Melora Hardin’ Thunder, Hunter, and Me’ Documentary Highlighting ‘Women’s Voices’ is Searching for a Home [Exclusive]

Melora Hardin has a major upcoming project in the works near and dear to her heart, a documentary series, Thunder, Hunter, and Me. In a recent interviewThe Office alum described its origins to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. The four-part docuseries about healing childhood trauma and friendship is currently searching for a home for women’s voices.

Melora Hardin’s documentary has roots in an NBC show from 40 years ago

To understand the four-part documentary, Melora Hardin takes viewers back to 40 years ago when she starred as Cindy Prescott in Thunder on NBC.

“It is a story of healing and serendipity and women holding women up,” Hardin began. “I was on a series when I was 10 years old about a wild black stallion that came running out of the forest when I would whistle. I would climb on its bareback, and we would ride and save the day.”

Then Hardin’s story flashes forward to 40 years later. She directed a music video for Paula Cole for the 20th anniversary of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone.” Hardin asked her producer to find someone who lives in the town with a horse. The producer took Hardin to Hunter Austin’s home, and a beautiful friendship began.

“So, I walked through the door of this woman who had the horse, and she said, ‘Oh my God, you were on my favorite show when I was 10. You were on Thunder. You played Cindy Prescott. And I can’t even believe I wrote you a fan letter when I was 11. You wrote me back. I asked you how to get into the business. You told me, and I did over 105 commercials. I wanted to be the little girl with the horse like you. And now, I have 47 actor animals, all these beautiful animals.’

Hardin rewrote the version of the music video to include Austin’s location and animals. 

“We had an amazing working experience together,” Hardin added. “She was just wonderful to work with in every way.”

Melora Hardin asked a question she had never asked anyone 

As Hardin and Austin’s relationship grew, the Transparent actor discovered that her friend had never been on a date or kissed anyone. However, Austin told Hardin that she was ready to date. But, six weeks later, she asked Hardin some odd questions for a 50-year-old woman.

“‘How long is too long of a hug? What is spooning?'” Hardin recalls her friend asking. “And I’m thinking these are very young questions, and I try to grow the questions up. I can’t do it. And something about the conversation inspired me to ask a question I’ve never asked anyone in my whole life. ‘Is there any chance that you were raped?’ And she said, ‘Well, there was that time in the park when I was seven years old.'”

Cindy and Thunder came to the rescue

That’s when the story comes full circle. Hardin immediately jumped in to help in any way that she could, like Austin’s childhood heroine — Cindy Prescott.

“I was shocked,” Hardin recalled. “My heart started racing. I drove to her house immediately, picked her up, and I took her straight to a coach that I know that has specific and very personal experience with the subject matter. Then, I held her in my arms, shaking. I opened my world to her. And the story is it took 40 years, but Cindy and Thunder finally came to help.”

Melora Hardin’s documentary is about friendship and healing

Melora Hardin in a black dress with hands on her hips smiling
Melora Hardin | Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images/CDGA

Although the roots of the documentary come from childhood trauma, Melora Hardin explains that the story is about so much more than that.

“It’s a story of friendship,” she adds. “It’s a story of women — how much we need each other. And it is a picture of these two friends and how they ultimately turn this healing into a creative journey together. And I consider it to be an invitation for others to do their own healing because everybody’s had their own kind of trauma. It’s not a rape movie, it’s a movie about healing. It’s about what you need to do to move through and beyond these things that have you held in their grasp and have you frozen.”

‘Thunder, Hunter, and Me’ docuseries is still searching for a home

“It’s very beautiful, and we’re still looking for a home for it,” Hardin concluded. “It’s unique. I haven’t seen anything like it. I’m hoping that it’ll find the right place. Everyone in Hollywood is calling for more women’s voices, more women’s stories, more women-told-things. And this is uniquely feminine for sure. It’s a story about an all too common problem with the gender of being a woman. That’s been a very big part of my life for the last five years.”

According to Deadline, Revelations Entertainment acquired the four-part docuseries in January 2022. It’s currently searching for a streaming or network home.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

  • How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. 
  • How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.
  • How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.

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