Melora Hardin says losing ‘Back to the Future’ role at 17 was ‘painful’

Melora Hardin says losing ‘Back to the Future’ role at 17 was ‘painful’

April 16, 2022

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Melora Hardin admits that it was devastating being axed from “Back to the Future” for simply being taller than the film’s star, Michael J. Fox.

Hardin was 17 when she was originally cast as Jennifer Parker in the classic ’80s film alongside Eric Stoltz, who was set to play Marty McFly. But when Stoltz was replaced with Fox, Hardin also got the boot.

“[It was] so very, very painful,” the 54-year-old actress tells Page Six. “There’s no doubt it was very painful.”

However, Hardin — who’s currently starring in the upcoming Hallmark film “Love, Classified” — says she was able to get over the disappointment because “I’d already had painful things happen, so I knew how to get through things.”

“The Office” star explains a few years prior to the “Back to The Future” casting, she was accepted to Joffrey Ballet’s summer scholarship program, but lost out on it the following year.

It wasn’t until years later that she found out the directive to fire her from “Back to The Future” came from two female executives who “felt that it emasculated their lead character to have a taller girlfriend.”

“I feel like it’s an interesting sign of the times that it was the female executives that felt like they had to be protecting the masculinity of their lead character that way,” Hardin adds.

Despite her setbacks, Hardin believes without them, her career would not have turned out to be as successful as it is.

“I wouldn’t have probably done ‘The Office,’” she says. “So I think that with perspective of age and time, you know, certainly in the moment, it looked like just a completely awful thing, but looking back on it, it’s probably good.”

As for her newest project, Hardin explains “Love, Classified” isn’t your typical Hallmark film.

“It’s a little different than Hallmark’s normal fare in the sense that this is really about a woman kind of reconnecting with her grown children,” she explains, adding, “And because my character’s a romance novelist, she sort of has a tendency to sort of spin love everywhere she goes while she’s healing her own heart.”

Hardin also just completed directing a documentary series called “Thunder, Hunter & Me,” which explores trauma and the power of female friendships to help heal that trauma.

“Love, Classified” premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m.

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