead.

S. Fulghum Hello, Melissa, it’s great to talk with you today.

M. Hart Hello, thank you.

S. Fulghum What I’d like to know first is did you have any input on the wardrobe for My Fake Fiancé?

M. Hart Oh, yes. I was really lucky to work with Mona May on the wardrobes. The three cast members that came from Los Angeles got to work with Mona May and she is incredible. I don’t know if you guys know her resume, from Clueless to House Bunny, Enchanted. She’s done amazing stuff, so I totally trusted her with my life as far as wardrobe went, and she – I was so happy with the wardrobe that ABC Family let me keep it, so it was really a nice little bonus there.

S. Fulghum I hear you juggling everything with your family in the background and I was wondering, when you’re filming, how do you manage juggling your family life with your working life?

M. Hart We’ve got a good system down now. I worked quite a bit last year, but it’s always out of town, so – it’s always kind of living in hotels, which is actually kind of – it’s nice to be on location with my family because then there’s only two focuses: whatever job I’m working on, and my family. There’s no outside – I don’t have to worry about feeding my dogs or taking care of the house or opening the mail, because I’m staying in a hotel, so it’s like – it’s been really nice, because we have a wonderful nanny who goes with us. We hired her last year when we had Braydon. She went with us to Louisiana and Atlanta and everywhere we went last year and it’s nice because she or Mark or whoever is there that day will bring the boys to see me at lunch.
And because of the schedule of acting, you’re not always on—it’s not a 9:00 to 5:00. Sometimes it’s a 6:00 to 6:00, or – in which case I get to go home in time for dinner and bath time, or maybe I have a late call and I don’t go in until noon and I get to have breakfast with my family and maybe – like when we were in Atlanta, we went to the aquarium a lot. It was really fun because the aquarium in Atlanta was unbelievable, and my son became obsessed with whale sharks and other sharks and anything in the aquarium. And I got to go diving with the whale sharks and my son got to watch me in the tank in my scuba gear as I went diving with the sharks, so it was really cool.

S. Fulghum That sounds so exciting. I’ve heard good things about that aquarium in Atlanta.

M. Hart Oh my gosh, it’s amazing.

S. Fulghum I really want to go.

M. Hart Yes, you should. I recommend it to anyone, like anyone just looking for a random vacation, go to Atlanta. Have some fun. Go to a football game and go to the aquarium.

S. Fulghum What a nice recommendation. While filming the movie, were there any funny or embarrassing moments that we should know about?

M. Hart Oh, gosh. I can tell you we were all tortured – of course you think Atlanta in September is not so bad, September/ October, but once you put me in that wedding dress, the temperature just dropped to like 40. And every woman in the background, you could probably watch them shivering, as the men are all nice and warm in their suits.

It’s funny, because Joey – I’m such like a tough girl, and he was being all wimpy about the cold. He’s like, “It’s so cold.” And I’m like, “I am half naked here, and you’re in a suit. Chill out, dude.” You know, just funny. We got into some spats. Joey and I have known each other for so long, and we just had – we just had fun. We’re like brother and sister. We just had some – had some fun together. Especially with the other cast members.

Diane Neal is one of the – Diane Neal is one of my closest friends and she is just freaking hilarious. I think Robin Williams has called her the funniest woman on earth before. She is just so witty and – she’s brilliant. She’s absolutely brilliant. But she’s also got this dirty sense of humor and she just kept us all like – and the scenes when it’s all the family, like at the wedding or at the rehearsal dinner, all those scenes – between her and the guy Chip who plays her husband and myself and Joey, we were just all cut up every scene. Like it was really hard to do the emotional scenes because we were all laughing so hard. Just telling jokes and just being silly, and she was just so dirty and – constant sex jokes, really.

Moderator Next we have Kendra White with Sidereel. Please go ahead.

K. White Having just been to a friend’s wedding this weekend, I have to wonder: Is part of the challenge of the movie how Jennifer and Vince are going to afford the wedding while they wait to get the gifts and the money?

