With the character of Jacqueline Carlyle, Melora Hardin has created a TV unicorn.
The inspiring, fiercely dressed and wickedly smart editor of Scarlet magazine from Stan’s hit series The Bold Type has emerged as the fan-favourite of the show. Viewers who tune into the media-themed dramedy each week often ask themselves in real life, ‘what would Jacqueline do?’
Which is precisely the response Melora Hardin wants you to have.
Even though we pride ourselves on being smack bang in the middle of the ‘Golden Age of TV’, it’s still rare to see a woman like Jacqueline on our screens; a woman in her 40s who is overseeing a cast of loveable millennial women, without ever becoming their antagonist.
In a superb twist of storytelling, after watching The Bold Type, you’re often left wishing you were more like Jacqueline than the young women who congregate in the fashion closet. It’s the rare TV show that prioritises experience and power over youth.
But as someone whose job it is to chat with the people who bring our favourite TV characters to life, I have to admit I was nervous when my phone rang one early Saturday morning and I knew Melora Hardin was on the other end.
In my experience, in order for actors and actresses to truly bring their roles to life, they often have to differ wildly from them.
TV villains often end up giving me sweet, vanilla answers, while in some cases, a seemingly meek and under-the-radar character can blow you away with their sass and smarts.
So, was I about to find out that the portrayer of the iconic Jacqueline Carlyle was nothing like the force of nature she is on screen?
Thankfully, the 52-year-old actress does not just play Jacqueline onscreen, she also has a say in the storylines her character follows, and the first lesson she dished out to me is that if you're not happy with your work situation, it's your job to change it.