Danielle Harris Talks ‘Halloween II’, ‘Fear Clinic’ and HorrorGal.com

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Danielle Harris’ career in television and film has spanned an amazing twenty two years. Not too shabby for a thirty two year old actress who idolized Brooke Shields as a young girl. Danielle is most easily recognizable as Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4’ and ‘Halloween 5’ and more recently as Annie Brackett in Rob Zombie’s re-imagining of John Carpenter’s classic film, ‘Halloween’. While she may be an icon in the world of horror, she is also an accomplished voice over actress and aspiring director. Armed with a great personality and stunning looks, Danielle has recently set her sights on a new venture. What is that venture you ask? It’s HorrorGal.com and it will be making it’s way to the web just in time for Halloween. Steve Johnson of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Danielle to discuss her career as a child star, her love of the horror genre and it’s fans, her upcoming book and of course her experiences on the sets of ‘Fear Clinic’ and ‘Halloween II’. Stay tuned for the Barbara Walters of the horror genre. Confused? I guess you will have to read on then…

Where did you grow up?

I was born in New York. I lived there until I was two. I moved to Florida from two to seven. Back to New York from seven to just about thirteen. Then California from thirteen to thirty two. I’ve kind of been all over the place.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in film?

That’s a tricky question. As a kid, I just wanted to be on TV. I really liked it and it was really fun for me. I got to get out of school. I got to hang out with a bunch of adults. I got to stay up really late. That kind of stuff. When I was seven, it was kind of my break into TV and film. I was on a soap opera and all that jazz. I think when I really was like, “this is what I wanna do with my life,” I was probably thirteen or fourteen. I was like, “wow, this is what I want to be when I grow up. I really want to keep doing this.”

Did you have any influences, be it other actors or otherwise?

I used to have this saying when I was a little girl, when I used to do beauty pageants. I always used to say, “I want to be bigger and better than Brooke Shields.” I just loved her. I grew up watching ‘The Blue Lagoon’ and ‘The Honeymooners.’ Audrey Meadows and Brooke Shields were my idols. I loved Debra Winger and ‘Terms of Endearment.’ Those were my three influences.

You were a child star and we all have heard countless stories of child stars going bad. How did you turn out so “normal?”

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Normal? It depends on what you consider normal. [laughs] I was this child star in this crazy adult horror genre, which not many kids really have that. It was kind of this weird little thing. It’s different because I would go out and I was drinking when I was much too young. I was doing things that you were not supposed to do, which everybody does. No one waits until they are twenty one to have a drink. I was partying and hanging out with my friends and doing all of the stuff college kids do, but we weren’t in college. We were working actors. All of my friends were other working actors. Our college days were spent with each other on other people’s sets, or going and visiting them on location when they were shooting movies, or hanging out at everyone’s home because they were eighteen. Most of my friends were just buying their first home. By the time I turned twenty one, I was so over partying and going out. When I was legally allowed to do it, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I think there was no chance for me to ever get in trouble because I was over it. Even now, going out last night. My boyfriend’s in a band. It’s this great band called Analog Smith. They were playing at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills. They were going on at ten and we were driving over there at nine and I was yawning. I was like, “god, this is so lame. I used to be so cool.” What happened to that girl when I was fifteen?” First of all, “A,” the paparazzi didn’t really exist. Whatever was going on, people really weren’t chasing you everywhere. So you really didn’t see it. The fans and the general public didn’t have privy into everyone’s life as they do now. Unfortunately, these poor kids can’t even grow up without having everything video taped. So it’s all that stuff. I had a good group of friends, and I was anti-drugs, and stayed away from anyone that really partied. I just sort of hung out with my little group.

You’ve had roles in motion pictures and on television series. Which format do you prefer?