M. Hart Yes, a little – yes. We definitely play into that a little, because it’s a – that’s a big problem. We get my parents – well, he coerces my parents into paying for it, and then we somehow get his father to help pay for it as well, so then we feel guilty about our families being involved in our scam.

K. White Great. You mentioned your parents help pay and everything. Who else do they try to convince that they’re in love and who do they actually include in telling the truth?

M. Hart Nobody knows the truth. They’re both very – at the beginning of the movie they’re both kind of loners and they’re both a little hardened by life and – they’re both in their early thirties and – or 30 – and they both are just disheartened with love and romance and all that. So they kind of – they both act tough on the exterior, and actually they don’t need anyone, or they think they don’t need anyone. And then they meet each other and they start to respect each other and like each other a little bit more, so – I’m sorry, did I answer your question?

K. White Yes. That does it. Thank you.

Moderator Next we have Sara Moore with Please go ahead.

S. Moore Hello, Melissa, how are you?

M. Hart Hello. Good.

S. Moore As far as the filming, you had mentioned … being the executive producer, that ABC Family was exploring a possible television show from this. Would you be involved in that as a producer and actress, or what would your role be with that? Do you have any idea yet?

M. Hart Yes. We’re trying right now to make a deal. There’s nothing concrete yet, but we’re working on my mother and I producing like we did on Sabrina, and myself starring in it.

S. Moore Okay. As far as Sabrina, do you still keep in contact with any of your cast members from Sabrina and all the years of that show?

M. Hart I do. I’m still friends with – well, I would still be friends with all of them. We’ve all kind of gone off and had – our lives took us in different directions, really. Soleil and I probably keep in touch the most because we have kids the same age and we still live in the same places. A lot of the cast members, like Caroline and Beth, they moved around a lot. Like, they moved to New York and I feel like – at least one of them I think is back in L.A., or – Caroline I feel like moved back and forth and back and forth. And Caroline had a baby and I was invited to the shower but I couldn’t go, and – we all kind of e-mail here and there, but Beth became very involved in politics, and her view on politics is very different from mine, so– we’ve grown apart over the last five years. We were really close when we were shooting the show, of course.

But I’ve kept in touch more with the crew. My wardrobe dresser is one of my best, best, best – I would call her my very best friend. She is Brady’s god-mom and her husband is godfather, and their son is Mason’s best friend. And my makeup artist went off to receive numerous nominations for Emmys and did Nip/Tuck and is now on the new show Glee that’s coming out that’s going to be amazing. She went off to do huge movies like Running With Scissors. She’s still one of my closest, closest friends. So the crew and I, a few of the grips, we all still hang out. It’s just, the cast kind of grew apart and went off to do their own things.

S. Moore Okay. Good luck this weekend with everything and thank you so much for your time.

M. Hart Thank you.

Moderator Next, from Alexandra Torres with Teen Hollywood 411.

A. Torres What was your inspiration to start acting?

M. Hart Shirley Temple, I think. Also the Romper Room; I wanted to be on the show Romper Room, and the teacher would say your name in the magic mirror, but I realized she never said Melissa. It wasn’t a very popular name back then, and – I’ve put together the formula that if I was on the show, that she would say my name, that it was always the kids that were on the show she would say their names in the magic mirror, so I had to get on the show if I wanted her to say my name. So I told my mom, I have to be on TV, and she happened to know someone whose kids were in the business, and started taking me to New York City on auditions, and I booked my first, third and fifth audition. And that’s right around when I met Joey.

A. Torres Okay. What were some funny or embarrassing moments from the set of the movie?

M. Hart There weren’t really – I don’t get embarrassed easily, because silly, gross, weird things happened all the time. I always find that really ironic, that I’ve been in so many wedding dresses. Thank God I got married so long ago, because being in a wedding dress for like four or five days would have totally disenchanted me from wearing a wedding dress, because it’s just a big pain in the butt if you wear it for more than a day. But when you wear it for five days it’s like, oh, really?

