Categorized | Interviews, Music

Rob Zombie’s Halloween: An Interview with Danielle Harris

halloween-danielleDanielle Harris, best known as little Jamie Lloyd from Halloweens 4 and 5 and Bruce Willis’s daughter in The Last Boy Scout, is all grown up. At 30 years old, she’s returning to the franchise that launched her career in writer-director Rob Zombie’s remake of the original Halloween as Annie Brackett (in theaters Aug. 31, 2007, via Dimension Films and MGM; She also has added her first music video to her resume, with a starring role in Five Finger Death Punch’s clip for their first single, “The Bleeding.” Live-Metal.net caught up with her during the annual Horrorfind Weekend in Hunt Valley, Md., to discuss the movie, the video and more.

Live-Metal: How was it like working for Rob Zombie?

Danielle Harris: Rob is really free to let you do whatever the hell you want to do, pretty much. He writes for people in our generation, and if it doesn’t work and he’s saying he doesn’t like it, he goes, “It;s not working, I don;t like it, just change it.” And you’re like, “Well, what do you want me say, Rob?” And he’s like, “I don’t know, what the fuck do you want to say?” It’s like, “Aren’t we rolling in a second? [laughs] Tell me what to say, you’re the writer.” So he’d pretty much let you make your own shit up as you go.

How did everything come up with you from being in the earlier Halloween films to being in the Halloween remake?

I had to audition for it because Rob did not want me in the movie. He didn’t want anybody from any of the other Halloweens in the movie. So I sort of fought my way in there and was like, “Just let me audition for it,” and put myself on tape, and “if he hates, then I won’t ever bring it up again, but maybe there’s a shot that I can get back in there.” So I auditioned for it like everybody else and then got the role.

Are you a fan of his music and his other movies?

Yeah, I love Devil’s Rejects and his music. He’s awesome. He’s the perfect person to bring it back, I think.

How does this remake compare to the earlier Halloween films?

It’s so different. This movie is so different.

How is it different?

For the first time, I think you feel like you’re inside this world and not watching a movie. I think you’re gonna be directly involved in what’s going on instead of on the outside looking in, which is cool because it will hopefully scare the shit out of you. It’s very disturbing. I mean, it’s not very gory. It leaves a lot of things to your imagination, which is like the original. It’s suspenseful. It’s stylized. It’?s cool. It’s not dated. We were like, “What year is it?” And he’s like, “Uh, ’70-’80-something, I don’t know.” He didn’t want it to be specific, so our clothes are kind of contemporary. The cars are a little bit older, but some of the cars are newer. So you don’t really have a grasp on what time it is, which is really cool. He knows his shit, you know?

What is it like being around Rob Zombie? Is there a line between his two careers? Is it separate?

I don’t really know how he is on the road on tour and stuff, but he’s a married man that’s directing huge studio films. So there’s definitely not party life on set. It’s fun and it’s a comfortable atmosphere, but it’s work. And he’s all about making the best movie he can possibly make. He knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure. He runs the show, and it’s a big show to run, big shoes to fill. I think he did a good job.

How did that play into things when you were making the movie? Were you thinking at all about those big shoes?

You know, I think that he’s the guy to do it. So I just trusted him, and the script was really great and I loved being a different character. It was so much fun to come back into the series as an adult. You know, I’m not a little kid running from Michael Myers anymore. I think it’s gonna be great. Everyone’s so freakin’ opinionated about it. Either you’re gonna love it or you’re gonna hate it. There’s gonna be no in-between. So, oh well. People that hate it will still go see it five times just to tell me how bad it is, so cha-ching for me. [laughs]

What was Sheri Moon like?

She’s great. She actually sent me a whole bunch of her Total Skull stuff. She called me and was like, “I don’t know if you would want to wear my stuff.” I was like, “Fuck yeah. Send it to me, girlfriend.” So she sent me a bunch of shit.

I saw you on either E! or VH1…

E!

on one of those things talking about the whole stalker thing.

Yeah. You know what, he’s gone, out of the picture. I haven’t heard from him in years, and I’d like to keep it that way. I did an autograph show in Texas a few weeks ago, and that’s where he’s from. I thought, “You know, I’m just gonna conquer this fear and go ahead and do it,” and he didn’t rear his head. I think it’s better off. He’s moved on, probably onto somebody else. It’s been quite a few years, so that’s good. Hopefully, this movie won’t bring up any other incidences.