What I love about movies is that there’s nothing like making a movie. There really isn’t. Going to the theater, and seeing it in a theater, and the whole process, and being on location. Weather it is a million dollar budget movie or a hundred million dollar budget movie. I have done both. I think that it’s an amazing experience. The family that you create in a short period of time and everyone’s there because they love what they do. So that’s really fun. I love making movies, but there’s something really nice about a TV show. The consistency. The steady work, which is something that most actors don’t have any idea of. Being able to know that I have eight months of a job. I get to play this character with the same people that I love and I’m going to have a job for eight months. If you’re not on a TV show, that’s unheard of. Even if I do big movies, sometimes there’s been a two year gap in between. Sometimes there’s been a month. Sometimes there’s eight months. You just never know when the next job is coming and right after one movie is done, you have to start all over again. That’s the only bad part. A girlfriend of mine was on a show called ‘Women’s Murder Club’ for ABC. The show ran for a season and then it got canceled. After that, they put her on a show called ‘Defying Gravity,’ another ABC show. You build those relationships with the networks and then it’s a little bit easier to go from one to the other. With movies, unless you become a movie star, it’s right back to the auditions, which is kind of frustrating.

You have done a lot of voice over work for numerous animated series and films. Is that something you enjoy?

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That’s the best job in the world. Voice overs are the best job in the world. I actually just auditioned for one today. “A,” it great to be able to fit with kids. I love saying to kids, “do you ever watch ‘The Wild Thornberry’s?'” They’re like, “yeah!” I’ll say, “do you know Debbie Thornberry? What do you think of her?” They’re like, “she’s mean!” I’ll say, “close your eyes, I want you to hear something.” I’ll have them close their eyes and I’ll do my Debbie Thornberry voice. When they open up their eyes, the smile on their face is so awesome. Doing as many horror movies as I do, I don’t really have that. I’ve got the kids stuff and the horror stuff. Mostly it’s the horror stuff the kids can’t see, so it’s something that I really enjoy doing. It takes about an hour to do an episode. You can go in your pajamas. Once a week if you’re on a series. I did the series for like six years I think. You just get to go in, and play, and be a goofball. I did this series for NBC and Dreamworks called ‘Father of the Pride’ with Carl Reiner, John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, and myself. Not only was I the voice of a lion, what’s cool about Dreamworks is that when you’re recording in the studio, they setup all of these mini cameras so they record your mannerisms. I didn’t really realize they were doing it. They send it to the animators. So basically I am watching this TV show and I’m a white lion, but the thing looks like me. My eyes, the way my eyebrows move, the way my hands move, my mannerisms. This lion completely resembles the way I, Danielle, function. It’s so weird and so cool at the same time. That’s awesome. On my vision board I’ve got, “I want to be on another animated series.” That’s just the best.

Are there any challenges to that type of work?

The only challenge is if you don’t allow yourself have fun. Aside from the lion, I would do all of these other crazy animal characters. You just really have to let yourself go. You cannot be inhibited. You never know what it’s going to sound like when it comes out of your mouth, when you’re trying other voices. You don’t really practice it, so you go in the room and you never know what it’s going to sound like. It always sounds different. It’s really cool. It’s an awesome job.

danielleharris-1You have become closely associated with the horror genre. Do you feel like you want continue to stay in the realm of horror or would you like to look for more roles outside of the genre?

I am always looking for great roles regardless of the genre. It’s a little bit easier for me to work in the horror genre because I already have a name established, and I love it, and I have fans that love seeing it as well. It’s like the one thing that I know more than anything else. I know the horror genre. It’s fun for me, and it’s cool, and I get to work with the same people all of the time. It’s a whole little world within itself. The fans are incredibly loyal, which I love. The competition is slim. Yeah, I would loved to have done ‘Juno.’ I would have loved to do ‘(500) Days of Summer,’ which is a great movie. I would love to do independent movies, but they just don’t come my way because I am not a movie star in that world and I’m not on a TV show. There’s a whole list of girls they’ll go to before they go to me. In the horror genre, there’s not a lot of girls on the list and I’m usually in the top three, which is something that I love. I didn’t choose this, it chose me. I’m really happy with it. I’m tired of kind of fighting it. For years I kind of fought it and wanted to do other things. I was like, “I want to be seen as something else. I can do other things. It’s not only horror movies that I can do.” It kept coming back, so I just surrendered to it. There’s a quote that I live by, “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plan.” I am not choosing my destiny, it is totally choosing me. I am happy with it.

