The actors, both 40, costarred together in the 1996 TV movie Sabrina the Teenage Witch, in which Hart played the titular character.
A precursor to the popular spinoff sitcom of the same name, the film cast Reynolds as bad-boy Seth — the object of Sabrina’s affections (until, of course, he tried to hook up with her in his car after the Spring Fling).
On-camera, their characters may have been destined to split. But off-camera, their chemistry couldn’t be denied.
“We were smitten and cute,” Hart told Australia’s Studio 10 talk show on Thursday. “He was adorable. He was a really nice guy.”
Filming the Archie comics adaptation at just 19 years old, Hart remembers a different Reynolds than the one Deadpool fans admire now.
“He wasn’t like, the Ryan Reynolds everybody knows these days,” she said, after a clip of the film played. “You can see in the clip the crazy hair. He was sweet — he was very sweet.”
Sadly, as Hart previously wrote in her 2013 book, Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life, the two weren’t meant to be.
“I had a boyfriend at the time,” she said. “[He] probably would have been a great boyfriend. And I didn’t end up with the other guy, so maybe I should have taken a chance!”
“I chased him down, got in front of his car and just kissed him and then made out with him all night,” she said, adding that the then 19-year-old Reynolds had given her a Bulova watch as a present earlier that day. “Then I had to call my boyfriend the next day and explain it.”
So why didn’t it work out?
“He came to New York to visit me,” Melissa said. “But I think he wanted something more but I decided I was going to stick with my boyfriend.”
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Of course, both are in happy relationships now.
Hart has been married to musician Mark Wilkerson since 2003, sharing three boys together — Tucker, 4, Braydon, 9, and Mason, 11. Reynolds has been married to actress Blake Lively since 2012. The couple have a 2-year-old daughter James and a newborn daughter, whose name hasn’t been released since she was born in September.
And while Hart and Reynolds share a semi-romantic past, they’ve remained friends — and Lively and Hart are even on good terms.
“She did know [about the kiss],” Hart told PEOPLE in 2014. “She reached out to me via email to help her with a birthday present for Ryan!”