Danielle Harris Interview On 'Hatchet II,' 'Halloween,' Horror Films
Danielle Harris, known as the scream queen who's starred in several of the Halloween films, is getting in trouble again in the new unrated horror flick, Hachet II. Harris, 33, is starring in the lead role of Marybeth in Hatchet II, which had been originally been played by Tamara Feldman. “You know, a lot of people are asking how I feel about replacing her,” she told Uinterview exclusively, "and they feel like she sort of set up Marybeth and then I picked it up when she had reached a certain place, and now I can take it from that place and move on from there.”
You know, a lot of people are asking how I feel about replacing her, and they feel like she sort of set up Marybeth and then I picked it up when she had reached a certain place, and now I can take it from that place and move on from there. Marybeth in the first movie went through all these secrets, and she was trying to find out about her toddler brother, and then in the end it was really amped up. And I have to pick it up from that point after knowing all that other stuff. So I really didn’t have to do anything similar to what Tamara Feldman did, but I had all that information, so the only real character stuff was knowing what she had gone through in the first one. And I had to take it from there and move up from that.
When I read the script, [director] Adam [Green], before he sent it to me, went, “Ok, here’s the deal, you’re crying in like every scene. Like every scene that you’re in, you’re going to be in hell.” And I was like, “Oh my god,” because usually when you do those movies, you get to work up to that. And you only have like, maybe a week out of a month, on a shoot, where you know you’re going to have to bring it every single day. You start cute and end bad. In this one I started bad, and I ended worse. So it was emotionally grueling for me, I mean every single time. The fans are rooting for Victor Crawley, so I had to find a way to have them root for me. So that was an interesting and tricky balance to go and say ok, "I'm from New York, don’t let my accent sneak in," because when I get angry, Queens comes out, and I needed to stay true to New Orleans, and I just wanted to find the vulnerability in that character.
No. Only get scared of hurting myself.
Yeah. I have a scene where I actually use one of the hatchets, and I had them glue it to my hand because I was afraid. Because it’s so heavy I was worried I was going to hit myself in the head because it’s double-sided. So while I’m maneuvering I thought, 'Oh this would be my luck,' you know?
I know my script had my name watermarked all across it. But some of the characters didn’t have full scripts, so they didn’t know what was gonna happen. Some did. Most of the people that were in a majority of the scenes had the full script. Only a couple people didn’t have the full script. Adam wanted to keep the whole project a secret. But there’s no way. The fans are gonna find out.
Well I’m going to start in the genre, of course, because it’s what I know. It’s fun for me. And I get to call favors on all my friends who are movie stars and will totally come in and play with me. There’s no female directors in the genre, which is really weird to me because all the leads are females. I mean there’s just as many women fans, almost, as there are men, so I’m not really sure what the deal is with that. So I think it’s just time again to change that. I mean women are objectified in a lot of movies. Not necessarily horror movies. How many boobs do you see when you go and see a comedy? I mean it’s still, it’s still there.
Yeah! And women! Absolutely. One idea I had was to shoot something that was very female-based. You know it’s kind of looking at Drew Barrymore as an inspiration because she created her production company and she’s directing her movies, and they’re all chick flicks, but they’re all badass. I wanna do that within my world. Like Tarantino is one of the best at writing hardcore women. He’s a friend of mine, but I’m a huge fan as well, and I feel like those roles are kind of few and far between. I was reading a ton of scripts with females in mind and why aren’t there female killers? I mean, hello? So I think with I Spit On Your Grave and Hatchet we’re starting to move in that direction, so I thought I could do this. I know horror. I am the heroine and I am the victim. I’ve been on both sides of it. I’ve done horror and non-horror and I think I may be the one who can do it and do it right. So I started writing and I started to realize that I’m pretty dark and kind of twisted and I fight dirty. I really do. And I think it’s time to give us chicks that have a dark side something to cheer for. I saw, I keep using this example, Sex and the City, I went with all my girlfriends — it’s super fun but it romanticizes what we think we can have sometimes. Like I want my apartment to look like Carrie’s apartment — that’s probably not going to happen. I walk out feeling angry, like where’s my man? Where’s my Aidan? Where’s my Big? I want to do a First Wives Club meets Fight Club sort of thing. A la Tarantino’s style. And I wanted women to get together under the guise of sisterhood to take out other chicks that get in our way of getting what we deserve. I find as I get older, there are a lot of women that, being single and in my 30s and being someone that has their shit together and is intimidating to a lot of men, for whatever reason — a lot of guys seem to like these doe-eyed innocent girls. There are a lot of great women that aren’t in relationships. Or don’t have the position or career that they want, because there’s some dumb bitch that gets in the way of that. I don’t like the men that cheat. It’s all over the news now. But what about the woman that knows that man is spoken for? Like how dare you? How dare you give that man your number when you know he has a family. You pig. I’m sorry but if women weren’t flaunting it, men wouldn’t be able to do it. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else. So I thought if I could just get rid of all these chicks. If I could just rid the town of these dumb bimbos, these women that are smarter than this. Our world, our life, would be so much easier. So I’m gonna start a movement and make it happen. I’m gonna start a movement empowering women, and I’m gonna put it on film, and get rid of all these bimbos. But really who cares about them? Those women will get theirs. You know better. And you keep doing it. So I thought it’d be really fun to try and find ways to kill other women. I’m finding lots of fun ways to kill other women. So that’s what I’m working on.
I think it’s a huge deal. I mean I’m so happy that I’m part of something that could possibly change history for the horror genre. I saw what Rob Zombie went through in making the Halloween movies. I saw him worrying that the movie that everyone was going to be seeing wasn’t going to be his movie. It was what they told him the movie should be. The director’s cuts are so different.
Oh my god! Everything. The movie’s just completely different from what he shot, and what he wanted to show the fans. So I think that what’s so great about this being unrated and uncensored is U.S. fans get to see the movie the way it was intended to be seen. And it’s in good fun. I mean Adam said it great when he went in front of the board at the MPAA. He said, 'Look at The Hills Have Eyes. You’ve got someone getting raped in front of their infant and then the fathers in the back getting crucified!' Then a movie like Hatchet II — I mean there’s no way that any of this could ever be real. It’s just fun and ridiculous. Adam’s head is on the chopping block right now. He’s putting his butt on the line. So this is a huge opportunity for independent filmmakers.
I just wanted everyone to realize that I wasn’t little Jamie Lloyd anymore. I wasn’t this child actor. I was an adult. I’m 33 years old now. So I was 30 years old, and I just felt like it’s time for me to make that transition. And I love the way Rob [Zombie] shoots. I trusted him. And it wasn’t about T&A. It wasn’t about, “Oh we’re going to show your boobs now.” It just so happened to be that that’s what was happening when Myers comes and finds me. I mean we’re real women, with real bodies and real breasts, and it wasn’t about that. If it was just for show, like a close-up of my boobs… absolutely not. Have I gotten 10 or 20 scripts that have come my way based on the thinking that, “Oh well she’ll do it once, she’ll do it again?" Absolutely. But it’s not going to happen. It has to be for the right thing, you know?
Yeah, when I started my career at 10, it just felt like so much fun. And fun to watch. Back when they were making movies that were fun to watch. That’s why Hatchet II is so rad, because it’s an homage to all those movies you grew up rooting for and watching and laughing. I used to walk out of one of those movies with a smile on my face. I kind of am surprised by the Scream Queen thing. But it didn’t hurt Jamie Lee Curtis, so I proudly take that title.
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.