ONSCREEN she was the healthful wise-cracking teenager with a speaking cat and a bent to trigger havoc with magic spells.
But away from the cameras Melissa Joan Hart – star of Sabrina the Teenage Witch – was a celebration animal who snogged women at the Playboy mansion and bought excessive on ecstasy.
Melissa and co-star Ryan Reynolds had a lodge room liaison after the Sabrina film wrappedCredit: BackGrid
The iconic present marks 25 years since its first episode this Monday, and it’s fondly remembered by a technology of viewers.
Sabrina, produced by Melissa’s mum Paula Hart, adopted the antics of a 16-year-old schoolgirl who discovers she’s a witch and goes to dwell along with her two aunts whereas she learns her craft.
But Melissa was truly 20 when she took on the position – and made the most of the occasion life-style in Hollywood between days on set, experimenting with medicine, dishonest on her then-boyfriend with movie star Ryan Reynolds and virtually getting fired for a nude journal photoshoot.
“I did Sabrina from the age of 20 to 27,” she instructed Oprah Winfrey in a current TV particular.
“At the starting, it was my first time actually hanging out in LA, and beginning to make my very own cash, shopping for my very own home, beginning to exit and occasion and do all this loopy enjoyable stuff – and simply actually having fun with my life as an grownup for the first time.”
Now a fortunately married mum-of-three, Melissa has been open about her wild instances throughout the Sabrina years – here is what she bought as much as when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Hotel room tryst with Ryan Reynolds
As an adolescent, Melissa discovered fame with the title position in Clarissa Explains It All, which ran for 3 years from 1991.
When Sabrina got here alongside, she was on a break from performing and learning at New York University.
But she dropped out of school after her mum purchased the rights to the comedian ebook character of Sabrina from Archie Comics for £1 – then forged her in the lead position.
After shifting to LA, Melissa started partying with some very well-known actors.
In her memoir, Melissa Explains It All, she remembers kissing a number of younger stars on nights out, together with Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter and Scary Movie 5 star Jerry O’Connell.
But it was a steamy encounter with up-and-coming Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds which she recalled in most element – admitting she cheated on her then boyfriend James.
I had a boyfriend at the time however we have been smitten and cute and he was lovable
Melissa Joan Hart
Ryan was enjoying Sabrina’s crush in the 1996 TV film model of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the pair spent six weeks filming in Vancouver.
“He was very candy. I had a boyfriend at the time however we have been smitten and cute and he was lovable,” Melissa says.
On their ultimate day of filming, Ryan gave Melissa an costly Bulova watch as a present, which made her go “weak in the knees” and she admitted his “style in bling” turned her on.
“There’s a ridiculous second in the Sabrina film the place Ryan seems to be at me and says in a throaty, whispered hush, ‘I believe what we want is rather less discuss and just a little extra motion’,” she stated.
“When I opened Ryan’s present, I could not agree extra with this assertion.”
In a scene which might have been straight out of a film, Melissa ran out of her trailer and jumped in entrance of his automotive to cease him leaving the set.
“Not certain whether or not to chastise or make out with him subsequent, I made a decision to plant an enormous, fats kiss on his mouth with out saying a phrase extra,” she wrote. “It was very dramatic.”
After shifting to LA, Melissa started partying with some very well-known celebrities (pictured with Britney Spears in July 1999)
The pair went again to her lodge room the place they “fooled round all evening” – however, after the transient fling, she determined to stick with her boyfriend.
Less in her favour was Ashton Kutcher, whom Melissa tried to get booted out of events for making “smartass remarks”.
She stated: “Ashton and I simply did not get alongside.”
Drugs and steamy clinches at the Playboy mansion
As Sabrina continued to soar in the rankings, Melissa’s partying bought more and more wild – and she later admitted to taking a number of medicine.
“I experimented with weed, ecstasy, mushrooms and mescaline for a couple of yr and a half,” she says.
“I used to be type of operating with a nasty crowd.”
During certainly one of her wilder nights in 1999, Melissa frolicked at the Playboy mansion and took ecstasy, earlier than making out with a woman in a limo on the method house.
“That was my third or fourth time on ecstasy,” she revealed.
The following day she turned up at a shoot for lads’ magazine Maxim, nonetheless excessive, and shot a controversial nude cowl.
“I’d gone to the Playboy Mansion the evening earlier than and had just a little an excessive amount of enjoyable, explored just a little an excessive amount of of that Playboy Mansion,” Hart says.
“And so the subsequent morning I rolled as much as the Maxim picture shoot and I used to be fairly hungover and coming down. And right here I used to be, having a full day of… hair extensions and bikinis, and I used to be not ready for it – in order that was in all probability the least skilled I’ve ever been in my profession.”
Melissa was a daily at Hollywood partiesCredit: Alpha-Tricia Meadows
The well-known cowl – tagged with the line “Your favorite witch with no sew” – confirmed the former youngster star naked, holding a sheet to cowl her chest.
The picture virtually bought Melissa booted off the present, as Archie Comics tried to sue her for posing in the buff.
“Archie Comics had a contract that I’d by no means play [Sabrina] naked,” she wrote.
“But then I did the cowl of Maxim journal, and for some motive – no concept how this occurred – Maxim had the cowl say ‘Sabrina’ as an alternative of ‘Melissa’.
“It was an enormous press scandal at the time my film Drive Me Crazy was popping out. And so I wasn’t actually capable of take pleasure in the film launch, as a result of I used to be so centered on whether or not I used to be gonna get fired.”
In truth, the scandal blew over and she stayed till 2003, but it surely proved a wake-up name and she knocked her drug use on the head.
“I simply did not take pleasure in taking medicine,” she stated. “I do not like the lack of management.”
She additionally insisted she had by no means snorted or injected medicine and added: “The one time I used to be supplied coke, which occurred to be by Paris Hilton, I turned it down.” Paris has since denied the declare.
From occasion animal to devoted mum
By the time Sabrina ended, in 2003, Melissa had already met her future husband, Mark Wilkerson, at the Kentucky Derby and was able to quiet down.
The couple wed in Florence in July 2003 – three months after the ultimate episode aired – and the preparations for the ceremony have been filmed for a actuality present, Tying The Knot.
The couple went on to have three boys – Mason, 15, Braydon, 11 and Tucker, 9 – who’re all youngster actors themselves.
The actress has put her wild previous behind her and is now a happily-married mum-of-threeCredit: Rex
Tucker starred as the child in Melissa’s lengthy operating sitcom, Melissa and Joey, whereas Braydon appeared in The Santa Con, a TV film directed by his mum.
The household now dwell away from the shiny lights of Hollywood in Nashville, and Melissa continues to work as an actor – most not too long ago in the Netflix collection No Good Nick – and director.
Now a faithful mum, who home-schooled her three boys in lockdown, Melissa hit the headlines in August when she grew to become ailing with Covid, regardless of being vaccinated.
The star’s memoir, Melissa Explains It All, got here with the tagline “Tales from my abnormally regular life”.
But her occasion days in Hollywood have been something however regular.
Melissa along with her mum Paula who was producer on the Sabrina showCredit: GettySabrina The Teenage Witch forged reunite 17 years after collection ended