Danielle Harris (INTERVIEW)
Danielle Harris is everyone's favourite Scream Queen. She was a child actress who made her acting debut playing Jamie Lloyd in 'Halloween 4' and it's sequel Halloween 5. She then starred in many of the 90's most successful films including 'Marked For Death', 'Free Willy' and 'Last Boy Scout' and reignited her career several years later with Rob Zombie's reimagining of the 'Halloween' franchise. Appearing in many of the horror genre's greatest films of recent years including 'Stakeland' and 'Hatchet 2', Danielle will soon be appearing in 'Hatchet III' and taking the directors seat with her all star cast in 'Among Friends'. We managed to speak with Danielle on Halloween, her directorial debut with Among Friends and what the future holds for everyones favourite lady of horror...
Firstly, how do you like you status as the #1 scream queen of horror? I actually think it's pretty cool. After all, it definitely didn't hurt Jamie Lee Curtis!! How was it going back to the Halloween franchise that not only gave you a name as a young actress but also was your first foray into horror? It was kind of cool. I had had a rough few years transitioning into playing age appropriate roles because I look so young, so when the opportunity came up to play a highschooler but in the Halloween franchise again I really needed to think about it! I was concerned that fans might not accept me as a different character, but also thought that by doing partial nudity I would be able to break out of the child actor thing and be seen as a woman. Ironic how the same films that gave me a career rebooted it and gave me another shot 20 years later. I am forever grateful for the Halloween franchise!! Was it terrifying acting out the role of Jamie Lloyd as a young child? You have no fear as a child, so it was just fun!! Doing genre films as an adult are much harder and scarier for me because I know what could go wrong with one small mistake. When Rob (Zombie) took over the reimagining of the Halloween franchise, how did you rate your time on the set from when you did Halloween 4 & 5? I adore Rob and am a fan of all his films, so I couldn't wait to be directed by him. He is so giving and encourages you to go for it and bring yourself to the role which is pretty awesome. I unfortunately only spent about a week and a half on H1 and 3 weeks on H2, so I had to pass the torch on to Scout Taylor Compton!! And now your entering the directors seat with 'Among Friends' was that an easy decision?
It had been something I wanted to do for a while. I directed my first short film 'Prank' in 2007 and another short film for the back story of one of the characters in a film I did called 'Stakeland' in 2009. I had been reading scripts for over 3 years trying to find something that was female based and had a strong story and colourful characters without being cliché and typical. AF came really close to what I was looking for and with an all female producing/writing team I thought it would be great. With some re-writing and strong specific choices as far as style, the girls were supportive and trusted my vision so I signed on to it.
What can we expect from the film? Something a little different. All the elements that make a good genre film are there, but I turned it on its head a bit. Its fun and disturbing and sexy and unnerving all at the same time. Its a movie that I enjoy with my friends! Was it difficult to be taken seriously as a director? The only challenges I faced along the way were due to our tight schedule and very short pre production schedule. There was no time to write everything out of everyone and no time to explain something if an actor wasn't understanding why I wanted something said or done a certain way. Most scripts have a large amount of stage direction so when producers read and the creative side reads it it is all spelled out for them. I didn't have that time, so my cast and crew just had to trust me. Thank god I have some clout in the genre, so I didn't have to explain myself too much! How was it mixing friendship and work with the film, were there times when you had to tighten the buckle? Its hard to make movies with friends. Its hard to make movies period. It was a learning experience and one that I wouldn't have learned in film school for sure. There were positives and negatives to the experience, but overall the experience made me a better film maker and a better friend. Speaking up early on and not wearing too many hats were two things that I will make sure I change next time around! Do you have any plans to return to directing? I am on the hunt for my next project right now. I'm reading scripts and hoping to shoot something end of summer. I just spent a year and 8 months with AF, so I'm gonna take the next 6 months and get my ass back in the ageing game. I have to pay my bills right now! With your new film you not only direct but also star, was that an easy decision? I actually only have a cameo. I didn't want to take on more than I could chew my first time out of the gate. With a 10 day shoot and 7 lead cast in every scene, there was no way I could have been in front of the camera. Next film I direct I will have a supporting role, but still won't be the lead of a movie I direct. I might consider it if it weren't a genre film. Only time will tell! Not only have we got your own film to look forward to but as well, we can expect you to return in Hatchet 3. How was it returning to another successful horror franchise and what can we expect? I can't say anything!! I've been sworn to secrecy. Lets just say that this one will be bigger and badder than the other two combined!! Will the legend of Victor Crowley live on? UM…spoiler alert???? I'm not telling you!! OK, so how much blood will be spilt this time round? So much that all of New Orleans ran out from our movie!! You recently worked with Michael Biehn and Jennifer with the Victim, are you looking forward to working with them on The Farm? I can't wait. I adore them both and can't wait to work with Xavier Gens!! What keeps you coming back to the horror genre? The fans. I'm a little burnt out, but as long as I keep being able to choose different roles, then I'm not going anywhere! I also keep getting to work with my same group of friends over and over again, so that's pretty awesome.
What else can we expect from you in the future, do you have any other projects in the wings?
Hatchet 3, Ghost of Goodnight Lane, Shiver, Fatal Call, Hallows Eve, and dead.tv are all coming out in 2013, so lots of press for me!! Hopefully I'll land a series this year and get back on TV for a while! I'm giving it 6 months and them I'm gonna hop back in the directors seat one more time before I settle for a bit and start a family. After all, I may look 18 but I ain't getting any younger! The only screaming and crying I wanna do after this next year is when I'm in Labour! Now I just need to get married!
We're sure there will be many offers and thank you so much for talking to us
You can keep in touch and find out how Danielle will be with her future plans by following her on Twitter @halloweengal