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Danielle Harris Dishes On ‘Stake Land’ and Upcoming Projects!

Danielle Harris Dishes On ‘Stake Land’ and Upcoming Projects!

Danielle Harris is a certainly a familiar face to fans of the horror genre. Her role as little Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4? and ‘Halloween 5? laid the groundwork for what would blossom into one of the most unique careers in Hollywood’s most challenging genre. Never afraid to experiment or to follow her keen instincts when it comes to a role, Danielle continues to surprise her fans with each new project, be it in front of or now behind the camera! Besides her strong work ethic, her “no bullshit” approach to life, coupled with a winning smile and kick-ass personality, make her one of the most approachable and down-to-earth stars that one can encounter. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Danielle to discuss her latest film ‘Stake Land,’ discuss the current fate of her highly anticipated autobiography, her upcoming film projects and much more!

You have a habit of selecting some very unique roles and projects that suit you very well. How did you first get involved with ‘Stake Land’?

Danielle HarrisThank you! Ya know, for this project, they kinda signed me. I wish I could say that I could go out and look for these awesome movies but I have been really lucky about having some really rad people contacting about doing these unique projects. It is kind of an interesting story. I was on Fangoria Radio when I was promoting ‘Halloween II’ and the group that was online with me was Larry Fessenden and Jim Mickle. I didn’t know who either one of them were at the time but we were all chit-chatting. I hung up the phone and a few weeks later I got a call from my manager saying that I had an offer for this independent movie called ‘Stake Land’.

They wanted to book me out for five months because there is a big break in the middle and wanted to start in August and not go back until November and then in December. Which was totally taking me out for getting any job for the second half of the year. But when I read it and thought, “Wow! Belle is throughout most of the story but doesn’t really have much to do.” I had three scenes or three lines. I was thinking, “What the hell am I going to do in Upstate New York, freezing my ass off and looking like a fat ass because I am pregnant in the film. Do I really want to do this movie?” [laughs] But I loved the script and I loved the relationships but there was so much that was left unsaid. It was really all about Jim Mickle and Nick Damici and how open they were to creating that as we went. From there, I decided to watch their film ‘Mulberry Street’. I called Jim to see if he was going to use the same DP as he used on that film because what the film looks like was going to play a major part in the story. It was such a big deal because if it didn’t look as beautiful as it does, I mean the film is fantastic, but the look is such a big part of it. He said that he was indeed using the same DP and as I talked to him I just said, “Ya know what? I want to do it! I have never played a character that was so much like me!” In all of the movies that I have done before I play a bad-ass or a sassy girl or a girl who has a real edge to her and, while that may be a part of who I am, I am actually a bit more like “Belle” in real life. I am kinda the mom, the caretaker, the nurturer to everyone. I felt like no one had ever really seen that side of me on film. I felt this film was a great opportunity to showcase those aspects.

I told Jim I would do it and before I knew it I flew off to Philadelphia and I stayed at Jim’s friends guest house and met the rest of the gang. We sort of created the characters as we continued because we kinda shot it in sequence, due to the changes in seasons and the weather changes. We became a family and I think that it shows on screen because you can really see the relationships starting to build as the movie progresses and I think that it has a lot to do with what was really happening behind the scenes as well, in real life. It is really fun for me to watch because I remember all of those days  and having to work fast and furious and freezing our butts off!

It sounds like you had a lot of great experiences in making the film. Any that spring to mind that you can share with us?

Danielle HarrisI remember day one where one of the scenes we are climbing down some mountain and I am afraid of heights! I am also wearing a dress and cowboy boots, I have a big belly and a backpack and a gun! Jim was like, “We’re gonna start here and cross this waterfall and climb way down there!” I looked at him and said, “You are kidding right?!!!” [laughs] And he was like, “No.” So, I was just like ,“Oh shit! Okay!!! Here we go!” [laughs]

My favorite scene in the movie for me is a scene where Belle just can’t go any further. She sits down on a rock and has that moment. “Mister” comes and swoops her up and she says, “My daddy used to carry me like this when I was a little girl.” and says, “I’m not your Daddy, kid” and we have that little hard ass line. I didn’t know how it was going to work. The first time it came out of my mouth, I just got hysterical and started crying. And then Nick started crying. I just thought, “Oh my god! This is magic!” because we had found “it!” Originally, Belle was supposed to be Mister’s love interest. When I got to set, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t feel right. There was something about it that didn’t mesh. We started to nix that and started to figure out the question of: “If she isn’t Mister’s love interest, who is she?” I sorta became the daughter, the mom, the sister, the wife, kinda fitting all of the feminine shoes and I was able to play all of those women in one and show a very soft side as well.

