Danielle Harris has created a foundation in the horror genre with several significant projects, best known for her role as little Jamie Llyod back in 1988 & 89’s Halloween 4 & 5, and she continues to work in the genre years later. However, this was not always the case. Believe it or not, Harris has delved into more non-horror related projects, especially within the first twenty years of her career. Working with blockbuster stars over the years such as Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, and Roseanne Barr, this one of a kind talented woman is showing no signs of slowing down, and fans could not be happier.
This past December iHorror was granted the opportunity to interview Harris as she prepared for the release of her new film Inoperable which is now available on DVD.
Interview With Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris: Hey Ryan.
Ryan T. Cusick: Hey Danielle, how are you?
DH: I’m good, how are you?
RTC: Good, thanks for taking my call today.
DH: Sure, no prob.
RTC: Congratulations on the new film [Inoperable] It was great seeing you in almost every scene…
DH: Thank you! You didn’t get tired of seeing me in every frame of the movie?
RTC: Of course not. [Laughs] Yeah, with Havenhurst I kind of felt a little cheated.
DH: I know, and sometimes they want to give me first billing or second billing, and I am like “Uhhh everyone is going to be soo mad.”
RTC: On that one [Havenhurst] I knew ahead of time, so I knew what to expect, anytime we get to see you on screen it is always great. So we’ll take little to everything.
DH: Thank You.
RTC: Since you are now a mom has it changed your position on acting in horror films or changed your mindset at all?
DH: There has only really been one situation, there was a movie, and I really liked the script, and I made the decision not to do it. In the movie, I was supposed to be pregnant. My character was going into early labor, and I would have had to pretend that I was giving birth on the floor of this room at that time I would have been seven months pregnant for real, and I thought that it really was not a good idea. I didn’t need to be screaming and yelling and doing all of this craziness when I am actually pregnant, so that is the only time “Well, I’m probably not going to do that.”
RTC: Oh yeah, that is a bad scene altogether.
DH: That’s really been the only thing so far.
RTC: Inoperable appeared to be a physically demanding film, you were constantly running, running, and running! How did this play a tole on you? This is after you were pregnant correct?
DH: It was before. It was totally fine; It was just running. I have had my fair share of you know hardcore tortured-rape running craziness in other movies, so this was not that difficult for me physically.
RTC: Yeah, it was probably kind of a break for you [Laughs]. Inoperable is similar to a “Groundhog Day” type film, but it was kind of different in a way because everytime you would reset you would jump right back into a scene it was different. Was there any confusion during filming or when you were reading the script?
DH: When I was reading the script no, when I was filming, yes. There are things that change as well. You know when you read the script you’re all, “Oh this totally makes sense.” We filmed it in sequence, so that helped. I could not have imagined trying to do it, like jumping around, it is just very difficult to follow. The good thing about it, [spoiler alert] is that I am crazy [her character in the film] so it necessarily does not have to make sense. For me, I am someone that is so literal in terms of when I take on a roll, and I am working things need to be realistic and have to make sense otherwise I feel like the audience is going to be like “boooo that’s stupid,” you know. I did have a lot of questions some things still didn’t make sense but I kinda just rolled with it and hoped for the best, and I think that it did all play out very well.
RTC: Yeah it did, and the editing was great.
RTC: As far as directing goes compared to acting, do you enjoy directing? And is that something that you want to do more of?
DH: I do, I actually enjoy directing more than I enjoy acting, believe it or not. It’s probably my A-type personality after having done these movies for so many years, there is only so much that you can do that is only so exciting as an actor. I really enjoy the creative aspects, and that is why I think I learned so much from our DP on this movie [Inoperable] because there was so much I had not seen before. I am always in the camera department looking at lenses, looking at equipment, looking at lighting, and looking at effects. I love the editing process; I tend to get bored just doing one thing directing kind of gives me the opportunity to have a little more control over the end product.
RTC: Yeah, I am sure that it is different and like you said you had done so much. I didn’t realize that until I had looked at IMDb. Also, after Halloween, you hadn’t done any horror until Urban Legend.
DH: Yeah other than Urban Legend I did not do any genre movies for twenty years. I think that it is kind of crazy that people don’t think of me outside of the horror genre and I have actually have done more nonhorror than I have done horror. You know the hardcore horror fans are so dedicated that they don’t want to admit that I would God forbid ever do anything other than what they love, but I’m okay with that.
RTC: Well hopefully they don’t stake me on this one. My favorite character of yours has always been from The Last Boy Scout, Darian Hallenbeck.
DH: Oh God, such a great role, right? I had no idea how cool that was.
RTC: It was awesome!
DH: It was on TV recently. My husband has seen like one movie that I have done, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. He had never seen anything until I think we were already engaged. I went to a festival in Ireland where they were screening Halloween 4 on the big screen, and that was the first time he had ever seen Halloween. Recently he finally saw Rob Zombie’s Halloween and another thing that I had dragged him to. He doesn’t watch me in these movies. One night a few weeks ago I was falling asleep it was like one in the morning, and The Last Boy Scout came on. I am like, “aww it’s The Last Boy Scout.” I am like, “babe you need to watch it, this actually is a really, really, good movie.” He said, “Alright if you stay up with me,” and sure enough like after five minutes I was passed out. He’s like, “Damn it I had to stay up until like three in the morning to watch that movie, but it was so good!”
RTC: That is awesome, I wish there would have been a sequel.
DH: Awww, me too. I mean Tony Scott [Director], there is no one better.
RTC: That is just one of my favorites. It would be great to see your character now older and grown up. Could you imagine?
DH: Oh my God, I would love to make another one.
RTC: Following in Joe’s footsteps, his spitting image.
DH: That would be like a dream come true. I couldn’t imagine getting that call and them saying, “Hey we’re doing another Last Boy Scout.”
RTC: Yeah that would be a dream come true.
DH: Let’s just put that out there to the Universe.
RTC: Yeah, you never know. Back to directing, would you ever star in a film if you were directing?
DH: It would have to be a very special project, and I would definitely never be the lead. There is no way that I could do both, absolutely no way. I probably would direct myself I had a cameo or something definitely smaller, yeah it is just too hard. I don’t want to have to worry about being pretty, just want to show up and do my job.
RTC: Do you have anything in the pipeline are you working on anything else?
DH: I just did a movie that Joe Dante Produced and Andy Palmer Directed called Camp Cold Brook. Its really, really, good, I star with Chad Michael Murray who I just love. I am really funny in it; I think I am anyways. It has been a while since I have had a character that is kind of fun to play, again it is another type of film in the genre that I hadn’t done before, so it was exciting. For a while, I was getting offered the same thing over and over again, and then you’re like, “ehhh I don’t want to do that, I can’t do another slasher movie, running from someone that is trying to kill me in the woods, I’m over it,” this is not one of those. There is a lot of throwback to Dante style, very kind of 80s’ cool practical effects and yeah I’m pretty excited about it.
RTC: Looking forward to that! Well, Danielle thank you so much it was a pleasure speaking with you, congratulations on everything.
DH: Thank-You. It was nice speaking with you.
Inoperable will be available on DVD and VOD February 6, 2018, on Amazon.
–About The Author-
Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for ihorror.com and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter, who is also expressing interest i