Most people associate you with Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4’ and ‘Halloween 5.’ Did you have any input into the development of the character or was it laid out for you in the script?

No. I was ten. It was as basic as you can get. The script was written and there was an audition for it. A bunch of girls went in. I was in New York City. I went in and I read for the casting director Deedee Bradley. She brought me back to meet with the director and it was me and Melissa Joan Hart for the role. You know, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’ It was down to the two of us. She could have been Jamie Lloyd. [laughs] At that age they just want to make sure that you’re a good kid, and you’re not going to be a brat, and that you can take direction. They wanted to hear me scream and wanted to see if I could cry. That is what got me the job. That was it. I had never been in a movie before, it was my first movie. I ended up being flown to Utah and I’m the star of this movie at ten years old. I never would have expected it to be what it is. Twenty two years later, I never would have thought that we would still be talking about it. It’s kind of nuts to me, but it’s pretty awesome.

You have worked with Rob Zombie on two ‘Halloween’ films now. What has it been like working with Rob and what have you learned from him?

Rob’s an asshole! No, I’m just kidding! Rob’s awesome! [laughs] Rob is great. Rob is the fan of all fans. Who better to direct a movie like this than the fan that is going to give you what you want. He’s someone that really is excited to be a part of it, and let’s you play, and let’s you do your own thing. He hardly ever yells cut. He lets you change stuff. If you were to read the script and then see the movies, they’re completely different. He gives his actors carte blanche and there’s that trust. He knows that we’re going to do the best that we can do with what the situation is. I trust that he’s going to guide me in the right direction and stop me from doing things that aren’t working. It’s a dance. It’s a really awesome dance. He’s just great. He knows his shit, he really does. He really knows what he wants and he’s incredibly creative and very smart. I trust him. It’s really nice to work with someone like him and I can’t wait to do it again. I would like to do it not in a horror movie. That would be really cool. A romantic comedy would be awesome.

A romantic comedy by Rob Zombie? That would be interesting.

Yeah, totally. If you look at all his stories, he really writes for women. All the people in his movies, they’re really strong female characters. He’s got a great relationship with his wife and he’s all about the relationships. The blood and the killing and all of that stuff kind of comes after. It’s really about the characters. He took Halloween… He took Michael Meyers who was what they used to call the Shape because he didn’t really have a personality… There was nothing to him. He created a person out of the Shape. He created a personality, a back story, and emotions. You’ll see it even more in Halloween II. This thing now has something to relate to. There’s pain, suffering, anger, and mental instability. There are all of these things that make up Michael Meyers that Rob Zombie has created. Thirty years, no one did it. Rob came in and gave him life.

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What was the biggest challenge while working on Halloween II?

For me, I always want to work more. In the 2007 Halloween, I was like, “awww, I only get to work three weeks. I really want to work more.” It’s like I want to do so much more. I’m like, “I want to do this, I want to do that.” It’s Halloween. That’s like coming home almost for me. I’m so used to being on set with Michael Meyers, and being in every scene, and working every day, and now I have to sort of pass the torch onto Scout, which is awesome. She is like my sister, so I have no problem doing it. Obviously I could never have done the Laurie character because I am a lot older than her. I wanted to be a part of it every single day. My character didn’t allot for that, so I came and did my job and then it’s like, “ok, bye guys, have fun!” I think that was kind of it. Also worrying about whether or not fans would buy me as somebody else. I didn’t know if people would be ok with having me now become another person. Now after four, I’ve done just as many, if not more than any other character in the ‘Halloween’ series. I’m the only one that has been able to come back as another character. I don’t think that’s really been done very often. I could have made a cameo, but that would have been weird. Originally, nobody wanted me to do the movie. Rob didn’t want me to do the movie. He didn’t want anybody from any of the other ‘Halloween’ movies. I had to audition for it. It was really weird going in, reading, and getting sized for ‘Halloween’ and having to go in and go on tape, and audition for Halloween when that was sort of who I had identified myself with. It was kind of crazy how my career did a little bit of a one eighty there.