And I have to say that I don’t think that I have ever looked better on film! Not to toot my own horn! [laughs] I just don’t think I have ever looked better! I have never had more dirt and shit and horrible clothes and no makeup and no sleep and freezing my ass off and all of those things that you have to really be OK with yourself as a person to look that way on film! I mean, I am not an actor that gives a crap about that anyway. I mean, you have seen the movies that I have done before! I never get to look glamorous or be pretty in a movie! [laughs] Well, not for long anyway!

So, all those elements helped to show a very vulnerable side of me that I have never been able to do before. I don’t have a dad in real life. He passed away when I was little. I think that if my dad was around he reminded me so much of Nick because my dad was from Brooklyn and kind of a hard, edgy, chain smoker, with a kinda quiet bad guy type edge. I think that it was there from the very beginning, so since I didn’t have a real-life relationship with my dad, that I was able to create that on film with the Mister character and in that scene, you can see it a little bit. It came from love and I think that is why this movie is so close to my heart.

You are regarded as a horror icon at this point in your career. What does your experience with the genre allow you to bring to a project like this?

Ya know, not with Jim. Jim is such a visionary. He is just so smart and talented. He knew exactly what he wanted. Working with Nick for as long as he has and knowing that they are so passionate about it, I didn’t really have to do anything but show up! They were so open with what we wanted to do and letting us create and play. I have been so lucky, having done so many horror movies, that most of the directors are usually, if not always are fan-boys. They have grown up loving this industry and the genre and know it better than I do, even though I have been living it my whole life! They are just so excited to a) be making a movie and b) to have me on set. So, it is rare to have an opportunity like ‘Stake Land.’ It was a great playground! There is definitely nothing that I could teach Jim! We all did these short films that will be online in the coming weeks that tell the back stories of all the characters, because the movie just throws you into the middle and you don’t know where anyone has come from. That is something that I really love. There is no exposition, it just is what it is and where they have come from is not important, it’s about where they are going. We did want to explain a little bit of that.

Seeing that I am trying to direct now and I am trying to get some projects together, mostly in the horror genre because that is where I want to stay for a while, because this is what I know and I love! There are no females that do this and all the leads are female most of the time, which I know because I am the lead most of the time! [laughs] Anyway, they offered me the opportunity to direct one of the back stories for “Lily”. I wrote it, directed it, shot it and loved it! It was amazing but like any other first time director, there were things that I just needed an opinion on. I called Jim and said, “I need you to watch this. Something is just not working and I need your help!” He did and between himself, Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick, who edited it along with doing the sound design for ‘Stake Land’, who is brilliant, we were able to figure out what the issue was and we fixed it. It is unbelievable now! So, if anything, I learned from these guys! It is the Adam Greens and the Rob Zombies and while I may have worked on more movies than they have, I learn from them!

That is great! It is exciting to hear that you are taking that step to be behind the camera!

Thank you!

When we spoke last year, I know you had been working on an autobiography to chronicle your life in the industry. I wanted to touch base with you on that and find out the status of that project.

Danielle HarrisI had hired a writer and we wrote quite a bit together, because I am not a writer. I am a great storyteller and a great reviser but when telling your own story, it is kind of hard to take yourself out of it. We worked together for a while on it but when I got the outline of what each chapter was going to be about it just didn’t sound like my voice. It was more about who I knew in Hollywood growing up, in the industry and my generation. Ya know, I am kind of in between River Phoenix and Lindsay Lohan, in that little group. In real life, my boyfriend now is Corin Nemec, you know from ‘Parker Lewis’ and ‘Stargate’ and a bunch of genre projects as well. We went to Corey Feldman’s house a couple weeks ago for his house warming! So, as you can see, I live in this weird little world but these are my friends. I think that what was happening was that I wanted to tell the real story about my life and my struggles and me as a person but all that was coming up was these kind of “Hollywood” or “What would sell in a book” for someone that didn’t know anything about the horror series. That isn’t really what I am interested in writing. I think that is why I have had such great success and have fans say that they love reading or hearing what you say and we are fans because “you keep it real!” With me, there is no bullshit! I don’t want to sugar coat my life.

