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Exclusive: Danielle Harris Talks Hatchet III and Among Friends

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Exclusive: Danielle Harris Talks Hatchet III and Among FriendsDanielle Harris has been on the scene for quite some time, working steady in the film industry from an early age. Learning from Hollywood notables like Tony Scott when she was in her teens, she’s now sort of become horror’s new go-to gal, working with Rob Zombie, Jim Mickle, and Adam Green to name a few.

She’s been on countless movie sets throughout the years and is probably about as seasoned as it gets for an actress her age. After promotion wraps up for her latest, Hatchet III, you’d think it might be time for Harris to take a much needed sabbatical from the genre that made her a household name (well, at least in certain households). However, she has no plans to stop developing as an artist, and with her directorial debut, Among Friends, arriving on DVD in August, she’s ready to put all of that knowledge to good use.

Dread Central: I remember actually meeting you a couple of times at horror conventions, and you were always really warm and cool with everyone. How often have you been attending horror conventions over the years, and do you find that, in addition to meeting the fans, it’s also a good way to network? I’m sure you’ve gotten to know Caroline Williams, Kane Hodder, Derek Mears, and people like that at conventions. Is that correct?

Danielle Harris: Yeah, these guys are family, and it’s more from the convention circuit than it is from us working on films together. I mean, I’ve been sitting next to Kane signing autographs for the last, I don’t know, five years I would say? And after Hatchet II, I would always sit in-between Tony Todd and Kane, and then before them, Tyler Mane. You just create a family. It’s the same people. The genre is so small that it’s the same group of us that work over and over and over again, and I’m kind of the only girl. You know, there’s women, but I’m kind of on the younger side so I have all these big brothers. I’ve got the Bill Moseleys and the Sid Haigs… I mean, you name it and they all look out for me. So it’s definitely a good way to… well, we don’t really network. I mean, maybe we’ll be like, ‘Oh, I’m doing this movie, there may be this thing, I’ve gotta get you in on that.’ And it’s like, ‘Oh great, that sounds good.’ But normally we just kind of fuck with each other. I went to a couple when I was younger, and then I didn’t really do them for maybe twenty years, I would say. I didn’t want to do them because I wasn’t doing horror movies. I didn’t want to still be talking about Jamie Lloyd from 1989. There’s a little something that’s shifted over the last year or so, where there’s a little bit less of a line drawn or a boundary. I’ve decided after this year to take a little bit of a break and let things mellow out a little bit.

DC: Yeah, you’re right, that’s understandable. There’s a big difference between being a fan and being a nuisance. You’re obviously no stranger to sequels; when you’re on a familiar set again like Hatchet III, is it hard to not just go through the motions because you know the drill at that point, or did director BJ McDonnell inject enough energy into the proceedings this time around?

DH: It’s so easy the second time around, [but it can be] hard to get back into it, especially because you’re starting from one hundred miles per hour and then you have to go from there. So there’s no ramping up into it or finding your way again. Just do it. How do I get back into what I was? But I’ve changed and Marybeth has changed. She’s gone through so much that she’s just changed as a person from what she’s experienced in the last twenty-four hours. So I could use that to my advantage. With BJ [McDonnell], like most directors in the genre, I don’t really get directed. I kind of already know what to do. Maybe I’ll get small adjustments. BJ’s good with that. But Adam [Green] really sort of helped me find Marybeth in the second one and I was able just to carry that over into the third. And we’re all family. We were back on set and went right back into it. It didn’t feel like I had been away for a couple of years. I put those clothes back on and was like, ‘All right, here we go. She’s back.’

DC: It is interesting that you say that you already knew what to do. It seems like the actors tend to have been on more horror film sets than the filmmakers a lot. A lot of times it can be first-time filmmakers or people that have only done a few films. So it’s interesting, that dynamic.

DH: Yeah, most of the movies that I’ve done are like that. Most of the movies that I’ve done, especially in the last twenty years, I don’t think I’ve worked with one director that’s worked as much as I have. Obviously, I’ve worked with people like Tony Scott and Rob Cohen, some amazing directors, so I’ve seen the big dogs at play. It’s exciting to experience being on someone’s set for the first time, and there’s definitely times where I will not make it so easy for them because I kind of want to break them in a little bit. I’ll challenge them a little bit just to make them think on their toes for a minute. And then, of course, I just shut up and do my job. What’s interesting and funny to me, too, is that there’s a little bit of fanboy in every horror director. They’re all fans. They’re not just directors, they’re literally all fans that grew up watching me and they geek out a little bit behind the monitor watching me do a scene. It’s just the weirdest thing. I know they’re looking at me and imagining me as Jamie Lloyd! There’s just that little thing in their eye. Not BJ because he’s got the camera and the cinematic background, but the Adam Greens and the Rob Zombies and those guys, they geek out behind the monitor a little more than BJ does. BJ would geek out over getting an amazing shot; Adam geeks out on a scene being acted out and me being covered in blood.