Do you have any interesting stories from the set of ‘Halloween II’?

Hummmm…, gosh. Let’s see. There’s so much. [laughs] What do I talk about? I can’t really say too much because I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t say I’m doing this thing. Let me think, let me think. I am going to have to come back to that one.

Some of the cast has been together for two movies now. How is the relationship between you guys?

It’s like family. It’s a real thrill to come back for sequels. The first night we were there, there was a hurricane watch. We were shooting in Georgia and staying in a hotel going, “oh my god, I have no idea what to do right now.” Brad had got there and Brad came and knocked on Scout’s door and said, “I don’t have a car, can I borrow your keys?” He was freaked out and wanted to get out of there because it was right in our path. So here we are, we’re all co-mingling going, “I don’t know what do to” and “oh my god it’s hailing outside, and there’s lightning, and the whole hotel is shaking, and it’s pitch black out, and we’re sitting in our room at the Holiday Inn Express.” Whoever said show business was glamorous has never worked in show business. In a tiny little town. You’ve got a bunch of Californians going, “oh my god! Hurricane what? Do I get in the bathtub? What do I do? I don’t know what to do?” I am sure you can tell me being on the east coast. It’s definitely something new. And getting calls two hours before you’re supposed to be up for your call time, asking you to come downstairs and come to set because Rob has decided that he wanted to write something else. You’re like, “ok, what is he writing?” You get to set and they tell you, “he’ll tell you when he gets here.” When you get there, he comes in the trailer and says, “ok, I have an idea.” I always feel like his scripts are blueprints and then after he sees what we do as actors and after he sees sort of what our relationships are, then he starts writing while we’re shooting. He comes up with stuff. That’s what makes the movie. I’ve been online before and fans are like, “oh, I’ve got a script. I’ve read this…” It’s like, you can read the entire script and then when you see the movie it’s going to be completely different.

You are starring in a web miniseries ‘Fear Clinic.’ What can you tell us about that project and your role in it?

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It’s so cool. Robert Englund and Kane Hodder are both involved as well. It’s two people that I have always wanted to work with. They are buddies of mine from the convention circuit and the horror world. Again, it’s back to that question you asked me earlier. What do I like better, TV or film? This is sort of film-esque, but steady work. So I get to do these little mini-movies in my world that I know and love. I don’t really know any other TV shows like this that exist anymore. There used to be ‘Tales From the Crypt’ and ‘Twilight Zone’ and all of those, but those aren’t around anymore. I get to still do what I love to do for people that know me, in my world that I am very comfortable in, with friends. We’ve done five episodes now and this could very well be something that I get to do for the next five to ten years. Every single episode is basically a different phobia. The plot of the story is there’s Dr. Andover, who Robert Englund plays. I play Susan. I am the resident patient at the hospital. The hospital is a phobia clinic that is to cure people that have extreme phobias. Robert’s character, Dr. Andover, uses experimental drugs and he has a very unorthodox way of treating his patients that seems to work for everyone but me. My parents are gone, so there’s sort of this protagonist/antagonist relationship, this love/hate, father/daughter sort of thing between he and I. He’s become obsessed with curing me, which he can’t. I am scotophobic and scotophobia is a fear of the dark. It’s not the dark that I am afraid of, it’s what’s in the dark. Inside the dark are where my fears manifest and my fears keep changing as I am growing as a person. It’s never a fear of bugs or a fear of claustrophobia. My phobia is to Dr. Andover, completely incurable and it’s making him crazy. It takes place in Mexico. You have Kane Hodder’s character. They prep their whole back story. It’s very fun. FEARnet is a great, great outlet for it. Our director Robert Hall is badass. He’s got an amazing special effects company. It’s called Almost Human. He did ‘Buffy’ for a million years. He’s done huge, huge movies.

