Hatchet II Interview Week Entry 5: Danielle Harris
DC: Do you know of any plans for a third one?
DH: The only thing I know is from Adam and he said he was sure there would be talks of it soon because it’s doing so well. I’d be surprised if they didn’t take a step back and go, “Wow, we really need to get on this.” Whether or not he is going to be involved, he said to me, “I don’t know what I want to do next” and I said to him, “Well, you better be the one writing it and directing it or then I don’t know what I want to do next.” I think things are just sort of being talked about right now, but I haven’t gotten any calls yet. I’m waiting and hoping and praying.
DC: When you prepare for your roles, I noticed in Hatchet II specifically that there was a slight affect to your voice, like you had worked on an accent and had tried to make the character whole. How much prep time do you do and what does that involve?
DH: I didn’t have much time. From the time we closed the deal and we were on set was only about a week, but I’d seen the original HATCHET quite a few times. I went and saw it in the theaters. I actually sat behind Parry Shen through the entire movie and I thought, “Oh, my god, there’s the guy from the movie!” I had seen it probably three or four times just as a fan, so I knew the character because I’d also auditioned for it and didn’t get it. I like to bust Adam’s balls about that. Any chance I have to bust his balls, I will. So, I wanted to stay as close to Tamara Feldman’s accent as I could, but I found in certain scenes that mine sounded a bit stronger than hers was. I’ve been asked how it felt to take over someone else’s role a lot. I feel like I didn’t really do that because I wasn’t going back and re-doing what she did. I got to take it from where she brought it to and then bring it from that point on. She’d started it and had gotten to this place of hysterics and I started at hysterics and then went to losing it, pulling it together, going back to seek revenge, and kicking his ass. I think it was a nice little arc.
For me though, it was about bringing it every single day and building these relationships with these people and not phoning it in. Being a fan myself and knowing that I had so many fans out there who would know when I was phoning it in, I had to bring it every single day. And every day I was in hell. I was an emotional wreck. I remember there was one day where we had all the voodoo shop scenes where Reverend Zombie is gathering the group to go back into the bayou and I was so relieved because I didn’t have anything to do except sit there all day. I was like, “Aaaah! This is the best day EVER! I can just sit here. I don’t have to be running or hysterical or killing anybody or crying or screaming!” It was really, really nice because most of the other movies that I’ve done, there are only a couple of days where I have to endure hell. With HATCHET II, because I get thrown in at the very beginning into where she left off, it started at sixty-five and then I had to bring it to a hundred and twenty. I didn’t get to start at zero. It was a little exhausting, but so well worth it.
DC: I understand there was a lot of flu on the set. Were you one of the ones that fell victim to it?
DH: You know, I didn’t get what they got – which I’m shocked because I get sick all the time – but I did end up with pneumonia. We had a little teeny break in between finishing up at the ranch and then going to New Orleans. I got pneumonia because I did the water stuff and it was in like forty degree water and it was freezing outside and it was January or February. So, I got really sick, but thank god I had a week or so I had pneumonia and then went to New Orleans. It was good because I had to work in New Orleans and everybody was out partying, getting their strip club thing on, and I was like, “Good night, guys… I’m going to bed.” It kind of helped keep me out of trouble on Bourbon Street.
DC: And what about injuries? It looked like a pretty physical shoot.
DH: I had bumps and bruises. Tony Todd’s hands are giant, so just from him pulling me out and struggling, I had some bruises on my arms and shoulders and stuff, but I don’t even think about that stuff. I’m so used to getting manhandled by giant men in the movies that I do. It’s just par for the course, I guess.
DC: I’m curious about what you’re doing next because I have a list of stuff I’d like to ask you about.
DH: Oooh, let me hear what the list is.
DC: First… Stake Land which is pretty awesome.