DC: You’re actually now making your directorial debut with Among Friends. Why do you think it took this long for you to want to direct? That’s coming out later this summer on DVD, right?

DH: Yeah, it comes out on DVD in August. You know, I think it’s just time for me to make that transition. I’ve worked so much in the genre as an actor, and it’s hard for me to get a job out of the genre. The times have changed, the industry’s changed. And unless I go back and audition again – I just really hate auditioning – it’s hard to get cast in stuff. Period. They want to make their money and they want these people that are on television shows. They want people that are on ABC Family or the Selena Gomez types or it’s Disney stuff. It’s not about being a good actor and getting cast. I don’t really have a desire to be famous or be on a TV show. That’s not where my heart is. I’ve kind of done it; I’ve had such amazing roles and opportunities as an actor. I’ve done so many types of roles, especially in the last couple of years, that I think I just needed to learn something else. I learned so much. I could show up on a horror movie set with my eyes closed. There’s nothing that’s new to me. I just feel like I’m opening parts of my brain that haven’t been accessed in such a long time, and it feels really good. So I think it’s a chance for everyone to see a side of me that they may not know. Because I’ve been accessible and I’ve been doing it for so long that I think everybody thinks they know me. But there’s a whole other side to me that I’d like to show, and directing really allows me to do that.

DC: So you really did enjoy it and it sounds like you’re planning on doing it again.

DH: I just want to be in a post house. I want to go out and shoot for six weeks and then spend a year in a post house: working on color, working on editing and our score and our music. I just love that process. I can just show up in a baseball hat and my sneakers and a T-shirt and just sit there all day and get to pick frame by frame. I love that.

DC: And it’s in a nice air-conditioned room. You’re not on set being attacked by mosquitoes.

DH: Exactly! You got it.

Check out our Hatchet III reviews!

HATCHET III opens today in New York City’s Cinema Village and in Los Angeles at Laemmle Music Hall. Opening week will feature special appearances by cast and crew, followed by Q&A’s at each location. Look for the flick on VOD as well.

Synopsis:
Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder return in HATCHET III and are joined by Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Derek Mears (Friday the 13th 2009), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Sean Whalen (The People Under the Stairs), and others.

HATCHET III continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

The sequel, which was filmed outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, from late May to mid-June, 2012, is a co-production of MPI/Dark Sky Films and Hatchet III writer/executive producer Adam Green’s Los Angeles-based ArieScope Pictures.

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Amazon Developing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower TV Series

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The Dark TowerIt’s been a while since we brought you guys an update on the planned TV series based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series.

But today it looks like we have confirmation via Deadline that, “Amazon… is developing a slew of high-profile titles, including The Dark Tower…”

The series is being developed by Amazon as part of their bid to move into bigger budgeted spectacles ala their recent acquisition of the rights to The Lord of the Rings.

No further info is available at this time but we will keep you up to date as we hear word on Amazon’s “The Dark Tower.”

Are you excited about this series? Let us know below!

Synopsis:

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

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Rutger Hauer Says There Was No Love and No Soul in Blade Runner 2049

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I don’t know about you, but I dug the hell out of last summer’s Blade Runner 2049. I found the film to be a tonally perfect addition to the Blade Runner universe and appreciated how it built on the story established in the original film.

That said, there are some out there that aren’t fans of the sequel – most of all, it seems, is the original film’s baddie, Rutger Hauer.

Recently, Hauer spoke with THR and didn’t hold back on his dislike of the new film.

“I sniff and scratch at it,” Hauer says. “It looks great, but I struggle to see why that film was necessary. I just think if something is so beautiful, you should just leave it alone and make another film. Don’t lean with one elbow on the success that was earned over 30 years in the underground.”

He continues: “In many ways Blade Runner wasn’t about the replicants; it was about what does it mean to be human? It’s like E.T. But I’m not certain what the question was in the second Blade Runner. It’s not a character-driven movie and there’s no humor, there’s no love, there’s no soul. You can see the homage to the original. But that’s not enough to me. I knew that wasn’t going to work. But I think it’s not important what I think.”

Wow, don’t hold back, Hauer. Tell us how you really feel!

I’m kidding. And while I don’t agree with Hauer on this particular issue, the man has more than earned the right to think it IS “important what [he] thinks.

