Exclusive: Danielle Harris Talks Stake Land, Hatchet 3 and More
Actress Danielle Harris has had to face off against quite a few horror icons over her illustrious 24-year-long film career in Hollywood. She's taken on two incarnations of Michael Myers, Victor Crowley in Hatchet II and even a lesser degree- a crazy, revenge-seeking Rebecca Gayheart in Urban Legend. But now Harris is gearing up for a new chapter in her career, which kicks off this week when Jim Mickle's Stake Land hits theaters this Friday.
Recently, Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with the ever-busy Scream Queen to talk all things Stake Land, the evolution of her career and why 2011 is shaping up to be a banner year for the actress.
Even though Harris has made a name for herself in the horror genre in both studio and independent films, Stake Land took a little more consideration than usual for the actress, especially since she wasn’t able to see Mickle’s ‘big picture’ plan for the film at first.
“The first time I read the script for Stake Land, I was kind of worried because there was really nothing for me to do in the movie,” explained Harris. “Belle didn’t have a lot of dialogue so I was really worried how I would end up looking in the movie. But then as soon as I spoke to Jim about my character for the first time, I realized I was in good hands because the movie was going to be so much more than just words on a page. He just told me to be myself on camera, just act like I normally would if I was around friends, and he’d take care of the rest.”
“My biggest concern initially was the amount of time that we’d need to make the movie. We were going to shoot the first part of Stake Land in Pennsylvania in August and then we were going to need to wait until the seasons changed before we could finish shooting in New York. That meant I had to block that entire time off my calendar until December which can be scary because I still have to pay my bills too. So I asked to see Mulberry Street before I signed on and when I saw it, I knew I had to do this movie with Jim. Screw the rest- I knew it would work out and it really has for the best,” added Harris.
Even though Harris has an impressive horror pedigree, it wasn’t necessarily the fact that Stake Land was a horror movie that caught her interest. She recognized that Mickle was far more interested in story than flashy kills and copious amounts of gore.
Harris said, “So many movies are just about the kills these days and those are fun, but I wanted to do something else that would challenge me. Genre movies that focus on the relationships between characters are kind of few and far between these days. As soon as I read the Stake Land script, I immediately knew this was the kind of challenge I wanted to take on as a performer.”
When production began on Stake Land, Harris discussed how her and her fellow cast members became like an actual family while shooting and how those real-life bonds translated on camera.