Just knowing that FEARnet was involved, it’s sort of something consistent. I get to work with these people every day, hopefully, which would be a dream for me. Watching Robert Hall’s other movies, ‘Laid to Rest’ and ‘Lightning Bug’ and seeing what he could do with the effects, it was like, “oh my god! This is so cool” It’s got great actors, great writing, and cool characters. There is the possibility of years of something consistent, which is great. This is my job? This is a gravy job. I think it’s changing. I’m not a big web series person. I don’t know if you’ve seen the trailer online or not, but it looks unbelievable. This is something that I think is going to just raise the bar for what people think about web series. This is sort of reinventing what everyone thought of. We’re raising the stakes a little bit. I’m really excited. It’s a labor of love. None of us are working for money, that’s for sure. It’s definitely something that we all just really wanted to be a part of.

What can you tell us about your upcoming website HorrorGal.com?

We have a October 31st launch date. Of course! I’m just working really, really hard. I just got tired of feeling like there was nothing for the fans. I spend a lot of time on myspace, a lot of time twittering, a lot of time putting videos on You Tube, a lot of time traveling to conventions, and talking and hanging out. It felt like all of the sites that I’ve seen didn’t… They are a bunch of great people, but a lot of it is text. A lot of it is just written articles and people stealing from other sites. Basically magazines online. It didn’t feel like there was anything interactive. It goes back to why I want to direct stuff. I have been working in the genre and this business for a really long time and I’ve got some great friends that people would really like to know some really cool stuff about. I think within the last two years, doing a ton of interviews online, over the phone, and on camera, I kept feeling like I was getting asked the same questions over and over again. I feel like the fans just want to relate to someone. I think that’s why TMZ is so popular. I read US Weekly and People. There’s a section of magazines where it’s like, “look, stars are just like us. They go get coffee. They fill up their tank with gas. They shop at the supermarket.” I read that stuff and I kind of want to know. I’m like, “oh, that’s cool. They’re buying Diet Coke. I buy Diet Coke.” I’m someone that’s fallen into that trap. I thought there’s nothing like this in the horror genre. There’s nothing like this for them. I want to know what they want to see. So I started doing my research and I thought I could do some really cool interactive stuff. Economies change, people can’t spend two thousand dollars and fly to wherever to go pay for a convention, and put themselves in a hotel, and pay twenty dollars for an autograph, and do all this stuff. They just can’t do it. So how do they gain access to their favorite celebrity? I was like, “you know what, I am going to give that to them. I am going to do all of these cool things that people can’t do.” It may be sixteen year old kids that I get emails from all of the time on my pages saying, “I love you. You’re my favorite and you inspire me. I’m your biggest fan. I can’t wait until I am old enough, and have a job, and can come out and meet you. That would be my dream.” I thought, “wow! What if I have a cool contest?” There are so many people out there that are incredibly creative that never get their work seen. What if I have a contest? Put together a short film, your horror film. The world will see it. The fans will rate it. Then whoever wins, maybe I’ll do a skype. Maybe I’ll sit down and they can meet me and we can skype for a half an hour. That will be their prize. Then I’ll send them something autographed. There’s a way to build those relationships and be a part of their life that’s not just reading about them. I just wanted to give that. I thought that was such a cool idea. I just didn’t see anyone really doing that. I love my fans. I think it’s super cool.

danielleharris-3I don’t know if you have seen, I started doing the random questions section that I’ve put up on my myspace. I’m just sort of grabbing it and starting to get a huge library of my friends basically. I did it with Rob Zombie the other day. I popped it up on myspace the night before last. I really want to know those questions. I don’t care about… No offense, but everybody wants to know what it was like to work with Rob Zombie. It’s like, “he’s great, he’s cool, blah, blah, blah.” I want to know more about Rob Zombie. I want to know what he eats for breakfast. I want to know how many animals he has. Rob has a pug. He has a black pug. I was like, “oh my god! You have a pug?” That something I would never think Rob would have. This little, black, fat, old dog. I was like, “oh my god! Your dog is awesome! What’s your dog’s name?” His name is Dracula. I was like, “that’s the coolest!” It’s those things that I think people want to know. They want to know the real shit. They don’t want to know the shit that they keep reading about. I just want to give them something more. It’s going to be forever changing. Like a day in the life. I want to video tape myself going to premieres, and bring the fans along, and stream it live. I want to have podcasts. I want to bring my cameras on the set where no one else has access to. I want to do interviews that no one else can get. I want to be the Barbara Walters of this genre. It doesn’t exist. People like us don’t get asked those questions. If we do end up on Entertainment Tonight or 20/20, it’s usually a two minute blurb about how ‘Halloween’ is coming out this weekend, blah, blah, blah. We don’t really see that. It’s like this little world outside of the rest of the world. I don’t know? I just wanted to do something different.

