Sabrina star Melissa Joan Hart reveals why she couldn't 'identify' with her signature role

Melissa Joan Hart struggled to "identify" with her role in 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch'.

The 48-year-old actress had just turned 20 when she took on the title role in the classic 1990s sitcom but admitted that had the character not been constantly put in kooky situations, she may not have "enjoyed" making it as much as she did because there was an age gap and her alter-ego was never after attention.

She told People: "I know fans felt so at home with Sabrina but not only was she younger than me, she didn't want attention.

"If she wasn't always in different costumes and kind of getting put in these weird situations where I got to be Cinderella or Alice Wonderland or a trapeze artist or in Cirque du Soleil or whatever I don't know if I would've enjoyed the experience as much as I did because I just didn't identify with her very well."

The former 'Melissa and Joey' star got her first taste of fame when she was given the title role in the sitcom 'Clarissa Explains It All' - which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 until 1994 - and admitted that there is more of a "blurred line" between herself and that role.

She said: "Being on Clarissa gave me that freedom to sort of figure out who I was while she's figuring out who she is. So it's really a blurred line between me and Clarissa — we were the exact same age."

Melissa - who has been married to Mark Wilkerson since 2003 and has Mason, 18, and 16-year-old Braden with him - grew up as the eldest of eight kids so always felt a "certain responsibility" to those younger than her, both before and after she found fame.

She said: "I'm the oldest of eight kids, so I've always felt a certain responsibility towards a younger generation of people looking up to you.

"And then being a mom is similar in a way to me and my relationship with my sisters and my brother. But I've always just sort of felt like we have a responsibility to take care of others."