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``Interview'' with Paula Hart

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Paula Hart, Spr 95

This is part of an ongoing ``interview'' I've been conducting by e-mail with Paula Hart, Melissa's mother and agent. (Note: Please don't ask me for her e-mail address.)

Some of these questions deal with items on Melissa's resume, so you should probably read that first.

Donald: ``Kane and Abel'' mini-series: You said that Melissa played ``Florentyna'' in this mini-series. I searched the Internet Movie Database and found that someone named Kate McNeil is credited with this role! Any explanation for this?

Paula: re Kane and Abel, Melissa played Florentyna age 7.

Donald: SNL: What do you mean by ``series regular'' on Saturday Night Live?? I assume this means that she was in more than one episode! We on the list suspect that she was in one hosted by Roy Scheider with Billy Ocean as the musical guest (this was in 1984). List member Steve Earley said that he saw a blonde girl in some sort of bed in this episode. He also said that, according to Melissa in an interview, Billy Ocean promised to dedicate ``Carribean Queen'' to her on the show. Does any of this sound familiar? What else can you tell us about Melissa and SNL? (e.g.: How many shows was she in? Did she ever speak any lines? etc...)

Paula: SNL - Melissa was in 5 episodes that season including skits with James Belushi, Billy Crystal and the Roy Scheider episode you mentioned. She did a piece called ``Santa the Terminator'' among others. She always had lines.

Donald: CEIA editor Rick Fernandes said that Melissa chose the name ``Catherine'' herself, as her confirmation name. When did this happen?

Paula: For her confirmation in 8th grade

Donald: Why did Melissa start doing stage work in the late 80's (Circle Rep, 1989-90, Broadway) instead of just continuing in TV? And while we're at it, why did she go back to TV to audition for the role of Clarissa?

Paula: Because she enjoys doing theatre work as well as television

Donald: Okay, but did it have something to do with a larger plan for her acting career? For example, did you (both) want her to get more experience with ``serious'' dramatic roles, which just weren't to be found on TV? Or was it just ``coincidence'' [...] What I'm getting at is, was there a conscious decision made -- like, ``now we'll do stage'' and then ``now we'll do TV again''?

Paula: Melissa auditioned for roles that she was right for regardless of the medium.

Donald: I assume the Are You Afraid of the Dark? part was ``given'' to her, because she was a star on CEIA. Before that, was there any role she played that she didn't need to audition for?

Paula: Before Clarissa, she auditioned for all roles. Now she only reads for directors on features.

Donald: Her name: Melissa Joan Catherine Hart. We've taken care of the ``Catherine'' part. What about ``Joan'' and, for that matter, ``Melissa''? Is there a story behind why you chose these names?

Paula: Joan for her maternal grandmother, Melissa for the Allman Bros. song.

Note: Here are the lyrics to this song, which was on their 1972 album Eat a Peach.


Crossroads, seems to come and go
The gypsy flies from coast to coast

Knowing many loving none
Bearin' sorrow havin' fun
But back home he'll always run
For sweet Melissa

Freight train, each car looks the same
No one knows the gypsy's name

No one hears his lonely sighs
There are no blankets where he lies
Though in his deepest dreams the gypsy flies
To sweet Melissa

Again the mornin' comes
Again he's on the run
Sun beams shinin' through his hair
Appearin' not to have a care
So pick up your gear and gypsy roll on, roll on..

Crossroads, will you ever let him go? (Lord, Lord)
Will you hide the dead man's ghost?

Lord will he lie, beneath the plain?
Will his spirit fall away?
But I know that he won't stay without Melissa

Yes I know that he won't stay without Melissa
(That's how the story ends..)

From the Lyrics Server at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. (Which is no longer there, thanks to music industry "representatives".)

Donald: [On] the evening news of Houston's NBC affiliate, right after Twisted Desire on Monday [May 13th, they] said that she has nine ``body piercings'' (two more than we last heard) and wants to get her eyebrows and tongue pierced, too! [...] Basically, I just want confirmation (or denial) on that eyebrow & tongue thing!

Paula: no new piercings!!!

Note: All but one of Melissa's ``piercings'' are in her ears. The last one is a navel ring, which has been seen in a few of her recent TV appearances, including the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch movie and series (the second episode). It's not very obvious, though. You really have to be looking for it to see it!

``Interview'' to be continued...

...But not for a while. Since Paula is in L.A. producing the ABC series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, she doesn't have time to answer questions. I'll try again in a few months.

I've recently been asked when this is going to happen, so here's what's been going on:

Paula has not been using her e-mail account (at least, not regularly) while she's been in L.A.

I called Hartbreak Films in late Dec 96 and talked to Paula's (and Nell Scovell's) assistant. I asked about setting up a regular contact to get news and info about Melissa. He asked Paula and called me back. She said all publicity about the show goes through Viacom's publicity department [which you can contact through their main phone number, (310)234-5000]. Anyway, the Viacom publicity person gave me the number for Melissa's publicist, who was really busy getting things finished up for the Christmas holidays. He asked me to fax him the info about what I was proposing.

As it stands now, I have not yet faxed the publicist and I have not set up a regular contact with the Viacom publicity person. (I did try to contact her again twice and got her voice mail. She never called me back. :-/ So I had to contact Hartbreak Films again to get the info I was looking for.)

Hopefully sometime in the near future I can set up the regular contact I've been hoping for.

Please Stand By.

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