Melissa Joan Hart

  1. Danielle Harris, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, 1988.    MJH auditioned for Jamie. Her full  name is Melissa Joan Catherine Hart: Melissa from the Allman Brothers song, Joan from her maternal granny, Catherine is her confirmation name.
  2. Neve Campbell, Scream,  1995.   In the heroine mix for Wes Craven’s quirky new horror franchise: MJH, Drew Barrymore (preferred to die early like Janet Leigh in Psycho), Melinda Clarke, AJ Langer, Melanie Lynskey, Brittany Murphy, Molly Ringwald (“I’m too old!” – at 28), Tori Spelling, Reese Witherspoon (refused), Alicia Witt Even a way too old Sharon Stone (38) tried to buy Kevin Williamson’s “hottest script of the year” – written in three days in the hope of a quick sale to save his car from being repossessed. Hell, with $500,000 he could get a new one! Craven’s horror would have served MJH’s career better than such TV pap as Melissa & Joey, 2010-2012.
  3. Dominique Swain, Lolita, 1996.     Among some 2,500 girls seen for the re-make of the Stanley Kubrick classic  including Nadia Litz, Cristina Ricci… oh, and  Natalie Portman downright refused to be Nabokov’s underage heroine.  Swain never got to know co-star Jeremy Irons very well – at age 15, she had to have a pillow between her and him in all  the love scenes. MJH was far too busy playing, producing and often directing the TV series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 1996-2003, for the company formed with her mother and agent:  Hartbreak Films.  Owch!
  4. Jennifer Love Hewitt,  I Know What You Did Last Summer, 1996.    One triple-named actress for another as Julie James in the horror movie. Chicago critic Roger Ebert observed: “The best shot in this film is the first one.  Not a good sign.”
  5. Alicia Witt, Urban Legend, 1997.   Both MJH and Reese Witherspoon bypassed the role of Nathalie Simon in the horror. “The gore is within reasonable bounds, as slasher movies go,” noted Chicago critic Roger Ebert. “Oddly enough, today’s truly violent movies are the comedies.”
  6. Reese Witherspoon, Pleasantville, 1997.   Or Nerdville, said the Jennifer she didn’t play in the year’s most original US movie.  Shot in  colour and  black-and-white.  Sometimes simultaneously.   Another triplet, Rachael Leigh Cook, was also tested. 
  7. Kirsten Dunst, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 1998.   MJH tested for the role of Amber Atkins, competing  in a Minnesota  Miss Teenage beauty paegent that turns deadly.
  8. Vinessa Shaw, Eyes Wide Shut, 1998.    Auditioned for Stanley Kubrick but lost what Chicago critic Roger Ebert later hailed as “a wonderful role” –  a hooker who picks up Tom Cruise “and shares some surprisingly sweet time with him.” Far too adult for Sabrina. Melissa  Joan has six younger sisters and a brother, much Shirley Temple and Audrey Hepburn memorabilia – “and three Picassos.”


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  8