Exclusive Interview: Danielle Harris On Her Directorial Debut Among Friends

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Some of you may be feeling a little bit old if your memories of Danielle Harris’ career reach as far back Halloween parts four and five, or perhaps the early-’90s Christina Applegate vehicle Don’t Tell Mom The Baby Sitter’s Dead or maybe Harris’ stellar turn as Bruce Willis’ foul mouthed, rebellious daughter in Tony Scott’s The Last Boy Scout.

For the less ancient of you out there, we now jump back to present day and Danielle has followed up from her Halloween screen time, assuming her rightful place among genre heavyweights in projects such as Rob Zombie’s Halloween re-imagining, the splatterfest sequel Hatchet II (she is currently filming for part three) and providing her vocals for the role of Barbara in the upcoming animated Night of the living Dead : Origins 3D, not to mention wrapping up production on her directorial debut Among Friends.

Danielle finds some very rare quiet time to sit down and bring us all up to speed.

Shock Till You Drop:  So, how was your first directing gig on Among Friends? How did the production come to be?  Can you tell us about the story?

Danielle Harris:  Among Friends was an awesome experience in many ways. The production was put together by my long time friends Jennifer Blanc and Alyssa Lobit who initially approached me about directing. We wanted to make a film with friends for our friends. Something that we would have a a blast working on as well as watching. I was also finally able to bring on friends that I had been wanting to work with for quite some time as well. The producers really supported my vision from the beginning and trusted that I would bring the fans of the genre what they really wanted to see! 

Shock:  Was directing something you always wanted to try your hand at? Do you plan to do more directing gigs in the future?

Harris:  I actually prefer directing to acting. I’m a bit of a control freak and I like to have my foot in all things creative having to do with the movies I work on. From camera lenses to lip gloss color, it all counts! Being a hired actor you don’t really have control of the outcome of the project, so directing is a bit more my speed. I do love being an actor though, but now it seems like a vacation on set compared to how hard a job directing is! I really can’t imagine my life without either though.

Shock:  Can I ask about Night Of The Living Dead 3D and your role?

Harris:  I play the iconic Barbara and was really excited to be a part of such a classic franchise. And, of course, I always love working with Tony Todd and Bill Mosley.

Shock:  How has filming on Hatchet III been compared to Hatchet II? Sounds like a tough shoot!

Harris:  It was a fast and furious shoot.  BJ, our director, had such larger than life visions for the third and he really went all out. We all worked to the bone, or maybe blood would be more appropriate. The bruises and scratches on Marybeth are real this time around.

Shock:  Do you ever find yourself getting a little tired of the horror genre?

Harris:  Some of the most challenging roles are the leads in the horror genre. Every role I do is a little different than the last, so I’m never tired of working hard even though I think it’s important to take a role a little less emotional in between big movies. I can still play college age, but I am in my mid-30s so I get worn out a lot easier than I used to.

Shock:  Does typecasting ever worry you?

Harris:  I feel like I’m so supported and have such an awesome fan following that the days of worrying about typecasting are long gone. I’ve embraced my title of “scream queen” and am lucky to do what I love to do for a living.

Shock:  What would be your dream role in your dream project?

Harris:  I would love to do a Tarantino film. One where I had to train in martial arts or something for months before shooting. He writes such bad ass chick roles.

Shock:  I have to ask this one:  What are your memories of being a young girl on the set of The Last Boy Scout having to perform some tough scenes?

Harris:  I had a blast working on that movie. I had no idea how big of a deal it was at the time I was just excited to do a movie where I got to swear at Bruce Willis! Tony Scott is still my favourite director I’ve worked with. Next to Bill Bixby actually.

Shock:  What’s your favorite working experience?

Harris:  I just love to work. Every set is a new experience. I’ve made some great memories and friends along the way. And I get to fight the bad guy and win. Most of the time anyway.

Shock:  And least favorite?

Harris:  Least favorite would be shooting nights somewhere really cold. I hate being cold and I’m usually barely clothed and covered in blood, so it can be pretty uncomfortable. 

Shock:  What are your interests outside film acting?

Harris:  Cooking, interior design, and dance are some things that keep me balanced. 

Shock:  What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the pipeline?

Harris:  I’m developing a series with my business partners Alyssa Lobit and Athena Lobit. I’ll be directing and writing and acting in it as well. Will be a first for me but I’m really excited about it. It’s titled, “Pussy Posse.” I’ll just leave it at that.


Here’s a trailer for Among Friends!


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(Photo Credit: DJDM/WENN.com)

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