The actress/director/producer attended the reveal of a holiday window display.
Melissa Joan Hart sat down with us to discuss her holiday traditions and everything she worked in 2017 on Thursday December 14. This was just before she unveiled the Duracell holiday window display on 7th Ave S in New York’s West Village. A concert by the New York City Gospel Choir accompanied the big reveal. The wacky display contrasts what a Christmas without Duracell batteries looks like in comparison to one with Duracell batteries.
Go check it out yourself at 101 7th Ave S and post on social media with #DuracellSavesChristmas
Continue reading for our interview with Melissa Joan Hart.
How did you get involved with Duracell?
Melissa Joan Hart: It’s the holidays! It’s the best time of year to make sure you are fully stocked on batteries because nobody wants to be digging through the remote control trying to find some batteries to make their child’s toy work. There’s nothing worse than a child opening up a package and going ‘Yay, yay new toy!’ and then it doesn’t work because there’s no batteries and it’s Christmas and you’re not leaving the house. It’s one of those things we always seem to forget, but we always seem to need. So I think it’s important to always have them on hand.
Do you have any really special holiday traditions that you do with your family every year?
Hart: You know what’s hard about this season? I feel like everybody has so many traditions now, right? We’ve adopted everyone else’s traditions it seems. So there’s very few I feel like that are just our family’s. My favorite thing is when I was growing up, our parents would make us wake them up – I think one time we snuck downstairs too soon – so then it became a tradition that we had to wait at the top of the stairs, they had to go downstairs and check for Santa, and if they said Santa had been there and it was ok, we were allowed to come running down the stairs. So that anticipation, it was probably thirty seconds, but it seemed like five minutes! It was just the best, waiting for that moment to be let loose and be in kid toy heaven. And now we do that with our kids, so it’s great. I see the excitement on their faces when they tear into the room and they see the piles of presents and the tree all lit up and it’s super early in the morning. And sometimes I try to get my tea real quick before they come in, so I can at least have my tea and sit there and watch them. Make sure the camera’s ready, that kind of thing. So it gives you those few extra seconds, but it also just builds that anticipation so it’s so awesome.
Over this past year, you’ve done a lot of directing. Can you talk about that and maybe tell us what’s on the horizon for you?
Hart: So this year I directed a movie that aired in October, Watcher in the Woods with Anjelica Huston, which was awesome. It got great ratings. And then I was in “A Very Merry Toy Store” which my mom directed and we produced up in New Britain, Connecticut. That was just on a few weeks ago, and that did really well too. I just got back this weekend from directing The Goldbergs, which was really fun. So it’s a Super Bowl episode, it’s going to be on in February. I can’t remember the exact date, but you can TiVo it, you can find it I’m sure. It’s a really funny show, I’ve gotten very hooked on it. And it’s a different kind of thing, it was out of my normal scope of things that I’ve done before. And it was the first time I’ve directed a television show that I wasn’t in. So it was really fun to be able to focus on other people’s performances. Focus on the shots, the cameras, and be really creative with it. Have fun and learn a new crew and everything else. I’m really excited for people to see it. I’m excited to see it! I haven’t seen it cut together yet. But then I’m just taking some time off, really. I think I’m going to try to lay low a little bit in January.
Can you tell us more about your transition from acting into producing and directing? Had you always been interested in directing and producing?
Hart: I was. I directed a lot of “Sabrina”. I haven’t directed for twenty years. So I directed a lot of “Sabrina”, but it was hard. And I did a lot of “Melissa & Joey” too. I didn’t want to do it more than twice a year, because it’s just a lot to deal with. That one week of acting and directing is just such a load of work. And it holds everybody up, which I feel terrible about it. The whole reason I got into directing was because other directors were having a hard time figuring out our show. “Sabrina” was a very difficult show to direct. So I took over kind of by default because it was just easier to get the day done. I knew what we were doing more than these other directors who would step in and not know. But then also it would hold them up when I had to go change my clothes. I’d have to set the camera, but then I’d have to go change my wardrobe, change my hair. So it just delayed everything a little bit more, and it just made me feel guilty, like everyone was waiting for me. One night, I’d remember to do my shot list, but I’d forget to learn my lines. That just killed me, not being professional or not being ready. So it was one of those natural things for me. But then as I got to do it more and more, anytime I ever directed, it was ‘Oh well you have to be in it’. And I did one called “SantaCon” a few years ago, and that was fun because I wasn’t in too much of it. Doing Watcher in the Woods was my first time really directing without myself in it. And it was so great to just be able to be creative and not having to worry about makeup and hair and coming in early and saying ‘What’s my call time, what’re my lines?’ I got to actually stand there and watch and really focus on it and really be hands-on and fully immersed in the directing side of things. But I’m not going to give up acting. I love the balance of the two. I like both worlds.
Photo Credit: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Duracell/AP Images