Melissa Joan Hart on Lifetime’s Holiday Movies, & Working with Jason Priestley (VIDEO)
You likely know Melissa Joan Hart from her starring roles in ’90s teen dramas Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or perhaps what comes to mind is her 2010s comedy series Melissa & Joey, opposite Joey Lawrence, which ended in 2015. But for the past few years now, Hart has been staking her claim in the holiday movie realm.
This 2020 holiday season, Hart pulls triple duty for Lifetime. She directed Feliz NaviDAD (premiering November 21) starring Mario Lopez as a single dad, stars in Dear Christmas (November 27) opposite Jason Priestley, and produced the Vanessa Lachey-starring romantic romp, Once Upon a Main Street (November 29) with her own studio, Hartbreak Films.
In Dear Christmas, Hart’s character Natalie is a successful podcaster who returns to her idyllic hometown for Christmas and runs into an old acquaintance, Chris — over and over again. Known around town as “Mr. Christmas,” Chris is played by Priestley.
“[Natalie] is giving love advice, but she’s never found true love,” Hart notes. “So, she’s trying to decipher the difference between love, and true love.”
Working with Priestley, she says, “was like a dream of mine. My 16-year-old self, sitting at home after a day of working on Clarissa Explains it All, sitting and watching [Beverly Hills,] 90210 with a bowl of cookie dough, would have been like, ‘What?!'”
In the video interview above, Hart dives into the difficulty of shooting holiday movies under a tight schedule during the coronavirus (“These [movies] can’t come out in February!” she exclaims), working with Lopez and Priestley, her favorite holiday tradition, and more.
Feliz NaviDAD, Saturday, November 21, 8/7c, Lifetime
Dear Christmas, Friday, November 27, 8/7c, Lifetime
Once Upon a Main Street, Sunday, November 29, 8/7c, Lifetime