EXCLUSIVE | 'The Bold Type' star Melora Hardin says playing the woman who 'has it all' requires a lot of work
For a better part of the first half of Season 4 of 'The Bold Type', Jacqueline and Ian Carlyle's marriage had been on the rocks, struggling to keep it together as years of tension begin to develop cracks in their relationship. Melora Hardin and Gildart Jackson, who play the couple on-screen, are in fact married in real life and share quite a happy marriage.
That was one reason why filming this arc for their characters on the show was particularly difficult "Gilbert and I just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary a few days ago," Hardin tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive chat. At the same time, it was an angle that came almost naturally to Jacqueline's character, Hardin tells us. The editor of Scarlet Magazine, Jacqueline Carlyle is based on the real-life former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Joanna Coles (who is also the EP on the show). For the longest time, Hardin thought it was important to bring a story to the screen that shows the truth about a longterm marriage.
"I was really attracted to playing a character who is amazing at her job, is a really powerful woman in the workplace, and is also in a longterm successful marriage," she tells us. "Television often portrays marriage as either all bliss and perfection or everyone's falling apart. So I wanted [Ian and Jacqueline] to face some challenges." So much so that the two even took some time apart from each other focusing on things apart from their marriage. "[I wanted them] to try to handle those things with grace, intelligence, friendship and love. And even though it is hard, they take a break, reassess and reevaluate," she says.
This is only just one example of the series staying on top of its content game. 'The Bold Type' rarely disappoints with its ability to remain constantly relevant to the socio-cultural and political environment we live in. The Freeform series has long established its mettle in taking stories of the ordinary and displaying them in unique ways that reach an audience that fully welcomes it.
From the looks of it, Jacqueline seems to have it all — contrary to the vicious corporate stereotype that a successful woman cannot have it all. But the show totally disbands this notion by showing just how much work goes into being that successful woman.
"Every woman I know, including myself, who's at a wonderful place in their career is balancing many things — children, careers, friendships, hobbies. I think that's more the norm, the way it actually works. And it's not true that you can't have it all." That was also one reason why Hardin took up the character — it portrayed real issues of women and female bosses.
With the upcoming episode of 'The Bold Type', actress Melora Hardin dons the director's hat. 'Snow Day', Episode 12 of season 4 of the Freeform series, chronicles the characters stuck in a blizzard, which leads to some very life-changing revelations, just like confinement does during the pandemic.
"Winding down a little bit, it makes it so that you can pay attention to the things that are important, that you can listen better and you can be more sensitive to the problems of our times and to the plights of our fellow human beings all around the world," she tells us, drawing parallels with the current state of the world. Although this was Hardin's first time directing a television episode, it isn't her first directorial stint having directed an independent feature film in the past that was written by her husband Gildart.
It was a family project complete with their children and parents too — "a total family adventure". She is also working on a documentary (for the longest time of four years, which will go into the final edit in July) and even a live one-woman show. Coming back to the show, the upcoming season looks tight for Jacqueline. "[She has] a longterm marriage that she cares deeply about. So that's really what you're going to watch her do," the actress tells us. "But how does she do that? How does she balance those things? What do [Jacqueline and Ian] decide?"
While season 4 was cut short due to the pandemic, the actress hopes the show is received with the same love it has been all this while. 'The Bold Type' airs on Thursdays at 10 pm ET/ PT.