Exclusive: Interview with Danielle Harris from Hatchet II
Posted by: J.A. Hamilton
To celebrate the release of her latest film HATCHET II, Danielle Harris was kind enough to sit down and talk to Flix66.com about the film and other projects. HATCHET II is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Flix66.com: Well, first I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to us Danielle and I guess I’ll start by asking how you got involved with HATCHET II?
Danielle Harris: Well I’ve known Adam Green for awhile and I actually auditioned for the original HATCHET. We just sort of became friends and had mutual friends and when I was directing my first short, PRANK, I called him up and said, listen would you mind sitting down with me so I could pick your brain about directing. He told me he wanted to work with me on something and said he was doing this short for FRIGHT FEST and asked me if I’d do one with him and I was like, with you and he’s like yeah there’s a scene and he told me about the scene and called me back and I was like ohhh, I see, you wanna kiss me on film, I see how it is (laughs)
Flix66.com:(laughs) Well when I talked to him, he was pretty excited about you being there.
Danielle Harris: (laughs) He’s such a dork. So he called me and said he was excited and that this might work, I don’t know if it’s gonna work out with the other actress from the original HATCHET and if it doesn’t work out would you want to take over the role of Marybeth? I was like, are you kidding? Umm, yes, I went and read for the original HATCHET and you didn’t cast me and I was pissed (laughs)
It’s obvious by your resume that you’re a fan of Horror, what did you think of the first HATCHET film?
Danielle Harris: Oh yeah, I loved it, I saw it in the theatre actually before Adam and I were really friends. And then I own it and I’ve watched it a few times at home as well. And after HALLOWEEN 2 I kinda made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t continue to be the victim, I didn’t want to take on roles that I had done before because it really just wasn’t challenging for me anymore and I was getting all these offers to do the same role over and over and over again because that’s how everyone kept seeing me, so I knew that by doing HATCHET II people wouldn’t see me like that for the first time.
Flix66.com: Right, because you got to play the heroine instead of the victim.
Danielle Harris: Yeah, and I’ve been kind of a badass in the last two HALLOWEENS and lived and I never liked to play the victim even though I’ve always been victimized. I’ve always played a strong girl so this was a way for me to continue to be that because I am that in real life but also get to kick some ass at the end.
Flix66.com: Tony mentioned being surrounded by alligators, swamps and creepy tour guides, what was the scariest thing about this project for you?
Danielle Harris: Well I was literally thrown into the water from the very first scene. It had taken about a week for me to get the script from Adam when I accepted the role because he was still writing it and he said to me, you’re gonna love me but you’re gonna hate me, like you’re probably crying in every scene.
Danielle Harris: I didn’t think that like he meant that I was literally crying in almost every scene and I got the script and went, OH MY GOD I have my work cut out for me. The scariest thing for me was probably when we did the swamp stuff and I was in the water and while it was on a ranch, it was a man-made lake, it was still very cold water and I had pneumonia after the first day of shooting. It’s really hard when your body temperature is dropping that low and they’re taking your temperature every five minutes to make sure you don’t flip into hypothermia and you’re starting to feel like you’re losing your motor functions and having to scream, panic, get away from Victor Crowley and I’m trying to act at the same time but I actually physically couldn’t breathe.
Flix66.com: Because your senses were being attacked from every angle.
Danielle Harris: Yeah, I just didn’t know, I thought I was being strangled. It was such a horrible feeling physically. I mean I’m never comfortable, I’m always wearing clothes I’m not quite warm enough in and I’m being covered in something.
Flix66.com: Or wearing no clothes at all (laughs)
Danielle Harris: Yeah, or I’m covered in blood, I just did this amazing movie called SHIVER in Portland Oregon and we’re shooting in this disgusting, abandoned, dilapidated, flea infested shack and it’s pouring rain, it’s like thirty degrees and I’m doing all these scenes in there for a week straight and everyone else is in ski gear and I’m wearing a skirt and a silk top.
Danielle Harris: And I’m thinking why do I keep doing this (laughs) what I would do to do like a romantic comedy in Hawaii and just look pretty for once. I just finished working on this web series called NUCLEAR FAMILY, its post apocalyptic and I was covered in dirt the whole time.
Flix66.com: Yeah, that doesn’t sound like it shoots in Hawaii.
Danielle Harris: (laughs) No, and while I’m a knife thrower and the character is similar to the kind of girls I like to play, it’s still like…
Flix66.com: Not Hawaii (laughs)
Danielle Harris: Yeah, it’s uncomfortable and I just feel like sh!t in everything I do (laughs) so I’m like what I would do to look like a girl and be pretty for the whole movie and not be covered in blood or cold or a wreck.
