Melissa Joan Hart has a similar energy to Joey Lawrence. Miss Melissa never holds back and is completely confident in her funniness all of the time. I learn from her to notice every single detail but make it look like she’s not paying attention to every single detail. She projects brilliantly on screen because she has a brilliance around her, a happiness and energy that never goes away, and she moves at lightning speed. Working with her, I’m learning to let go and be completely brave and trust my instincts.
Taylor Spreitler has a very confident and grounded way of working so that I never doubt that she is Lennox Scanlon and I never doubt that she will bring the right mix of comedy to each scene. I learn from Taylor that every line isn’t comedic and that being comfortable setting up others or making something comedic that wasn’t necessarily written to be so is important to each episode, just as being outright funny on each the lines that are written that way.
Nick Robinson uses so many different talents to deliver his work to portray Ryder Scanlon on Melissa & Joey. I learn from Nick Robinson to pick up on different nuances in a scene, then to use my voice and cadence and body language to enrich each scene. In an episode called “Do As I Say, Not As I Did,” for example, Nick says something like “in the middle of that seat you assigned me…” he uses his voice and other gifts to say it in such a fitting and funny way. Another example is in the episode called “Going the Distance,” when Nick and I are sitting on the porch and he asks if he can bring something, and I say “Yes, yogurt-covered pretzels,” and then Nick reacts saying, “Okay, great. What?” Once again using his voice, cadence, and body language to make his delivery rich and funny and just right.
Can you single out one or two of your favorite Melissa & Joey episodes, or scenes with actor Nick Robinson that you got to be part of?
My favorite Melissa & Joey scene that I’ve been in with Nick Robinson is the porch scene in the episode called “Going the Distance.” I love the porch scene with Nick because it shows the dimensions and depth of Ryder’s and Holly’s relationship, including Holly’s very domineering behavior (“Do you mind, I’m trying to play Angry Birds?”); it shows a bit of sexual attraction/tension (“Should I, ah, you know, bring something?”), and it shows sweetness between Holly and Ryder sitting on the porch with his arm around her.