I don’t know, I would say like – like I said before, Diane Neal was just cutting us up and just being dirty and silly. We had a lot of really funny talk. When you work late at night, until like 3:00 in the morning and you’re all high on caffeine and exhausted, just – the cast – like we would go back to each other’s trailers and watch – we would try to gross each other out the most, and – I believe that’s when I was introduced to – just some really weird like YouTube videos, because I never go on the Internet at home. So for them to just like be showing me weird YouTube videos and stuff, it was just really fun. We had a really good time. We’d just get silly and – I can’t think of anything specific. But it was a lot of really fun moments.

I love being on a set and being on a set late at night, too. It’s kind of like being at a party. When you’ve got to turn it on and work, you work, but then on the off time, you’re just off on the side either freezing cold at night or downing some coffee to try to stay awake. It’s one of my favorite things about being in the business.

A. Torres Very cool. If you could remake any movie or TV show, what would it be, and who would you play?

M. Hart I think it would be House Sitter and I’d be Goldie Hawn.

A. Torres All right. Thank you very much.

Moderator The last question is from Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard.

J. Ruby Thanks for taking our questions. I apologize if these have been asked; I got disconnected in the middle of the call. What would be your ultimate dream role to play?

M. Hart You mean like from a past film, or –

J. Ruby Just anything. If you could pick any role or any kind of role.

M. Hart I really haven’t played the villain yet. I did once, as a teenager, in a movie called Twisted Desire, but I really would like to play the villain.

J. Ruby Yes, you were evil in that.

M. Hart And it’s funny – no one will really give me a job as a lawyer. Not that I want to play a lawyer necessarily, but I think it’s really funny that every time I audition for a role as a lawyer, I never get it. So I really kind of am just – just for like revenge purposes, wanting to play a lawyer.

J. Ruby I know that you’ve directed before. Have you ever been interested in writing for a show?

M. Hart I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t think I’m a very good writer. It would really take a lot for me to do it. But I just have all these ideas in my head that I want to get down and see if they work out. So I am actually starting to explore that, although I’m not very disciplined – I’m not disciplined enough to do it, so – I’m trying to be.

J. Ruby Are you interested in doing a series again, like a regular –

M. Hart Yes, we’re actually flirting with ABC Family about that, possibly.

J. Ruby Do you have any other projects coming up soon?

M. Hart I’m actually opening an ice cream, candy – actually it’s a frozen yogurt, candy shop in Los Angeles, in Sherman Oaks, in four weeks, called Sweet Harts – of course spelled “Hart” like my last name – and it’s going to be a self-serve frozen yogurt. There will be some self-serve ice cream. We’re having gelato and baked goods and candy – I’m in charge of the candy shelves right now. We finished the design of it and it’s gorgeous. It’s done by a girl named Lonnie Paul who is right now going to be on the show Design Star. She did the interior of the shop and it’s going to be a beautiful kind of modern take of a baroque style – like an old-fashioned candy store, but bright and clean. It’s going to be gorgeous and it’s going to be really yummy and just someplace for people to come that just want dessert.

I feel like there’s not a lot of desserteries. There’s a lot of places that specialize, like Pinkberry has their one flavor of yogurt, there’s places like that, but I feel like there’s not – and Baskin-Robbins and stuff like that, but there’s not a place that has sort of every kind of dessert you’d want, and we’re trying to do that. We’re trying to give people a place to reward their kids for their straight A’s or ride their bikes with the family to have dessert. We hope, if this one works out well, we’ll start a little chain.

J. Ruby Very cool. Do you have, though, any roles coming up that we should watch out for?

M. Hart I did a movie called Nine Dead, shot it in Louisiana. It was my mom, our company, HartBreak Films’ first feature film. That just got completed and now we’re looking for distribution, so hopefully we’ll get some distribution for that and it will be on the screen sometime this year. But you never know with these things, so it’s a waiting game.

J. Ruby Okay. Thank you very much.

M. Hart All right, no problem.

C. Fehskens If there are no additional questions, I’d like to once again thank Melissa for being with us today. Please remember to tune in to the world premiere of My Fake Fiancé this Sunday, April 19th, at 8:00, 7:00 Central, on ABC Family. Have a great day, everyone!

M. Hart Thank you. Sorry about all the chaos.


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