DH: Isn’t it great? I love it and you know, I didn’t really have much to do and I was talked into taking it because I thought, “God, three weeks in the winter in upstate New York with all exteriors. I’m going to miserable.” And there’s not much dialog, so you’re like, “Oh, great… I’m a glorified extra. I’m just going to be there every day. I don’t even get to do anything.” But, while I didn’t have much to do, that character was so soft and so strong that it was such a nice balance to the boys. That’s how I am in real life. I’m sort of the caretaker of a bunch of reckless guys. So it felt the most like me. It sort of showed where I am in my life and I think the movie just looks stunning. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.
DC: What about Night of the Living Dead 3D: Origins?
DH: We did facial captures a couple of months ago and the stuff that I saw looks so ridiculously amazing. It’s going to blow your mind. I’m not a techie person, so I don’t really understand how all of that stuff works, but the little things I’ve seen look great. They’ve got the people who worked on AVATAR involved. It’s a Simon West (THE MECHANIC) production. The script is amazing. It’s Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, and I. I know what you’re going to be getting as far as voice and as far as performance. I’m just really excited to see it. I’ve felt that the last year and a half I’ve worked so much and I haven’t seen anything yet, so this year, everything’s coming out and I get to take a step back and watch it unfold in front of me. I’m quite excited about it.
DC: Is that a fully CG rendered thing like Beowulf or a videogame cut scene?
DH: It’s kind of like AVATAR, but it looks more realistic… if that makes any sense? It’s 3D and it’s CG animation. I didn’t do the actual body movements, but everything on my face… Barbara looks like me… kind of. She has my eyes and my nose, my mouth, the shape of my face. That looks like me, but my hair is blonde and my body is different. Obviously, I did all the voice work. I think the performance comes through the eyes anyway. So, it was very much me, but everything else is a bit different. It takes place in New York City in 2012, so… with what they can do, there’s never been a zombie movie quite like this. I mean, you can’t shut down New York City and throw three thousand zombies into Times Square. It just doesn’t work, but you can in this movie.
DC: Ok, what about Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2?
DH: Rob Hall and I did FEAR CLINIC together and became really good friends. I was a fan of the original and he said, “I think I’m going to be doing this movie. Would you want to do something?” I said, “I would totally want to do something. I just don’t know if I want to be a good guy or a bad guy.” He was like, “Ooooh, ok. That gives me some ideas” because he was writing it. So, he wrote for me and I pretty much showed up and I got to do a bunch of stuff with Brian Austin Green who I had never worked with before, but had known for a while. It was pretty cool. Again, I’m super supportive of my friend’s projects. Whatever they are, I just feel like we have to make our own shit happen. I’ve got my list, but this year has really been a year of working on supporting my friends and their endeavors.
DC: So, if people want to follow you, you’re on Twitter and Facebook and all of that?
DH: Yes, I’m @halloweengal and my posts are pretty retarded, so that’s always fun to follow me on that. I’m still working on the Horror Gal web site, getting that up and going.
I have a website, DanielleHarris.org , and an amazing fan named Logan runs that and I’ve asked him to help me get Horror Gal up and running. My schedule’s been so crazy that I really need someone that knows how to do it because I’m totally computer illiterate and he’s going to help me do that. So, DanielleHarris.org has a great forum and all that stuff. He’s going to run Horror Gal as well. I have my own Facebook page, but there’s someone else who’s been kind of handling it for me, so I think Logan is going to handle that for me as well. I read all my fan mail. I was on this morning looking at my IMDB page reading messages. I’m always kind of in the loop about what people are talking about… even the bad shit.
I do Google Alerts so I know when people are talking about me and I look it up. So, there was someone who was saying some shit about, “I met Danielle Harris at this convention and she was such a fucking bitch to me. She’s a great actress, but she’s a horrible person.” I really have to stop myself from writing back to these people, but I’m also noting the fans that chime in with, “You’re crazy! I’ve met Danielle ten times and she’s the nicest person at these conventions” and “Screw you!” So, I just want my fans to know that I read EVERYTHING and I know all the good and I know all the bad and I’m keeping track.
DC: You’re like Santa Claus. [laughs]
DH: Yes! [laughs] Exactly!
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