In my life, like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t grow up with a dad because he died when I was a little girl. He was in the mafia. My parents sold drugs. I have this really crazy story that I want to tell because it is really important to me. It just didn’t read well. I thought, “this is just garbage.” I am not going to write a book just because I am trying to sell something. That is not me. So I nixed it, until I can write it myself or find a writer that wants to keep it real. I don’t care if five people buy it but for me to sell 5 million copies it has to be “Hollywood crap” and I just don’t want to do it.

I also read that you had an animated series of sorts based on your life. What can you tell us about that?

That is with the guys at Halo 8! We go back and forth! Poor Matt Pizzolo can never track me down! [laughs] That all started with me being sort of fascinated with animation side and graphic novel side of things which I haven’t really tapped into except for when we worked on ‘Godkiller’. Matt is so creative and I thought it would be so cool to do something else together. I wanted to present the idea of what it is like to grow up in the horror genre and be with all my other little friends in that genre or who grew up on TV shows and show what our real lives are like. I mean, it is kind of funny, I went to New York City for ‘Hatchet II’ and there was this whole big party at Planet Hollywood and I brought a hatchet with me. I was posing on stage with this hatchet and there are about eight people who have come to see me! It is just kind of funny to me! This is so ridiculous that this is going on the wall! My hatchet! It’s kind of like that or the conventions that I do where there are a bunch of has-been ‘80s actors, who are actually very talented, working genre actors, mixed in with porn stars or wrestlers! [laughs] So, I kinda want to incorporate all of that kind of stuff into an animated series for Adult Swim or an adult oriented animated show like that. But I have so much going on that it sometimes takes a back seat.

What’s happening with Horrorgal.com?

I am still trying to get that up and running. I have so much video and footage for that but I just take on too many things at once and nothing ever gets done! [laughs] I am trying to tackle one thing at a time right now.

What other projects are on the horizon for you?

Danielle Harris

I will tell you what I have already finished that will be coming out this year. I have ‘Night of The Living Dead: Origins 3D’ with Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses) and Tony Todd (The Candyman). That is a CGI, 3D animated film for Sony. I play “Barbara” and it is set in current day New York City. From what I have seen, it looks out of this world! Literally, so bad-ass! I also have have ‘The Victim’ with Michael Beihn (Terminator) and Jennifer Blanc. They are two very good friends of mine and you can check out the film at www.grindhousethevictim.com. I play a coke-head stripper which is something that I have not done before! [laughs] So, that was kinda fun, especially since Jennifer is one of my best friends and it was great to be able to work with her. My favorite work as an actor so far is a film that I finished at the end of last year called ‘Shiver’ with John Jarratt, who I adore. Julian Richards directed the film. It is a role that I had a really hard time with emotionally. It is a really dark and horrible, psychological thriller and it is quite fantastic! I have never worked harder in my entire life! That is saying a lot for all the people who have seen what I went through in ‘Hatchet II,’ it literally almost killed me! [laughs] I am really proud of all that work! I am in a movie called ‘The Trouble With The Truth’ with John Shea and Lea Thompson, just the opening scene and it is not a horror movie! I am obsessed with ‘80s movies so I had to work with the two of them! ‘Hatchet III’ has been greenlit and I just signed on to do a movie called ‘Unbroken’ with Tony Todd, who is a buddy of mine. It is a small part in an independent movie but I love the script and really want to be part of it!Thanks for you time, Danielle!

Thank you!

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Be sure to follow Danielle Harris on Twitter at www.twitter.com/halloweengal. Also, check out our exclusive interview with Jim Mickle and Nick Damici about the creation of ‘Stake Land’ at this location. >

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

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!

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