‘The Bold Type’s Melora Hardin on Jacqueline’s Personal Life in the ‘Intimate’ Season 4

Melora Hardin raising a glass of wine in The Bold Type
Freeform/Pantazidis Panagiotis

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of The Bold Type, “Legends of the Fall Issue.”]

Jacqueline’s (Melora Hardin) no longer in charge — or even working — at Scarlet when The Bold Type Season 4 begins. But by the end of the episode, she’s back where she belongs and we’ll get to know a lot more about her this season.

“You really do get a lot more of Jacqueline’s inner layers. You get to see into her personal life a little more, into her personal struggles a little bit more deeply, and that’s a really great thing,” Hardin told TV Insider. “It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to this show and drawn to this character.”

Here, Hardin discusses the major moments of the premiere and teases what’s to come for Jacqueline in Season 4.

(Freeform/Jonathan Wenk)

Jacqueline is back at Scarlet! How is she feeling when she gets that offer and sets her terms?

Melora Hardin: She’s realized what is important to her in having that time and that she feels like she needs to carve out a little more of a space for what her own value is, her own personal value, and her own comfort in what she feels she brings to it. It’s now been confirmed that she brings something special to the magazine, that she did something she believed in, and it was widely received with lots of love and lots of enthusiasm. It gave her a little boost of confidence and maybe clarity around how she wanted to continue at Scarlet.

We saw the girls really fight for her and that issue of the magazine. How much did that mean to her?

She’s been nurturing them and she’s been mentoring them and she believes in them and their talents and in the possibility, the opportunity in their future. They all showed up in a way that made her proud and also was very moving to her and made her feel like she’s been doing a good job as far as how she’s been leading them. They stepped up in a way that was unexpected for sure, but in a way she would’ve been, “Yeah, that’s right, that makes sense, and they are the young women I thought they were.”

But Jacqueline’s going to have to get used to the switch to only digital. How’s that going to go? How will she try to pay tribute to the magazine going forward?

Obviously that first cover is a digital cover, but it’s celebrating all the covers that they’ve ever done in print. She’s one of those people that can move on, wants to move on, is continually learning and growing and stretching and challenging herself. The move is like any big change, it’s slightly uncomfortable, but she also embraces on it and dives into it and goes, “Here we go, I’m going to do this. And I can do this.” With Patrick leaving, she has to do it. She thinks this is exciting, even though it’s challenging.

Jacqueline and her husband were planning their post-Scarlet life. How is her being back at work going to affect their relationship? We start seeing it in their final conversation in the premiere, and she expected to have Patrick by her side to give her some time with her family, right?

That’s right. One of the things I really love about The Bold Type is we get to explore this woman of power that is also balancing a real life. Every woman of power I know in my life is really doing that, some more successfully than others, but ultimately we all have lives. We have relationships that we’re dealing with. We have friendships. We have hobbies. We have careers, and they’re all things we feel mutually passionate about. We have children.

(Freeform/Pantazidis Panagiotis)

She is definitely learning about valuing all the things that are important to her, and ultimately, she finds that maybe there was something about the career that was taking too much of her focus and she maybe wasn’t giving ample time to the family. It makes her reassess a little bit. You’ll watch that this season, how that unfolds and how that affects her personal life and as she’s assessing that and assessing the workplace challenges. It adds a nice new layer to Jacqueline we haven’t really been able to explore before this season.

Jacqueline also continues to fight for women outside of Scarlet with the walk against domestic violence. Will we see more events like that this season?

This wasn’t the biggest event season we’ve had. I think the second season was event after event after event. This season is more a character-driven season — that’s not to say all the workplace stuff isn’t going on — where you’re more inside the personal challenges of the characters and the way those challenges intermingle and inspire and lead and derail each other. That’s really exciting, and this season might be a little more intimate. Of course we do have our events and we are of course dealing with modern-day issues like always, but this year might be a little more personal, which I really like, with the characters.

Speaking of the characters, are there any new dynamics at work, especially with the switch to digital? Any characters you’re looking forward to fans seeing in a new light?

We have a lot of great guest stars this year. We have some really interesting things happen in the later part of the season I think everyone’s going to enjoy, some fun challenges with Kat, Jane, and Sutton. I think it’s our best season yet. The scripts have just been so strong, and the episodes are just turning out beautifully.

It’s full of all the fun and fashion and excitement and sexy, but also modern and cool, but also this layer of really being able to get inside the personal conflicts that are maybe a little more intimate. The show’s really, in a way, to me, in Season 4, finding its stride. It’s really gelled in a way that feels really just buzzy to me when I watch the episodes. It just feels like wow. It’s gone up a notch to me.

(Freeform/Jonathan Wenk)

The Bold Type, Thursdays, 9/8c, Freeform