I just saw the Rob Zombie interview on your myspace page.

It’s cool isn’t it? It’s stuff that no one really asks. I think that if I didn’t have a relationship with these people, it would be hard for me to come in and ask them some personal questions. I may get deep with some people that I know really well. I may ask them really personal stuff that they’ll feel comfortable talking to me about, that they may not feel comfortable talking to someone that they’ve never met before that they’re having a phone conversation with. I’m going to explore a whole bunch of different things. I am also fascinated by what my friends think. Quentin Tarantino is a good friend of mine. Eli Roth is another good friend of mine. We sit around and shoot the shit about movies. Quentin has turned me on to so many movies. He can talk about movies for days, obviously. He’s a big movie buff. Fans want to know what they would recommend. I just went and saw ‘Funny People’ the other day. I thought it was good, but it was really long and I didn’t know that it wasn’t a comedy. I think fans want to know from their favorite celebrity what they thought of something. It’s like why actors are now the faces of Maybelline and why they are doing Louis Vuitton campaigns. People want what they have. They want to buy what they have. They want to listen to their favorite celebrity versus some person they don’t know, a person they don’t have a connection with, someone that’s writing a review about something. If I get online and say, “oh my god, this movie was dope. You guys have to check it out,” they’ll probably go see it a little bit quicker, especially if it is in our world. Myself , as well as all of my friends are very opinionated because this is what we do for a living. I want to do a review. I want to do it on camera. My site is really geared towards a lot of video content. I’m not a writer. I don’t have any writers working for my site. It is one hundred percent me, with my video camera, and all of my friends. Whatever I can do to make this the coolest thing… It’s completely run by me. I am a one woman show right now. When it gets up and running, then I can have people coming in. If they want to know who’s doing what movie, they can go read Fangoria, they can go read Shock Till You Drop, they can go read Dread Central. They’ve got that base covered. I want to give them something else.

I am going to call your bluff. You were talking about wanting to get personal. What is a question you haven’t been asked in an interview?

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Oh my god. [laughs] I can give you the top ten things that I always get asked and everything else are things that I haven’t been asked. [laughs] No one ever gets personal with me. I am writing a book right now. My writer is a fan. Anytime anybody really sits down with me and has a conversation with me, they are like, “oh my god! I had no idea that this was like this, or that you thought like that, or that this was your childhood.” No one ever has any idea idea. I get asked all of the same stuff. I get asked was I scared growing up. How did I get started? Why do I like doing horror movies so much? What was Donald Pleasence like? What was Rob Zombie like? How tall am I? That’s usually one that’s in person. What did my mom think about me doing these movies? I get it. People do want to know. My stalker comes up every once in a while. Is that still an issue and what that was like? It’s kind of the norm, but what else do you talk about when you don’t know someone. That’s why by me knowing these people, I can ask them stuff that no one else really knows to ask.

What’s the biggest misconception about yourself?

