Melora Hardin is changing workplaces this month. She’s going from NBC’s The Office to work as a magazine editor in 27 Dresses. But here’s the thing about that: Hollywood lies. See, we’re magazine editors. And, trust us, magazine editors don’t look anywhere near as good as Hardin does. Ignore our jealousy and turn the page to check out her stylish travel tips.
When Melora Hardin isn’t playing Jan Levinson on NBC’s The Office, she’s moonlighting as a singer (she has released two CDs), a dancer (she trained at New York’s Joffrey Ballet), and this month as a magazine editor — the role she plays in the movie 27 Dresses, which stars Katherine Heigl as a woman who has been a bridesmaid 27 times but never a bride. Hardin has been both. So we asked her about weddings of all kinds, including possible Office vows. By Allison Winn Scotch
Word of advice: Don’t go alone to Siena, Italy, the town Hardin thinks would make for the perfect wedding setting, or to Venice. “Siena is an amazing town that is lost in time, with cobblestoned streets and lovely little balconies,” Hardin says. “There is an incredible town square, where they have dangerous and crazy horse races every year, but at other times, the square just makes you feel like you are in a time gone by. You can take a train from Florence and spend the day [there] and then have your wedding-night celebration back in Florence. “Or do a weekend and have the ceremony in Siena on a narrow little cobblestoned street draped in flowers, spend the night, go to museums and eat in Florence, and then honeymoon in Venice, one of the most romantic places in the world. “I backpacked through Europe when I was 20, and I planned on spending three days in Venice. I had to leave after one day because Venice was so unbearably romantic and I was all alone.”
With a husband of 10 years and two kids, she’s not alone anymore. “My husband, Gildart [Jackson], and I have a long love story. We met over 20 years ago, then dated for six months, then broke up, and then were off and on for many years. We finally got married 10 years ago. When he said he wanted to marry me, well, he wanted to marry me right away. So we got married immediately and went on a one-day honeymoon. Then, three months later, we got married again in my mother’s old church in Pasadena. I wore my 90-year-old grandmother’s dress. She was in attendance. It was pretty amazing. But we have yet to go on a proper honeymoon.”
Her dress collection isn’t quite as impressive, or as horrible, as Katherine Heigl’s character’s in 27 Dresses. “I’ve been a bridesmaid three times and a maid of honor once. I had a fabulous dress when I was a maid of honor. The bride’s only requirements were that the dress be black and cocktail length. And, oh yes, I had a very horrible dress a while ago. I don’t want to make my friend feel bad, so I don’t want to say too much. It was just so … ’80s. Ugh.”
Her own wedding had an ugh moment, too, but it had nothing to do with the dresses. “For my bridesmaids, I tried to pick something simple and clean, so they wore this beautiful chocolate-brown velvet. I treated my bridesmaids well, except for one incident on the day of the actual wedding. We were coming back from the church to go to my parents’ house for the reception, and I was in an old Rolls-Royce with Gildart. My bridesmaids were supposed to be right behind me, but they completely disappeared. By the time they got there, I was in a complete dither — where were they? Had they died? Had they abandoned me? It turns out that they had just decided to stop and grab something to eat. They were so busy attending to me that they’d forgotten to eat lunch. But I completely freaked out on them and burst into tears because I was so worried and upset.”
And Kelly , that chatty Office mate, could do a lot of drinking. “There would definitely be a drunken Kelly — still fighting with Ryan! You know, I think it would be surprisingly genuine and would really show a full circle of where they’ve come. You’d have to see that they really do love each other. And have arrived at a better place.”