Somewhere in between filming Melissa and Joey, mothering three boys, and running her new clothing line, Melissa Joan Hart found time to guest star alongside Debra Messing in Mysteries of Laura. She excited fans with a couple of sneak peek photos from the set in March, and the time has finally arrived for viewers to meet her character: KC Moss, a nosy online radio host with a nerdy past (think Sarah Koenig from Serial) who gets in the way of Laura’s investigation.
Hart called up EW to talk about her experience on the Mysteries of Laura set, playing a know-it-all, and almost dying on camera.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the guest star role come about?
MELISSA JOAN HART: The casting reached out to me to do this role specifically. The timing worked out perfectly, I had just gotten done with Melissa and Joey. And they shoot on the East Coast, which is wonderful for me to be able to actually sleep in my own bed at night. It was a little gem that kind of came out of nowhere, and it was such an honor to be asked because I don’t do a whole lot of drama. People kind of pigeonhole you when you’re a comedic TV actress, so it was nice of them to think of me for the role.
What can you tell us about the episode?
I’m a sleuth working for this website called sleuthitout.com, and it’s specifically dedicated to this murder that Debra and the team are investigating. In investigating the murder, they go back to this cold case [involving a girl named] Raquel Rivera, which I have been investigating for a very long time. Since I have all of the information but I also consider myself an investigator on this case, I keep getting in the way and showing up at the crime scenes, impeding the investigation basically. I’m investigated at one point—I don’t want to give too much away, but I become a suspect.
How would you personally describe KC?
KC is the quintessential busybody—she just cannot keep her nose out of other people’s business. And especially when it comes to this murder, she thinks she owns the turf. And when the police start getting involved, she wants to be the one to solve it. So she’s just one of those know-it-alls with a former nerdy past—she’s trying to hide her past, and she’s trying to do it with bravado and trying to outtalk everybody.
What was it like playing a character like that?
It was fun to play that kind of different role for me—like the annoying, gossipy, nerdy girl that gets in the way of everything. She’s trying to be helpful, but she’s like a bull in a China shop. It’s also the first time I’ve ever worn glasses on camera, and the first time I’ve almost been killed on camera. But it was a really fun role to play. And the show has a little humor to it, which was lovely.
What’s it like to almost get killed?
That was really fun, I really got into the physical nature of the stunt and the fighting. It was interesting—it was very raw, but it was very choreographed. We choreographed it to a T, and then got really into the violence of it. I get knocked out. I think I walked away with a few bruises…but don’t tell the other actor that, he would feel terrible.
KC’s also been compared to Sarah Koenig of Serial. Did you get a chance to talk to her or listen to her show for any inspiration?
No. I did a little background research on her because that’s the physical appearance description that they gave me, so I looked up some images to see some of the things they were talking about with her physical appearance. But I didn’t want to be her—as far as the actual character, I decided to create that myself with the help of the director.
What was it like working with Debra?
Debra brings such a lightness—she was very warm and welcoming. She’s so real in her delivery the way people are sarcastic and find humor in dark situations. I have huge respect for her because she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways, but also she’s a Lucille Ball-type actress who is very dynamic and she’s a mom just like me. When I first met her on the set, I told her I was a big fan of her on Instagram. It’s always so fascinating when you meet people that you follow on Instagram because you feel like you know a little bit of them already but they don’t know you at all. But she is a fun goofball—and we have a lot to talk about, everything from the difference between comedy and drama to having little boys. It was something to check off my bucket list, working with her. Hopefully I get the chance to do it again.
So is there a chance that KC Moss could return, then?
I would love that. Go talk to the network. [Laughs]
What about Sabrina or Clarissa? Will they make a comeback someday?
Well with all of these reboots happening right now, there’s a lot of talk about it, and of course my people are talking about it as well. It’s being discussed, but there’s definitely no plans right now. I don’t know [if I’d be up for it]. You can only go back to the well so many times, you know? I’d rather keep moving forward doing guest star roles and directing movies than go backward and fuck it up royally.
You’re not eager to bring back the magic powers somehow?
Hey, I wish I could have that in my personal life, but probably not on other shows. I think I’m good with the magic for now.
Hart appears on Mysteries of Laura May 13 at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on NBC.