Let’s see. I read my IMDB board, which I probably shouldn’t. I do so I know what people are talking about. For every not so nice fan I’ve got five hundred amazing fans that will go to battle for me any day. One of the things that always comes up that kind of upsets me is people are always like, “isn’t Danielle Harris tired of riding ‘Halloween’s’ coat tails? Can’t she do something else?” Of course I can. I’ve done more movies that are not horror. I’ve done more stuff that’s not in the horror genre than I have that’s in the horror genre. I can count on two hands how many horror projects I have done. I’ve been a working actor for twenty five years. It’s just so happens that this is the stuff that comes to me. I like to work. I keep living, so they keep coming back with ‘Halloween’ sequels. It’s not like I’m begging anyone for a role in ‘Halloween.’ They’re coming to me. They didn’t for Rob’s, but I wanted to work with Rob and I wanted to be a part of it. Not because I needed the money. Not because I needed to work. I work all the time. It’s genuinely what I like to do. I like this world. People are like, “oh, she’s just got to pay the bills or all of that.” There’s a movie I am probably going to get ready to do. It’s a five hundred thousand dollar budget movie. I was just actually talking about it. I’m getting paid nine hundred dollars a week. I don’t sell out in other words. I’m doing the movie because I think it’s a really great script and I would like to work with the actors that are attached. These guys made another movie two years ago that they did for five hundred thousand dollars that I just watched. I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a vampire movie. It’s not a slasher film. That’s something that I have not done yet. I would be pregnant and I would be shooting guns. These are all things that I think about when I’m reading a script. I’m like, “that’s badass! I get to be badass!” I think a role like that would be really fun. I think I want to go do that. So what that it will probably cost me money to go and do it, but it’s not about that for me. I just really like what I do.

You mentioned your book. Can you give us any information about that?

We’re just in the beginning stages right now. We’ve got a title. We kind of started thinking about it over the last couple of days. I’m not going to say what it is yet because it’s not definitely it. I think our goal is to have it out available in paperback probably by Comic-Con 2010, maybe 2011. It’s a big process. We probably have another six to nine months of writing to do before it’s done, then the publishing company will probably take a good six months to get it out. So it’s going to be a minute. It’s to sort of let everybody in on who I am, and what I have been through in my life, and my views and opinions of being a child actor. Like you asked me the same thing about how did I not end up like all of these other kids and my opinions on why they ended up the way they did. I’ve grown up with everybody in the business, so my story is about them and what it’s like to work, as well as a lot of my family stuff, which nobody knows. Really personal stuff. The story is geared towards women. This is a journey. This is someone that’s been through a lot in her life. I’m thirty two, but I’ve been through enough for five thirty two year olds. These are things that nobody knows. I really feel it’s time to shed the Jamie Lloyd child star persona and really let people know who I am and what I am about. I think it’s just kind of about that time.

danielleharris_interviewWhat can you tell us about ‘Prank?’

‘Prank’ started off as a really great idea. The producers said we’re doing an anthology and we know you want to direct and here’s a great opportunity and we would love for you to do this. I made a whole whopping one hundred dollars. Ellie Cornell is going to be doing one and Heather Langenkamp. They’re both my friends. I thought, “oh my god, that’s awesome!” It was chance to work with the Red camera that Sony makes. I’ve wanted to do that for a little while and sort of delve into the directing world. I thought that was the next step for me. I still think that’s probably a big possibility. I am looking to option horror scripts right now because I want to hire all my friends. I want to make it a big party basically. There’s tons of actors that are friends of mine that I’ve never gotten a chance to work with that I’ve always wanted to work with. So I can’t wait to be able to do that. We shot it over five days. I was able to hire some of my friends in the cast that I think are really talented. After we finished ours and it was edited, mixed, color corrected, and scored, they were supposed to start the other two, but they had a bit of an issue with financing. Everything was put on hold. The budget for the other two movies. I don’t really know exactly where they stand now. I keep saying, “hey, let’s just release it. I think ‘Prank’ is pretty good.” ‘Prank’ is just the name of the anthology and then each story is different. My particular ‘Prank’ is called ‘Madison’ because that’s the main character’s name in the movie. I thought, “let’s just do it!” I’ll probably put it out. I’ve been trying to sort of leak it so everyone can see it. I think that they would really like it. I think it really works best as an anthology because there is a through story. Just kind of by itself you’re like, “oh, that was good!” It’s better when the three of them are together. So everything went on hold. They haven’t even shot the other two. I know that they were shopping it around for a TV series. They were shopping it to do three ‘Pranks,’ so there would be nine female genre actresses that are now directing for the first time. That’s sort of the catch, that it’s first time directors that are famous genre actresses. They’re all women based stories. There are really no female directors in this genre. I don’t know of any. What got me excited about doing it was I really kept feeling like I was working on these low budget indie horror films that I thought would be really fun. There were a couple that ended up not being fun. It was mostly one in particular. I won’t say which one it was. It was mostly because I felt like the director just didn’t know what he was doing. The producers didn’t know what they were doing. I kept feeling like I am getting all of these movies, I’m getting hired for all of these two, three, five, six million dollar budget movies, and they’re coming up and asking me what they should do. I am watching them block the stuff, and cut the stuff, and set the stuff, and do all the stuff on set. I am like, “what are you guys doing? Let me help you.” I was able to sort of make those changes with them, which they loved. They’re like, “oh cool! You’ve done a lot of these! Please tell me any suggestions. I am all ears!” I thought, “god, why am I doing this? Why am I waiting for someone else to hire me when I can just do this myself? Why aren’t I directing?” I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve worked with some pretty amazing people. So I started directing theater. That was sort of what got me into it. I’ve always been sort of an actor’s director and I love other actor’s directors. I was like, “this is something that I really, really like.” I actually like directing more than I like acting. Believe it or not! I’m kind of a control freak, so that’s probably why I like directing. I am also responsible for the finished product. As an actor there are some movies that I have done that are just crap, but they started off great. The script was great. The cast was cool. I thought everything was going to be great. Then you see it and you’re like, “Oh god! Yikes!” I can only do my job and then after I’m wrapped it is not up to me what that movie comes out like.

