Joan Hart is no stranger to sitcoms and after returning to the small
screen last year, she's back this summer with the second half of
her hit show Melissa & Joey alongside Joey Lawrence.
We had the chance to participate in a conference call with Melissa
to discuss the upcoming episodes. On the show, Melissa plays Mel,
an aunt thrown into a sink-or-swim situation when she must take
care of her teenage niece and nephew after their dad is involved
in some illegal activity. The show's laughs largely come from the
fact that Mel is not ready to be a mom. But with Melissa being a
mom we wanted to know how it was to play a role where no material
"Well, what I do is I take my mom instincts that I've learned
from being a parent-the hard thing about the show or what's interesting
about the show is that these people are not parents," Melissa
started. " They're not even like-anyone that has a baby, adopts
a baby, or whatever, they usually come into it at a very young age
and they learn as the children grow. They learn each stage as it
goes. Whereas, these people are being thrown into raising teenagers,
which is the whole other world and ... having a relationship with
these kids being the aunt has a hard time with separating aunt and
parental figure now."
"So it's kind of interesting, though, because I take everything
I know as being a mom of little ones and I turn it around,"
she explained. "If we're on the show and something like eating
healthy comes up, I'll just go against that and go, "Oh, here's
some-here have some chocolate milk for breakfast. You're good."
So we take everything we know as parents and just sort of do the
"We really like playing with that too and reminding the writers
every once in a while that-every time we have a line that sounds
a little too parental we're like, "We're not the parents. Let's
change this, let's make this a little bit more inappropriate."
So it's really fun," Melissa continued. "It's where, I
think, a lot of this humor comes in. A lot of the humor comes from
me and Joey fighting, but then a lot of other humor comes from us
not knowing a thing about being parents."
And with such a funny show, complete with hilarious cast mates
and a live audience, we had to know how she maintained composure
while filming, how she didn't laugh.
"I just think that comes with experience and practice- because
we've rehearsed it so many times and we have people laughing at
us all week, we always have a small crew on the floor with us when
we're rehearsing-the director, the AB's, the script advisor and
the prop people," Melissa began. "They're always there
giggling with us. So you get used to hearing it. You're also kind
of in your own head a little bit when you're in the show and the
whole idea of acting is selling something, like really believing-your
emotions manipulating it. "
"That's what we're doing when we're out there is we're constantly
trying to manipulate it so that it is authentic to us. So we are
in this conversation," Melissa explained, " We are standing
in the living room talking about whether or not Lennox can have
a fake ID to go to a concert. So we leave breaks for the audience.
The audience is almost like another character in it where we leave
room for them, but sometimes it's fun too , to play along like if
they laugh one of us will laugh with them and it kind of works,
if it works for the scene then it's great. But we do have a lot
of bloopers. You can see on the DVD-there's a lot of bloopers on
the DVD that's out right now and we've got a lot more coming, but
we've been having a blast and I think that comes across too."
Melissa had plenty of other insights and stories to share with
us about her time on set and her overall career. Read below to find
out all she had to tell!
How will the appearance with Joey's ex-wife alter
the dynamic between Mel and Joe?
In every episode, pretty much, Joey and I are always dating. There's
a lot of-I date a younger man. I've got Michael Foster from Greek
to play my younger boyfriend and his ex-wife comes back. We fight
over my trainer-whether not she's going just train me or date him.
There's a lot of that in almost every episode and you'll see a lot
of each of us getting jealous of the other with whoever they're
dating at the time, but we question, should I be dating him or should
I be dating her? But I think each time they realize that they have
a relationship already in place sense and they can tread there.
So, you'll see a little bit of that flirtation and a little bit
of that curiosity that I think you get when you're single and have
a person in your life of the opposite sex that's close to you. You
always kind of question is this the right person for me, so you'll
see a lot of that. But we don't really want to-we want to stay away
from that, all of us I think, the network, the writers, Joey and
I because unless we can do it in a really smart way, I think it's
toxic to a show to actually get the lead characters together.
Are there any other actors you would like to have his guest
stars with you on Melissa & Joey?
Yes. There's a ton, but we're making a campaign to try to get Danny
DeVito on because his beloved little girl, Lucy, is on there playing
Stephanie. We'd love to have Danny come on at some point.
I would love to see some athletes like Michael Strahan who's proved
himself on comedy numerous of times and I think is a great guy and
he's a good friend. I would love to have him on. I think I've promised
Curtis Granderson, one of the Yankees, a role, so I've got a make
I'd love to have some of my girlfriends on like Soleil Moon Frye
and Kellie Martin-show some of their acting chops, some of their
comedy. Then, of course, some really big names would be great to
come on if we could get some good ratings and prove ourselves as
a little show that could.
Is there any hilarious story lines that you would love for
your character to be involved in?
I'm waiting for the moment when Lennox and I are walking down the
hall with each of us is sneaking in late from a date and kind of
both of us going "Shh" ... That's sort of a moment I'm
waiting for, but we have a few of those similarities but not quite
that scene yet but that's something I'd like.
Actually, back to your other question. A friend of mine that I
would love to have on the show but I don't know if he would ever
do it is Bill Murray. I would absolutely love to have Bill Murray
on the show.
You've mentioned before that there was a really great to crew
camaraderie on Sabrina. Everybody did things together, you guys
hung out off the set. I was wondering if that is developing on Melissa
It is, it absolutely is. My sister's graduating high school today
and at the graduation our script supervisor will be there, one of
our grips will be there. I'm actually going to his wedding later
on this year. We are hanging out outside of work and we are becoming
quick friends. It's great. The difference is when I started Sabrina
was in my early 20s, a lot of the crew was kind of in their 20s,
early 30s. Everyone was pretty much single. We all got married on
that show. We all started having babies on that show. So we had
a lot in common. It was almost like college, times three.
But now, on this show, everybody seems to be a bit older, everyone's
got their own family. So it's a lot of like "Hey, do you want
to go out tonight?" "Oh, I can't. The kids have blah,
blah, blah in the morning. My wife blah, blah," you know that
kind of thing. So there's a lot of people with families now so it's
a little bit more difficult.
But we hope to-if we keep going with the show, I think absolutely,
our families will become friends. We actually have a softball team.
I think we kicked butt pretty well this year on the softball team.
And they wouldn't let me play, but this year I'm definitely playing.
I don't care if I get a ball for the face. I'm playing softball.
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