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Melissa Joan Hart's Different Phases (Or Faces)

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 25, 2006

I found this release provocative, for reasons I'll get to after the excerpt:

Highlighting entertainment industry professionals whose life and work is a force for positive world change, the Tahoe-Reno International Film Festival (T-RIFF) today announced it will honor actor Melissa Joan Hart at this years festival.

Hart will be recognized for her conscious TV and film career during the past three decades. On Saturday, August 26th at 5:30 p.m. in the Alpine Showroom, at the Resort at Squaw Creek, the festival will pay tribute to her career. ... Perhaps best known for her starring role on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2003), Hart has had a full career in television, film and on the Broadway stage since she began acting at age four.

“I am excited about participating in this year’s festival and appreciate being recognized for my positive, family oriented approach to entertainment,” says Hart, an actress, singer, and Vice President of Hartbreak Films, a production company she runs with her mother. “After being offered many inappropriate film and television roles as a teenager, my mom and I created our own production company. This step helped me to focus on family friendly and socially conscious entertainment projects.” Now a young mother herself, her first child was born in January of this year, Hart is even more aware of the importance to produce television shows and film that teaches or empowers people while entertaining them. ...

The Tahoe/Reno International Film Festival (T-RIFF) offers a unique film festival experience that educates, touches hearts, inspires ideas, and connects audiences to the joy deep within their souls for film lovers from around the world. For the official T-RIFF event schedules, film times, and pass or ticket purchases, visit

Now, as you think about Hart in that context, look back to 1999, when she was interviewed and photographed for the not-quite-family-friendly Maxim magazine. You can still find some pictures online here. You can also find an interview here. For those of you who don't feel like linking, here are some of Hart's not-quite-family-friendly comments:

-- ''I hold my own when I really want to party. Like my 21st birthday. I think I had 12 tequila shots in two hours. I used to love tequila—anytime, anywhere, as much as I wanted. That whole next week was rough, though. A little bit of alcohol poisoning, I think.''

-- (0n the difference between everyday sex and great sex) ''The amount of energy that’s put into the act. The enthusiasm behind it. Is it just to get off, or is it to have fun?''

--  ''I'm a pretty open person. Like, if I have good sex, then the next day I'm going to tell everyone I know about it.''

-- (on sexy photos) ''If they could promise me it wasn't camera-between-my-knees kind of shots, I would do it. I would do topless. I think it's empowering.''

To be fair, that last quote ended with Hart saying ''if my mother had a real big problem with it, I'd have to say no right now.'' But the party girl and the family festival still make an interesting juxtaposition.

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