Do you have an advice for anyone who would like to get involved in the film industry?

danielleharris-7As an actor I would say if you’re over twenty one, don’t bother. You’ve got a lot of competition. In this genre a lot of people are really creative. I see a lot of kids thirteen to nineteen make their own little short movies. I see a lot of them on You Tube. Really great special effects makeup and all of that. In this world I think you can kind of start at any age. I always say keep doing it. Do it yourself. You never know. You never know who is going to see it. Here you go. Here’s a great example. I am looking to option a horror script to direct, to hire my famous friends to be the actors. I can get financed. I can make your movie. Even if you are eighteen years old, if you’ve got a great idea for a horror script, all you have to do is give me a treatment. You can hire writers to write it. I’m not a writer, so I can’t write it. No matter who you are. You could be living in the middle of nowhere. You could be living in a tiny podunk town. You may have this great idea because you’re a fan and I may make your movie. So you never know. That’s going to be something I am going to offer on my site. Make it short and shoot a trailer. Get your video camera. It doesn’t take much. People have access to do it on their own now. I see stuff on You Tube all of the time. Get your friends, get your camera, go out, take a day, take two days, take a week, take a month. Make this your project. Be creative. Be passionate about something and put it on the internet. There’s your outlet. The internet is such an amazing outlet for creativity for kids and even for adults. People are sitting in their small towns, in their job that they hate, and they feel like they’re never going to get out. All they really wanted to do was live this dream that is totally unfulfilled. Well get off your lazy ass and go make a movie. You can do it. It’s not that difficult. It’s just about motivation. Hopefully people that read this article will listen to me and be motivated to get their ass off the couch and go make a movie because anyone can.

Do you have any last words?

Thanks for being so loyal and stay tuned. There’s a lot more of me to come.

Thanks for your time and best of luck!

Thanks guys! Have a good weekend!

Comments

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2 Responses to “Danielle Harris Talks ‘Halloween II’, ‘Fear Clinic’ and HorrorGal.com”

  1. Kid Rick says:

    Bang up job as always, Steve!!

  2. Fantastic Arias says:

    I love the pictures of Danielle Harris I used to look just like her when I was like six years-old, but now I don’t ’cause now I’m fourteen but when I act like Danielle as “Jamie” I still do it’s amazing!!! I know some of her fans can’t see it but I can.But even though my last is now Hornby not like it was when I was born it was Arias Adrianna Marie Arias… I like hers better “Harris” WOW!
    DANIELLE HARRIS U ROCK!!! Michael Myers & Jamie Lloyd is my fave icon…
    Danielle I want to meet you, I love at what you do..

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