Melora Hardin is no stranger to playing strong women. In our exclusive video interview (watch above) the actress explains, “I’m always looking for things that are meaty in one way or another.” Hardin played two meaty roles this TV season: as a terrified mother on ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” and her continuing role as magazine magnate Jacqueline Carlyle on Freeform’s “The Bold Type.” For her career, she has also celebrated an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Guest Actress for her work on “Transparent.”
On “A Million Little Things,” Hardin plays Patricia, the mother of Maggie Bloom (Allison Miller). Patricia arrives at the hospital to be with Maggie, who is undergoing cancer surgery, when she has tempestuous first meeting with Maggie’s boyfriend Gary (James Roday). The guest role appealed to Hardin mainly because of the range of emotions her character experiences, from comedy to deep emotional despair. “[Patricia] was particularly fun because she kind of seems hard, and then you realize that she’s just grieving and she’s totally threatened and scared out of her mind that she might lose her second child.” Hardin also hints at her character’s return for Season 2: “I have quite a big arc, and supposedly it’s hilarious and also heartbreaking.”
Hardin is also now in her third season playing Jacqueline Carlyle on “The Bold Type,” a role she enjoys because of what it represents. “Personally I grew up seeing a powerful woman in the workplace being a bitch,” Hardin says. “So I think it’s really empowering for women to see a powerful woman in the workplace being really good at her job, also balancing a family life, a marriage that’s long-term, and being a mentor.”
The series also tackles serious issues, including sexual assault, workplace harassment, and gun control. The show’s second season saw Jacqueline, who had been raped early in her career, dealing with the repercussions of not reporting the assault. Hardin praises the show for the way it is able to address these serious topics while still being entertaining. “On ‘Transparent’ I realized that there is something so wonderful about making great entertainment that’s also doing good in the world,” Hardin says. “I think that [“The Bold Type”] is an example for learning how to put down the bratty histrionics and actually have a conversation.”
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