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Melissa Joan Hart reveals favorite 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' episode 25 years later

Melissa Joan Hart reminisced about the beloved sitcom for its 25th anniversary.
/ Source: TODAY

“Sabrina the Teenage Witch” turned 25 this year, and to honor the anniversary, Melissa Joan Hart (aka Sabrina) reflected on the supernatural sitcom in an interview with TODAY.

Hart, who also starred on “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Melissa & Joey,” recalled some of her favorite moments while playing Sabrina Spellman, the “quintessential teen girl” with “magical powers.”

“The best part about playing her ... We like to be actors, because we like to kind of slip into lots of different skins and pretend to be lots of different people,” Hart said. She later continued, “I got to be Cyrano, I got to be a trapeze artist. I got to be Cinderella. I got to be Rapunzel. I loved when she would take on some kind of personality or some other, you know, wardrobe, or I was a snowman. I skied on Mars or you know, stuff like that. So that made it really exciting and different, and the actor in me loved that part.”

Melissa Joan Hart as 'Sabrina' during season 7 Alamy Stock Photo

Hart described the inspiration behind the series, one that was first published as a comic book by Archie Comics, and later adapted into a series by Hart and her mother, Paula Hart.

After stumbling upon an Archie comic book on a playground, Hart’s mother tried to sell it as a series to ViacomCBS (Viacom at the time). Viacom bought the idea from Hart as a television movie at first, though after some persistence, and after cutting together a trailer, Viacom was on board to bring “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” into fruition as a series.

As for the perks of co-creating a series with her mother? “I never had an audition. It was my part. Created for me by my mother,” Hart noted.

Even though the character was made for her, Hart didn’t identify with Sabrina, who was a reserved and introverted teen.

“With Sabrina, I was definitely acting because I was definitely playing against my type. You know, I was — I was never the wallflower. I was always the one doing a dance performance in the middle of the room. Or, you know, and here's Sabrina, who just wants to be like, left alone and quiet,” Hart noted.

The popular sitcom featured various stars, including Britney Spears, 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, and while Hart said she was “always thrilled” when pop stars made appearances, her favorite episode didn't involve any particular star.

Melissa Joan Hart, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green and Lindsay Sloane in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"Alamy Stock Photo

“My favorite episode when we were filming it and still to this day, I think is probably the pancake episode. I think because it was probably my first time doing physical comedy, and I really loved it,” the actor remarked.

Setting aside her favorite episode and the pop stars she met while playing Sabrina, Hart described how the most rewarding part, which she “never took for granted,” was hearing just how many people tuned into the show to feel less alone.

“They allowed me in their home and I was there with them. A lot of people, I was there for the hard times. I was there when they were in the hospital. I was there when they were going through depression and felt alone,” Hart said.

Melissa Joan Hart addressing Nick Bakay, who did the voiceover for Salem the cat in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"Alamy Stock Photo

Hart, who spoke with TODAY to promote her upcoming Christmas movie, “Mistletoe in Montana,” a fictional take on her cousin’s real-life love story, opened up about how people identify with Sabrina, “because of bullying or because of feeling like an outsider.” She appreciates how “the show gives so many people hope somewhere to turn to where they don't feel alone and lonely.”

The sitcom might have only lasted for seven seasons, but the reward Hart has gotten from playing such a relatable character has lasted her decades.

“It's been decades of hearing, 'You know, I grew up with you,' I heard Daniel Radcliffe say it and I've heard like, all these people say, 'I grew up with you.' And you're like, what? ... It's the best compliment.”

Hart’s new movie is premiering on Lifetime on Dec. 17.