Mattel’s iconic doll Barbie has shattered countless box-office records with its live-action movie starring Margot Robbie and Netflix’s upcoming live-action show on Eiichiro Oda’s manga series, One Piece, is generating plenty of hype.

Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling).
Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling).

But the idea of capitalizing on childhood nostalgia incepted from your favorite doll or comic series isn’t a new trend. Hollywood has always looked at different source material to deliver hits.

In fact, the late 90s saw Archie Comics’ famous Sabrina the Teenage Witch transcend to the big screen as well as television to great effect.

Read more: You gotta makeout with the guy”: Ryan Reynolds Tried to Woo Co-Star Melissa Joan Hart, Made Her Kiss Him After Gifting a Beluga Watch

Melissa Joan Hart Starred in Several Sabrina the Teenage Witch-Inspired Projects

The year 1996 kick-started the famous franchise with the movie Sabrina the Teenage Witch featuring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Sawyer alongside Ryan Reynolds as Seth, a high school heartthrob. Two more movies – Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under – starring Hart followed in 1998 and 1999 respectively.

Melissa Joan Hart and Ryan Reynolds.
Melissa Joan Hart and Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds didn’t reprise his role in the TV series which started to air in 1996. However, Hart continued to cast her magic wand on different screens but interestingly with a different name, Sabrina Spellman.

The TV series shows Sabrina trying to tread her life’s path carefully with guidance from her two aunts after discovering she’s a witch with magical powers. Hart’s portrayal of Sabrina was genre-defining, as the much-loved witch brilliantly handled different hurdles over her teenage life for seven seasons before the series came to an end in 2003.

Interestingly, one of the episodes on the show titled No Place Like Home (S4, E1) saw pop icon Britney Spears make a guest appearance. But Hart’s story with Spears didn’t end just with this episode.

Read more: “We were smitten and cute. He was adorable”: Melissa Joan Hart Confesses Her Romantic Feelings for Blake Lively’s Husband Ryan Reynolds

Why Melissa Joan Hart Almost Got Fired From Sabrina the Teenage Witch

During her appearance on the Pod Meets World podcast, Hart, now 47, was asked about a photo with the Gimme More singer during the premiere of her 1999 film Drive Me Crazy. She went on to reveal the whole context, including how close she was to getting fired from the iconic TV series.

Melissa Joan Hart.
Melissa Joan Hart.

“If you look at my eyes, I had been crying all evening,” Hart said. “At the time, I thought this was the worst day of my life.”


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At the time she missed out on a role in Scary Movie and was also going through a breakup. Hart was later informed by her lawyer that because of her cover photoshoot with Maxim magazine, she was getting fired from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. On the cover, she featured in black lingerie and a white sheet covering her bare chest.

“My lawyer shows up and goes, ‘You did a photoshoot for Maxim magazine?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, I did,'” she said. “They’re like, ‘Well, you’re being sued and fired from your show, so don’t talk to the press. Don’t do anything.'”

The use of the word “Sabrina” from her show allegedly violated a clause in her contract with Archie Comics. “(The contract) said I would never play the character naked,” Hart added.

Fortunately, Hart was able to talk things through and she didn’t get fired mid-way through the iconic series. But she had to give an apology letter.

Read more: “She was young and I could see the stress on her face”: Melissa Joan Hart Broke Rule and Took Underage Britney Spears to her First Club

Source: Pod Meets World – Instagram

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