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Melissa Joan Hart Admits She Struggled To Take ‘Serious’ Roles After Nickelodeon

The former child actress used to feel uncomfortable with playing serious roles.

Melissa Joan Hart plays the lead in the upcoming Lifetime film ‘The Bad Guardian.’ She told People that while she enjoyed working on the drama, it took time for her to comfortably shift away from her comedic roles in Nickelodeon:

“I love doing these true crime movies because I never trusted myself to do drama when I was younger. I did, when I was really young, I was actually in one of the episodes of ‘The Equalizer,’ when I was about seven years old … and did some other dramatic roles — that was easy for me when I was a child. But then, as I got more comfortable with comedy, it was harder for me to flip into drama.”

Comedy And Drama Roles Are Different, She Says

Hart appeared on Nickelodeon’s ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ from 1991–1994 and later ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’ She explained about her roles in these shows:

“Comedy is so much about gesturing and big facial expressions, especially on Nickelodeon. When you learn Nickelodeon acting, it’s like, do you want look number one, number two, or number three? You are trying to do the different looks and make it big.”

The actress added:

“And then taking it down for drama was a real learning curve for me again. So, it’s been really interesting to dive more into the dramatic stuff and trust myself with it.”

Her New Film Nods At Real-Life Dramas

Melissa Joan Hart’s Leigh in ‘The Bad Guardian’ deals with her father’s guardianship battle after an accident. The legal guardian (La La Anthony) appears helpful at first, but the situation soon gets worse.

Hart says the story is similar to Britney Spears and Wendy Williams’ real-life cases but from a ‘small-town perspective’:

“In the Britney version we see in real life, for her, it’s her fighting to get out of her own conservatorship. This movie is very much about me, the daughter of a man who’s been taken to the hospital and then from there put into a guardianship. So, I’m a small-town woman that doesn’t have the money to pay for the big fancy lawyers to fight the big system.”

‘The Bad Guardian’ comes out on May 18.

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