Did the whole situation kind of help you conquer fears or was it just a really horrible time in your life?

Yeah, it was something I don’t want to go through and should never have had to go through in the beginning. I didn’t really have fear before, and I’m not really afraid now. You always think, “Oh god, what if he shows up at one of my conventions?”Well, I guarantee you there’s about 200 men here that would take him down faster than he could”

We’d take him down.

You know what I mean? I don’t think anything would ever happen.

Can you tell us about working on the Five Finger Death Punch video?

Yeah. I love those guys. I’d never done a music video before. I don’t necessarily listen to metal bands that often. I listen to mostly, like, ’80s love songs and shit. It’s totally cheesy. I just got to go see Chicago.

They’re still a group?

Yeah. Peter Cetera’s not there anymore. It’s like Journey. The lead singer’s not there, but I still went and saw them with REO Speedwagon and Styx, so to give you an idea of the kind of music that I like. But I wouldn’t want to be in one of their videos ’cause it probably would be cheesy. So when my friend Brad [Bradley Scott], who directed it, called me and said, “So would you want to do this music video? I pitched you to the guys.” I’m like, “What kind of music video?” ’cause I’d never done a music video before. It’s like the one thing that I’d never done in my career and never even really thought about it. And he goes, “Oh, it’s for a metal band.” And I went, “Really? What is it?” He’s like, “They’re called Five Finger Death Punch.” And I’m like, “Sign me up, that sounds awesome.”

So I get to have a fight. He [Five Finger Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody] threw the beer bottle, but we were, like, acting. He’s like, “Oh, I get really loud and I scream and yell, so I don’t want you to be afraid.” I’m like, “Don’t worry about it. I can scream just as loud. You’re fine.” We got all into it, and all the guys were like, “Oh my god, oh my god,” and there was all this shit going on. And then he threw a beer bottle at me, like in the moment, like chucked a beer bottle at me and it smashed on the wall behind me. I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, dude!” That could be the end of my career right there, in my video that I did for free, if it smashed me in the face and busted my face open. Usually when that shit happens, it’s breakaway glass, not a real glass bottle.

And then I stripped for him, and then I killed myself. So it was fun. My manager saw it. I sent it to her, and she’s like, “Goddammit, can’t you do anything light?”It’s like, “No, dude, that’s not my style.” So it was good. I liked it.

How were the acting skills of the guys in the band?

You know what, they’re great. They got so involved, they didn’t know they were acting. They were so like, “Oh my god.” They didn’t know what was going on. One of them, I don’t remember which one, got their leg smashed. Ivan got, I think I pushed him off the chair really hard and he wasn’t expecting it, so he fell backwards and cut his leg. He’s like, “Girl, you’re strong.” So they were cool. I want to see them when they come to L.A. I’ve gotta call them and see them.

They were outside of D.C. a couple weeks ago when I saw them. I asked them about the video and right away, Ivan was like, “Danielle Harris from Halloween is in it.” They all had a great time working with you.

He’s great, yeah. They were so nice. They were like, “I can’t believe you did this” and “Oh my god, it was so cool. You made it worthwhile.” And I was like, “Dude, I had a fuckin’ great time.” It was so cool.

Would you be interested in doing something like that again?

Yeah, absolutely. I love music videos. They’re fun. I get to be a badass. [laughs] Yeah, put a little blip on your site saying Danielle wants to do more metal videos, California metal videos. Call her up. She’ll do them.

The movie hasn’t been released yet, but do you think it’s capable of propelling your career? Do you have any projects lined up after this?

I do. I’ve already done another film, and I actually just got an offer to do another Dimension movie, based on this movie. The last two things I’ve done were offers, and I have never gotten offers before. And the movie hasn’t even come out yet. I think there’s a couple things. This is the first time that I’ve done a studio film as an adult, really, and I think the work that I was given to do was really good stuff. I think, also, because I take my top off, I’m not gonna be considered a little girl anymore, which is hell. [laughs]

You take your top off?

I do, yeah. Which is something that I wanted to do because everyone’s like, “Oh, she’s little Jamie. She’s 14.” And it’s like, no, actually, I’m 30. It’s something that I’ve never done before. It’s a different kind of role, so I think it’ll do something. I don’t know. It’s a studio film and it’s Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, we’ll win the weekend. If we can get the No. 1 spot, I think it will do good for all of us.

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