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Melora Hardin talks new series ‘The Bold Type’

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For seven entertaining seasons on NBC’s “The Office,” Melora Hardin played Jan Levinson, an edgy Vice President of Sales who often teetered on the edge of reality.

In her new role as Jacqueline Carlyle, editor-in-chief for a Cosmopolitan-esque women’s lifestyle magazine called “Scarlet,” Hardin oversees a staff of young ladies searching for their own identity while chronicling their lives and loves on Freeform’s new female-driven hit ‘The Bold Type,’ airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

“My character is inspired by Joanna Coles (Cosmo’s chief content officer – Coles is Executive Producer of the series),” Hardin told me last week in a phone interview from the hair and makeup chair as she prepared to shoot the final episode of the series’ first season.

Hardin says that some of the show’s storylines are based on experiences that Coles shared with show creator Sarah Watson.

“Some real-life stuff will bleed into the show,” Hardin continues, “but this is a dramatic, fictional version of Joanna’s trials and tribulations, excitements and adventures.” 

Hardin says she was drawn to the fact that “The Bold Type” portrays women on the cusp of a feminine revolution.

“It’s a different time from when feminists had to meld more with the idea of what it meant to be a man,” Hardin says. “I think now we have women who are bringing all of their feminine-wiles to the revolution of creating equality in the workplace and in society in general.”

According to Hardin, “The Bold Type” is a series set in a feminine environment of beauty and fashion, which speaks openly and honestly about sexuality.

“I love that about this show,” Hardin told me. “My character is a boss who’s not a bitch. I think women of power are rarely exemplified that way on television and in films. Usually, if your character is a woman of power, she’s kind of an awful, manipulative backstabber. I feel that I don’t know women like that and I think it’s the rule, rather than the exception, that women are balancing lots of balls really beautifully, and doing it with integrity and with heart.”

While Hardin says that her character is a mentor to the young women who work for Scarlet magazine, we’ll also see a character on the series that plays a significant important role in many people’s lives. 

“Social media is definitely one of the characters on ‘The Bold Type.’ Texting pops up on the screen and it feels very modern because that is very much what is happening today with the way young people are interacting,” Hardin says. “It’s art imitating life, imitating art. My character, Jacqueline, tries to set a good example for these women by showing them how it’s possible to keep all of those balls in the air, and still have a life too.”

Hardin’s castmates on “The Bold Type” include Katie Stevens (“Faking It”) as Jane, Aisha Dee (“I Hate My Teenage Daughter”) as Kat and Meghann Fahy (“One Life to Live”) as Sutton.

The pilot episode for “The Bold Type” was ordered in April 2016, and was shot last summer in Montreal and Toronto, Canada. The rest of the initial season has been shot this year and will continue to air through September. 

“The Bold Type” has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been called “the best TV surprise of 2017 so far” by Vulture. 

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