Melissa Joan Hart Talks ‘The Bad Guardian’ & How Film Explores the ‘Opposite’ of Britney Spears’ Conservatorship

Melissa Joan Hart plays a daughter on a mission to save her father in the new Lifetime movie The Bad Guardian, premiering May 18. Leigh, played by Hart, is shocked to learn her elderly father has been put under the control of a court-appointed guardian (La La Anthony) after a fall. In her TV Insider interview, Hart reveals she was stunned by what she learned about guardianships while filming the movie.

“The story just seemed unbelievable to me,” Hart tells TV Insider. “First of all, that this is happening all across our nation and that there’s this corruption within this guardianship. It’s a $2.9 billion business, so I was just fascinated to learn all this and to see how people would struggle with this.”

She adds, “Of course, we know the stories of Britney Spears and Wendy Williams that are going through these conservatorships or guardianships, but in their cases they’re high-profile women that are young and trying to get themselves out of it.”

This deep dive into guardianships was “all brand-new information” for Hart. “I was aware of the Britney Spears situation but that seemed very different,” she explains. “That was her own father coming in and putting her in a conservatorship, and then her trying to break out of that and the whole Free Britney thing. It was almost like the opposite of this story in a sense. That’s the only kind of understanding I had of a guardianship before the movie.”

In The Bad Guardian, Leigh and her family don’t have the money to “fight the big fight against the corruption that happens in a lot of these cases and how someone can move in and take over a family member and take over everything from their medical decisions to their bank accounts to their home, their property, everything. I really like the idea of shedding light on this and maybe helping people find some information to find a way out of it.”

Leigh’s fight for her father and exposing this bad guardianship reminded Hart of “Erin Brockovich about a small town woman trying to fight the system. That’s what I really loved about playing this character. Leigh was trying to navigate this big, crazy world that’s been going on for a while and nobody’s really cracked the case, so here she is trying to save her family.”

The Sabrina the Teenage Witch alum believes “there’s a place for guardianships” in certain situations. “There’s definitely people out there that need someone to advocate for them or make decisions for the,” or “they don’t have a family member that can help out,” Hart notes. “But anywhere there’s a lot of money, there’s power and greed and corruption. I feel like that’s the story we’re telling.”

The Bad Guardian, May 18, 8/7c, Lifetime

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