It was all about Melissa Joan Hart on Monday, Oct. 29! We caught up with the actress at her book launch party, thrown by Nutrisystem, at Monkey Bar in New York City.
In her tell-all memoir, Melissa Explains it All: Tales From My Abnormally Normal Life, the 37-year-old tells stories about her past, growing up on the shows Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as well as her somewhat normal present.
You look great after three kids! How did you get back in shape and how do you maintain such a healthy figure?
Getting on the Nutrisystem program made it so easy for me. You actually get to eat; you’re not starving and there are no counting calories. If your kids are picky like mine, you don’t have to make a bunch of different things to satisfy everyone. You can make your own meals as quick as you can make theirs. I can’t stand dieting and trying to maintain a weight when you’re hungry all the time. And you get chocolate! There are so many treats. My favorite is their ice cream sandwiches. And you get a personal nutritional consultant that caters to you. You can call them with questions and get to talk to a real person. They show you how to eat right and teach you about portion sizes so you’re learning healthy eating habits while losing weight.
You talk about your college years when you experimented with drugs in the book. How were you able to do that away from the public eye and keep it under control?
I think a huge reason is because there was no social media around when I was that age. As young adults ,we think that what we have to say is the most important thing ever, so if you have an outlet like Twitter or Facebook right at your fingertips, you’re going to do inappropriate things that are going to follow you the rest of your life. I was also a very responsible person. I knew that there was a crew waiting for me in the morning to know my lines and hit my marks. If I didn’t do that, they couldn’t go home to their kids and see their soccer match that night. I made sure I was doing my job so they could go home to their families. That was always important to me.
You mention a lot of people in your book, including Ryan Reynolds, Drew Barrymore and Ashton Kutcher. Did you reach out to them to let them know what was coming?
I just did it. I wasn’t telling anyone something that they didn’t already know. I said in the book that Ashton Kutcher and I didn’t get along…I don’t think he would deny that. I feel like my stories are very innocent, and they’re mine to tell. I’d like to say that I don’t kiss and tell, but I do! I’m boy crazy.
Are you and Ryan Reynolds still close?
I only had three long-term boyfriends before I met my husband. One of them is here tonight, and the other two I’m not really on speaking terms with. Some relationship are better as friendships and I think we all have people in our pasts that have changed. But I’m friendly with them!
Was there anything that you were apprehensive about putting in the book?
I was worried about the chapter about my mom. I wanted to be honest about our relationship, but also honest about how she raised me. I didn’t know if she would like the fact that I revealed some of the ways she raised me because they weren’t, especially at the time, conventional. They weren’t things you could read in a parenting handbook. I didn’t know if she would appreciate me telling people some of the things she did, but I always appreciated the approach she took with being honest with me. She never sugarcoated things or hid things. I read it to her out loud so that I could soften the blow. We ended up tweaking a few things, but she ended up loving it.
You’re a former child star who has come out on the other side unscathed and successful. What advice would you give to young stars today?
It starts with the parents. It’s a little late if they’re already in their 20’s and acting crazy. But I think that they should have a thick skin. Learn to let the good in and keep the bad away. It’s important to surround yourself with people that love you and want to protect you.
Drive Me Crazy was on TV recently. Do you cringe when you see your past projects, or do you sit and watch?
No, I love that movie! I worked really hard on that movie. I’m so proud of it.