Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

‘Sabrina’ fan of Tide football

Melissa Joan Hart, star of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Melissa and Joey,” will be a signing copies of her book “Melissa Explains It All,” Saturday, Nov. 9 from 2-4 p.m. at the SUPe Store. The actress took a few minutes to speak with The Crimson White about her connection to the University and of course, Salem the cat.

How are you connected to The University of Alabama?

Ha! Very indirectly, but somehow I’ve become a complete expert on the football team and history. My husband’s family is from Tuscaloosa originally, and his father and his sister and I think many generations graduated from there. Of course when you live in Alabama, you’re either Auburn or Alabama. So his family grew up just loving Alabama and are beyond fanatics, really. I have, by association, become a major Alabama fan. My car is crimson colored with a giant “A” on the back window and national championship stickers for every year they’ve won in recent years on the back. It’s kind of ridiculous. I get people all the time in L.A. pulling next to me honking the horn and I think they’re going to get mad at me for some bad driving I’ve done, and they’re always like, ‘Roll Tide!’ And I love that ‘Roll Tide’ is a proper greeting.

I read in your book that your first Bama football game was the 2002 Iron Bowl, which we lost. How was that experience?

Well, for me, I wasn’t yet into football. That was probably my first real football game, so I had a hard time watching. I didn’t even really realize where the ball was while the game was going on. I couldn’t see that little brown thing that was being passed around. I was very lost and just felt bad that he was going to have a bad day because his team lost. It seemed to be the way things were going that year anyway. It wasn’t the strongest of years, and it wasn’t for a few years. But recently I’ve seen the legend come true and see the legacy really come back around. Of course with coach [Nick] Saban now, I‘ve gotten to shake the man’s hand, and I’m as star struck by him as I would be the same if I met Ha’Ha [Clinton-Dix] or [Tyrone] Prothro or when I did meet Javier Arenas.

What was your first impression of the state of Alabama?

My first thought was I couldn’t believe there was that much land available that was undeveloped in our country. Honestly, I couldn’t believe there was so much land, with the peanut farms and everything. I was amazed!

I think the majority of Sabrina fans would be disappointed if I didn’t ask one question about Salem the cat. What was it like filming with stuffed animals, real cats and animatronic cats all at the same time?

It was very tricky. By the end of the season each year, our set would smell like cat food because they had to hide cat food all over the place to try to get the cats to go where they were supposed to go. Everything on set had a hole in it so the cat could be popped in at any moment. I do have to say it was fun to be able to work with the voice of Salem, Nick Bakay. He was just hilarious and a great guy, and I had such a blast with him. He really brought Salem to life. He made Salem what he is.

I read in your book that you attended NYU, but could you have seen yourself as a student at the Capstone?

Absolutely! I’ve been trying to convince my little sister, who’s a senior right now in high school, to go to Alabama. It’s a great campus, and I know it’s a great education. I just think this school has a lot of heart to it. I love how it’s all-encompassing. I like how the whole school comes together for the football game. The stadium seats 101,000 people and I think it’s really impressive how everyone comes together over football every weekend. I didn’t grow up with a campus like that. I didn’t have walls around where I was learning. I was in the heart of New York City, so I love the idea of a school that is just all really students, and everyone is going through the same thing all around you. I think that’s really special. I’m a little jealous I didn’t go to a school like that. And I’ve already promised my husband if anything happened to him I would find a way to have his ashes scattered across the field of the stadium.

Your book is lighthearted, and it really connects with the reader at a personal level. Was that one of your goals while you were writing it?

That is what I wanted. I did want to write it in my voice and my tone because a lot of the time these celebrity memoirs end up being a ghostwriter who writes most of it based on an interview they did with the celebrity, so in this case I wanted to do it different. I wanted to write my stories down and have someone edit it into more of a book format. It was important to me for it to be conversational just so people could get to know my tone and who I really am.

Would you consider writing another book? Maybe a novel to portray your creative, funny side?

I would like that. I just have a hard time with the discipline of writing. That’s why I started with a story I know, my life. But I would actually like to write some scripts, I think, or a novel someday.

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