Do you agree with Rutger Hauer on Blade Runner 2049? Let us know below!

Synopsis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

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Ash vs Evil Dead Set Visit Part 2: Learning About Kelly, Pablo, and Brandy

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If you haven’t read through the first part of my set visit for the third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, make sure to do so here.

After walking through the halls of Brandy’s high school, the sperm bank clinic that has been seen in the trailer, Brock’s house, and the streets of Elk Grove (all through the magic of set designs), it was time to sit down with stars Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, who told me about their characters Kelly and Pablo through this season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”! Oh, and there’s also a lot from Arielle Carver-O’Neill about her character Brandy as well, because who can resist hearing from Ash’s daughter?

After finding out that Dana, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, is a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, our interview nearly ended. After all, your boy is a Wolverine, through and through, and anyone who knows sports rivalries knows that Buckeyes and Wolverines don’t get along. That being said, we managed to put aside our differences so that I could learn a bit about Kelly and what she’ll be going through this season.

I really loved Kelly’s journey in season one and two. It was very exciting to play because, in a way, it mirrored my own as an actor coming into a franchise like this. Just like Kelly was dragged into this fight against evil and was caught completely off guard, it was very similar to the actor struggling for 10 years. I was living in Los Angeles working at a bar when I got this job. All of a sudden I’m being thrown into this with this incredible franchise, with the amazing producers of Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, where a franchise that’s built upon one man, a lone wolf as we’ve said, who is the star of this show and now he’s going to have sidekicks, that was terrifying as well! But it was really cool because I feel like I got to grow with Kelly and every time Kelly did something new, it was me doing something new,” DeLorenzo explains.

Expanding on that, DeLorenzo starts telling me more about Kelly and how she specifically changes through the upcoming season, saying, “At the end of season two, there’s the parade. And if you look, you can see that Kelly isn’t happy. Kelly is the smart one of that trifecta, the ghostbeaters. She knows that evil is not gone for good, which brings us to season three. Now that she’s tasted blood, she’s constantly chasing that high. So, at the start of season three, Kelly is a warrior without a war. She wants to stay on her game for when evil comes back. Her journey for season three…evil paints Kelly in a bloody corner and sets up her to fail where she can’t do what she does best, which is kick evil’s ass. She’s put in these catch-22 situations that she can’t fight her way out of without someone she cares about getting hurt. I think fans will be shocked at her transformation [this season].”

The theme of family running throughout this season of the show is not lost on DeLorenzo, who recognizes that Kelly’s ultimate purpose throughout this series is called into question through events that she wasn’t able to elaborate upon. However, she did tell me, “It was always about protecting and staying by the side of Ash and Pablo because they are not her family by blood but they are her family by bloodshed.

When describing the ghostbeaters, she calls Ash the “brawn”, Pablo the “heart”, and Kelly the “brains”. Later, as I sat with Arielle Carver-O’Neill, I asked what Brandy represents, to which she stated, “the hope”. “They all become very protective of Brandy and are very supportive of her journey,” Carver-O’Neill explains.

I asked her to envision a world where a fourth season is confirmed and how she’d like to see Brandy’s role expanded. Pondering this for a couple of moments, she then told me, “I’d like to see her find herself a bit more. I think just because she’s a teenager, you go through that journey at that age where you are figuring out who you are and your parents, either consciously or unconsciously, play a large role in that. For her, she only had her mum and then she found parts of herself in her dad. But she’s got a lot of growing up to do and I think that’d be really fun to explore how she goes about that.

For Santiago, the character and evolution of Pablo throughout the series has a very personal meaning for him. “As a kid, I grew up watching horror films and I always wanted to be the hero saving people from the monster and I always wanted to be the person chased by the monster. I think, in this show, I have the opportunity do that every day as Pablo and I’m one step closer to becoming the superhero I wanted to be as a kid,” he states.

As for his evolution, Santiago sees Pablo as going from a pushover in the first season to someone very important and potentially very powerful in the third season. “We’ve seen Pablo go from this naive guy [in the first season] that’s pushed through the ringer to last season and…the Necronomicon and Pablo have an undeniable relationship that will never end. As we move into this third season, Pablo sees things differently. He’s not just tormented by his visions of darkness, we see that he may not be just a sidekick but also psychic! We’re going back to his family and we callback to his roots. Perhaps it wasn’t just a coincidence that he met Ash and that he himself was always destined to be somewhat of a Jefé. I think season three is where we see all that coming to fruition. He’s not just along for the ride, he’s become an integral part of the team.

Part III of our set visit coming soon!

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