Flix66.com: Did Adam challenge you as an actress?
Danielle Harris: Well, I love Adam and I curse him at the same time. This was one of the most challenging roles I’ve ever done and it was probably the most challenging role to be as an adult because most movies, like the original HATCHET the actor that played Marybeth got taken from zero to sixty and most of the movies that I do I get taken from zero to sixty, sixty being the scene where you’re getting killed or you’re killing someone or that crazy emotional climax of the story.
Flix66.com: Kinda like that intense as hell opening Hospital scene in HALLOWEEN 2, that was ridiculous.
Danielle Harris: Yeah, exactly like that (laughs)
Flix66.com: It took me a few minutes and some digging but I finally figured out why you look so familiar, I must have watched MARKED FOR DEATH a hundred times, Seagal was my hero as a kid, and then there’s that creepy HALLOWEEN 5 cover. How different was working on the new HALLOWEENS opposed to the old ones?
Danielle Harris: It was totally different; I mean it’s bigger, badder, faster.
Flix66.com: I personally liked Rob Zombie’s versions.
Danielle Harris: I love Rob Zombie, I mean the reason I wanted to do it was because he was involved, that’s the main reason I wanted to be on board because I’m a fan of his and the way he makes movies. I thought, well this will be really cool, this is totally reinventing the HALLOWEEN series.
Flix66.com: Yeah, a lot of HALLOWEEN fans gave him sh!t for it but I thought they were great.
Danielle Harris: Oh yeah, everyone has opinions, they’re like @ssholes, everyone’s got one.
Flix66.com: What do you feel makes Victor Crowley and the HATCHET series different from everything else on the market these days?
Danielle Harris: Let’s see, I think that he’s, well that there’s a back story to him, that’s what’s so great about HATCHET II, Adam spent so much time building up what he’s all about and he had it all figured out in his head from years ago so he’s not just some guy going around killing for the hell of it. I think that there’s sort of an emotional thing about him too and that was my main thing with taking on the movie and I said to Adam, I need the audience to root for Marybeth because everybody wants the killer to win. You rarely root for them to survive, you want the killer to take them out and I really wanted to audience to experience the ride through Marybeth.
Flix66.com: Well speaking of that, I see you’re also attached to the upcoming NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ORIGINS, that doesn’t quite sound like a trip to Hawaii either (laughs)
Danielle Harris: Well it was for me because it was all voice over so I got to be in 3D and CGI so I got to be in jeans and a sweat shirt and they did facial capture with cameras on my face and all around me. So I got to stay in my sweats so it was definitely more of a walk in the park (laughs)
Any chance you’ll be returning to Victor’s Swamp in the future?
Danielle Harris: Well yeah, possibly. I haven’t heard anything but I talked to Adam the other day and asked, what do you think and he was like, the DVD was sold out in like a day everywhere so I think that the money guys are like, wow, this is like a really big deal.
Flix66.com: So what’s your favourite movie of all time?
Danielle Harris: Favourite movie of all time or favourite genre movie?
Flix66.com: Favourite movie of all time
Danielle Harris: I would have to say THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Flix66.com: THE WIZARD OF OZ, huh (laughs)
(laughs) Yeah, it’s just one of those things. It’s what I grew up watching and reminds me of my family.
Flix66.com: Actually I think I’ll ask you one more question that I didn’t plan on asking but just kind of hit me, what did your family think of you getting involved in Horror at such a young age and growing up through it?
Danielle Harris: You know my family’s not very conservative, we’re very East Coast, I mean it wasn’t really an issue. My mom never really asked me about it before, she never really thought, oh my god, my child is going to be running around being chased by someone who wants to kill her.
Flix66.com: And she’s going to be traumatized for life (laughs)
Danielle Harris: (laughs) Yeah, I don’t think that ever crossed her mind. To be quite honest, I think she knew that I wanted to make movies and she knew that I was smart enough to know it was make believe.
Flix66.com: And obviously you were a strong enough person to handle it.
Danielle Harris: Yeah, I was a really mature little girl so I think that she knew it just wasn’t going to be a problem for me.
Flix66.com: Well, thank you very much for your time Danielle, it was a pleasure, I’m looking forward to HATCHET II and I wish you nothing but luck in all your upcoming projects.
Danielle Harris: Thank you so much.