Melora Hardin Guest Blogs for CafeMom

Michele Zipp

Melora Hardin

Melora with her mom and dad on the set of YOU

I am so excited to introduce Melora Hardin, who you probably recognize as Jan from The Office or Hannah Montana: The Movie or 17 Again. She's guest blogging here and wants to share a bit about herself and what it was like to make a movie with her whole family. The film is called YOU (released online on May 8th) and it's a must-see!

Hello everybody. I'm Melora Hardin and I am an actress, filmmaker, singer, wife, and mother -- although not necessarily in that order! My fabulous husband and I have two adorable girls, Rory who is 7 and Piper who is 4.

Two summers ago my husband and I took our family on a peculiar adventure -- we made a feature film! The WHOLE family. My husband wrote it, I directed it, we are both in it, our daughters are in it, my Mom and Dad are in it, our friends are in it, we shot most of it in our house, we paid for it, our friends helped, our friends let us shoot in their houses, our friends made their signature dishes and brought them over to feed the crew every day of the shoot! It was truly a spectacular and heart expanding adventure!

This coming together with our family and friends was an experience which I think we all -- and probably most especially our daughters -- will value for the rest of our lives.

The movie is not autobiographical but the characters resemble the characters of our family. Rory our eldest has a largish role and she is fantastic in the movie. She was 4 years old, almost 5, when we shot the film and at times it was difficult for her to want to be doing it. Now she is so proud of it when she sees herself on screen although next time she tells us she doesn't want to act she is going to 'write and direct it'! We are happy that she came away from the experience of making YOU desiring to be in charge next time.

My husband and I always wanted to make a movie together, in fact I remember being 14 and sitting at my parents dinner table and seeing my family -- Dad, Jerry Hardin, is a very recognizable character actor who you've seen in Reds, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Firm; and my Mom, Diane Hardin, is a highly successful acting teacher for young actors and has coached Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Biel, Kellie Martin, and recently Zac Efron on 17 Again -- and I thought; "One day I want to make something with all this talent."

It was such an honor to spearhead this film and help lead our family in this way. Though this wasn't the reason we did it.

I am so proud of the example our dedication, determination, and achievement has shown Rory and Piper. If you want to do something, DO IT!!! Make it happen. Don't wait around for others to tell you, you can. I hope they go on to be passionate about things in their lives and I hope, from this experience, they aren't afraid to throw themselves into something wholeheartedly just based upon their own resolve and determination even if others tell them they can't or shouldn't do it. There were numerous people who told me all the reasons why it was too hard to do it or why I shouldn't try and only a handful of people said, "Yes, go for it.  Give it your best shot."

Thanks for inviting me to visit CafeMom. I hope to come back again soon and I hope you all go after your dreams with vigor, passion, and a "can do" attitude.

Please check out my film, which we are releasing exclusively on the internet on May 8th just in time for Mother's Day at and please support our efforts, purchase or download the film from Amazon, i-Tunes and our site, and tell a friend or family member. Being in Hannah Montana: The Movie and 17 Again, I am sometimes overwhelmed at the big machines they have behind them as compared to our personal efforts to get YOU into the public consciousness.  

But, we hope to be the little engine that could and open this door wider for ourselves as well as other aspiring film makers.

Thanks So Much!



***Thank YOU Melora! Do you have any questions for Melora? Maybe if we ask her some, we can get her to guest blog again!

Also check out our 6 questions on motherhood with Melora here.

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