Fans know Melora Hardin as Jan Levinson, the strictly business/slightly kooky former love interest of “The Office” boss Michael Scott. This multifaceted actress — who has appeared on nighttime dramas (“Once and Again” and “Judging Amy”), classic family shows (“Little House on the Prairie” and “The Love Boat”) and feature films (“Thank You for Smoking” and “27 Dresses”) — has two surefire hit movies out this spring: “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “17 Again.”
Has Melora prepared herself for the legions of screaming tweens that she is sure to run into? Melora explains: “There really is a national phenomenon with Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana. It’s so fabulous to be a part of a project that gets that much attention and is destined to be a blockbuster. My character, Lorelei, is the foreman of Hannah’s grandmother’s farm, where Hannah goes to find her roots when her father thinks she is getting too big for her britches.
“Billy Ray Cyrus’ character falls for Lorelei immediately, and we have a nice little romance that blossoms. It was nice to play somebody who is so salt of the earth, and what you see is what you get. She’s a country girl with no ulterior motives. When you know Jan (from ‘The Office’), it’s nice to see me, Melora, as someone different. That’s part of why I was so interested in the role. I can relate to her earthiness and her straightforward nature.”
All of these extracurricular projects were fun for Melora, giving her a chance to show different sides of herself as an actress. “I love Jan very much, but I don’t know how much we are alike, really. I guess in some ways we are. Whereas Lorelei and I are alike in a lot of ways. And the character I play in ‘17 Again,’ Principal Jane, I would say is virtually nothing like me, but she is adorable and such a great character. I love the story line that Tom Lennon (of ‘Reno 911’ and ‘The State’ fame) and I carry. It’s a very funny through line in the film.”
Melora is no stranger to funny, having played Jan Levinson on “The Office” since 2005. Regarding Jan: “She is just so wonderfully inappropriate, it’s just such a pleasure to do that all the time. I love the way her seams are always showing and unraveling before our very eyes. As an actor, you really have nothing if you don’t have flaws to play. She’s always surprising the audience, and thus, she is always surprising me.”
A classic Jan scene was during the dinner party, when she pops in Hunter’s (her former assistant) CD and dances inappropriately seductive to it, therefore encouraging Jim to steal the CD when he and Pam leave. I asked Melora what she thinks Jan’s reaction was when she discovered the missing CD. “That is a great observation! You know, she would have been upset, but she might just let it go, thinking that it would be nice for somebody else to enjoy the great music, to get Hunter’s music out to the people.”
For those of you going through Jan withdrawals, Melora assures me that “while I won’t be filming any more scenes this season, next season I will be there.”
Aside from being an actress, Melora is first and foremost a mother and wife. She was in New York City recently to help with the Mom’s Roundtable Discussion, which was sponsored by Splenda.
“We were discussing concerns and interests of moms, mostly related to the health and well-being of their families. We talked about how to do that through food, and just how to enjoy the simpler things in life in these crunched economic times: baking, cooking and eating family dinners together.”
For those interested, you can go to Splenda.com for more details, recipes and ideas for healthier living for you and your family. And don’t miss Melora in “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “17 Again.”
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Photo credit: Andrew Bicknell
Melora Hardin (of The Office and Once and Again fame) was in NY the week of March 30th hosting a mom’s round-table event with top experts from around the nation to discuss sweet and simple solutions that every mom can use to enhance her family’s lives. During this unique and informal forum, round-table members collaborated to arm moms with smart (and easy) answers to those five-second decisions they make every day. Participants offered original tips and ideas that they use to solve the daily challenges they face, ranging from health and nutrition concerns to fun, engaging cooking and entertaining approaches.
Tune in tomorrow for more on Melora and her current projects, including the movies Hannah Montana: The Movie and 17 Again.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
•Melanie finds Brady badly beaten at the pier.
•Chloe and Daniel fight their lingering feelings for each other.
•Stefano thinks he’s been the victim of foul play and has been poisoned.
•Kate promises to drop her plans for revenge if Philip survives.
Thursday – Victor (John Aniston, pictured) sits vigil at Philip’s bedside and promises that the DiMeras will pay.
Friday – Mia tells Dr. Baker she feels no connection with Sydney, and he says it’s time she knew why.
•Ridge questions Brooke’s loyalty.
•Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, pictured) seizes control of a heated moment.
•Nick makes shocking revelations to both Stephanie and Bridget.
•Rick taunts Ridge in a cruel way.
•Brooke and Taylor have a no-holds barred argument.
•After a stand-off, Nick walks out on Phyllis.
•Billy is in shock after Mac's sudden appearance. Will he convince her to stay in Genoa City?
•Victor's next move against Jack (Peter Bergman, pictured) goes off without a hitch.
•Amber and Kevin are arrested.
•Karen's marriage and chance at motherhood are on the line when she learns of Neil's intentions with Tyra.
•Phillip is found guilty on all charges
•Sparks fly when Daisy meets James Spaulding.
•Edmund hides his rage toward Shayne (Jeff Branson, pictured).
•Reva is forced to watch Jeffrey take Colin home without her.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The hospital’s re-opening ceremony gets a very unwelcome guest.
Tracy’s suspicions about Ethan grow stronger.
Things take a major turn for Ric.
The tension between Robin and Patrick hits an all time high.
Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn, pictured) warns Nikolas that Rebecca might not be what she seems.
Jerry tells Ric and Claudia that he’s calling the shots.
Nikolas wonders if Alexis could be right about Rebecca.
Robin and Patrick try to get back on track.
Jax comes face to face with Jerry.
Carly takes a pregnancy test.
Maxie is hurt by Spinelli’s rejection.
Roxy suggests that Gigi turn the tables on Stacy.
Clint laments to Viki about the growing rift between him and Nora, just as Nora and Bo are growing closer.
Todd plays on Tea’s feelings for him.
John wonders if a killer is still on the loose.
Cole asks Markko (Jason Tam, pictured) for a major favor.
Todd and Tea act on their impulses.
John has doubts about Zach’s guilt.
Jared and Natalie try to convince themselves they’re doing the right thing.
John makes a horrific discovery.
Starr and Cole vow to find out the real reason their baby died.
Roxy urges Gigi to expose Stacy’s misdeeds.
Annie sneaks out of Oak Haven and into Ryan’s penthouse.
Adam knows where Krystal’s skeletons are buried.
A disoriented Adam passes out in court.
Erica wonders what Adam’s holding over Krystal.
Jake comes to Amanda’s rescue.
Krystal turns on David during the custody hearing.
Aidan promises Annie everything will be okay.
Kendall tells Ryan she wants a life with him.
Jake vows that David will never get his hands on Amanda’s baby.
Krystal warns Adam that he’d better keep her secret.
Zach tells Kendall (Thorsten Kaye and Alicia Minshew, pictured) he no longer has feelings for her.