Melissa Joan Hart 'not involved' in 'Sabrina' reboot

By Karen Butler  |  Oct. 20, 2017 at 5:58 AM
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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Melissa Joan Hart says she won't be a part of the planned reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a TV show she starred in from 1996 to 2003.

"We're not involved in that. So, whatever it is they are doing, I have no clue. I assume it's going to be a little Buffy-esque. That's what it sounds like to me. Much darker," the 41-year-old actress recently told a crowd at New York Comic Con.

Hart is on the promotion trail for The Watcher in the Woods, which she directed and produced. Her ghost-story remake of the classic 1980 TV movie stars Anjelica Huston, Tallulah Evans and Dixie Egerickx.

Asked by the NYCC panel moderator if she and Huston -- star of 1990's The Witches -- talked at all about playing sorceresses in previous projects, Hart answered with a laugh: "No. Not really. I wish I could say we did. I hadn't even really considered that. I don't know. I don't really vibe with the witch culture of Sabrina, as much as with the more high-school side of Sabrina. So, I don't really think of it that way, but, obviously, she is well-known for playing witches and, in this movie, in a way, you kind of think of her as a witch, as well."

So, what was it like to direct Huston, an Oscar winner with decades of acting expertise?

"With someone like Anjelica Huston, you don't direct them. You don't say: 'So, are you thinking about your back story? Where do you think your motivation is coming from in this scene?' You don't say those things. You just let them do what they are doing and you keep them on point as far as story goes. I just made sure, story-wise, it made sense," Hart explained.

The actress-turned-director admitted she has always wanted to redo The Watcher in the Woods, but said it took nearly half her life for she and her mother/producing partner Paula to secure the rights to the story.

By that time, Hart wasn't the appropriate age to play any of the female lead characters.

"I was too old to play Jan and too young to play Mrs. Alywood. I tried to play Mrs. Alywood, but she wouldn't let me," Hart gestured to her mom before revealing she had considered tapping the makeup team from Sabrina -- who now collaborates with Ryan Murphy on American Horror Story and Feud -- to work their magic and make her look older.

She said she she ultimately scrapped the idea because it would have meant too much time in the makeup chair.

The Watcher in the Woods is to debut on Lifetime Saturday. It follows an American family who rents a house in Wales and begins experiencing troubling occurrences, possibly linked to the long-ago death of neighbor Mrs. Alywood's daughter.

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