Danielle Harris is a modern scream queen, earning her stripes as a child in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. As an adult she has since starred in Rob Zombie’s two Halloween movies, the three Hatchet movies and more.
See No Evil 2 stars Harris as Amy, a mortician who stays late at work on her birthday to handle the bodies of Jacob Goodnight (Kane) and his victims from his previous rampage. When her friends show up to surprise her, they provide more fodder for the not yet dead Jacob. We got to speak with Harris by phone about her role in the Twisted Twins directed sequel, and her contributions to the recent Halloween Blu-ray set with all 10 films!
Nuke the Fridge: I know Jen and Sylvia are big Katie Isabelle fans. Were they as excited about you and your horror legacy?
Danielle Harris: I hope so. Or I’d be really pissed.
Nuke: It’s sort of a trick question. I know they were.
Danielle Harris: Yes, they were super uber geeked out total fangirls. When I met them actually about doing the movie, because I had approached them, they were so funny. I brought them a copy of American Mary to sign and I don’t usually want people’s autographs because it’s just a bit weird to me. No offense to people that collect for a living, but it just was really about that time, that little memento you get to bring back that you bonded with somebody. So when I met them for coffee, they were totally geeking out over me and I was geeking out equally over them. It was a love fest.
Nuke: Did they have any more obscure favorites of yours than the obvious ones?
Danielle Harris: I think they’ve seen every single movie that I’ve ever done, so I think they see every movie that exists on the planet. Really, they’re Halloween girls. They’re all about Halloween films, so that’s really cool. They were staying in my house for a little bit after the movie and I came home and they had a puppet of Michael Myers on my dining room table for me as a gift. They’re pretty big Halloween fans which is awesome.
Nuke: Of both versions, the two you made as a kid and the Rob Zombie ones?
Danielle Harris: I think they’re more old school. They seem to talk more about the older Halloweens than the new but I’m sure they’ve seen all of them.
Nuke: When you get offered a horror movie at this point, do you have a little bit of a sense of, “All right, I’ve got this?”
Danielle Harris: It depends. Those roles where [I feel] “All right, I’ve got this” are usually not the ones that I want to do because I’ve done it so much that it’s kind of boring, but it’s really difficult to find something that I haven’t. I’m at that point now where I could either be the victim or the final girl. It depends on where I am in my life. If I don’t want to take on that role of having to work 18-20 hour days for 15 days, it’s so much to do physically and emotionally as a woman in these movies, you’re like oh my God, i’m screaming and I’m crying and I’m running. Imagine doing that all day long, every single day for a month. It’s a bit taxing, but yet I want to be the final girl and I want to be the survivor and I want to be the fighter, but sometimes you want to come in and you want to play for two or three days and you want to be killed in a cool way, and you want to go. It just really depends.
Nuke: You’ve certainly faced a number of famous killers before. Is looking up at seven foot tall Kane a whole different thing?
Danielle Harris: He was the first one that, there’s actually a scene in the movie that unfortunately didn’t make it into the cut and I understand why. But when we shot it, I saw the girls tell him to do something. In the scene, Jacob was supposed to round the corner of the hallway when I was running with Seth. I was supposed to stop and scream, “What do you want from me?” And then he’s supposed to keep coming towards me and then he gets closer and I just take off running. That was the way the scene was supposed to go and we did it, and all of a sudden, Kane started running towards me. He took like three steps and cleared 30 feet. He was on my so fast that I just freaked out. I screamed like I scream in real life which is definitely not as tough as I do in the movies, and barely made it around the corner without completely eating sh*t and running into a wall. So let’s just say that his presence is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Nuke: Did Jen and Sylvia make you a wrestling fan?
Danielle Harris: I was always a wrestling fan. They’re like die hard, which is really cool. They were totally geeking out the entire time that they were getting to work with him and obviously with Katie again and myself I guess. I really would love to get in the ring with somebody. I don’t know who but what would be more interesting, to get in the ring with one of the guys or to get in the ring with one of the Divas? That might be on my list of something that I do in my future. That would be kinda cool. Who would you want to see me against, a guy or a girl?
Nuke: They’re both cool. There’s the elegance of fighting with the Divas, but then the empowering of letting you fight with the guys and saying it doesn’t matter, it’s all equal.
Danielle Harris: Right. I mean, listen, these guys are so huge that I would have to literally go at it from below the belt to really get them. Maybe with the girls I could actually probably really take them down. But I could probably really take down the guys. It just depends on how I hit ‘em.
Nuke: I enjoyed your contributions to the Halloween boxed set, especially that you smelled bourbon on Donald Pleasance’s breath in Halloween 5. At what age did you have a drink yourself as a young woman and realize, “Oh, that’s what that was?”
Danielle Harris: Oh God, I probably didn’t try bourbon until my mid-20s. I was dating a bartender about 24 and he introduced me to a Manhattan, and then an Old Fashioned. I’m actually kind of a bourbon whiskey drinker now. I don’t drink that much, but if I do, if I’m given the option of having an awesome dinner and I can order a drink, if it’s not wine and I’m going to have a drink, I usually go for some bourbon.
Nuke: It was great that you shared the story of why you weren’t in Halloween 6. Was that difficult to talk about?
Danielle Harris: It wasn’t. I’d told the story before, but I don’t think anyone really has seen me do it. I’ve done it in Q&As and stuff like that, but it was nice to have it on film and for people to know what really went down. I was warned that me saying it was the money got misconstrued over the years. It was never actually about money, because that amount of money is not a lot but it was about the principle of the way they were treating me. So I wasn’t sure how it would come across and if people would still be like, “That’s bullsh*t. You should’ve just done it.” I don’t know, fans can be a little bit opinionated in this world, so I was glad that it was well received and that now it’s on tape. I got the box set and I sat down and immediately popped in all of the discs. There are so many parts of the movies that I was involved in and the stories that I didn’t even know. I was happy to know that what I thought had happened had actually happened. I was a kid and thought, “Well, maybe I was imagining it this way.” They’re obviously not telling me stuff at 11 years old on set. So it was cool to know that I kinda knew what was going on and that my stories were as accurate as theirs were. And to hear another side of it too, as a filmmaker now as well, now seeing the way things went down, it’s pretty cool. I think it’s overdue and I think it’s a really awesome box set. It’s such a great idea.
Nuke: Do you think your character name Jamie Lloyd was a reference to Jamie Lee?
Danielle Harris: No, I don’t think so. That sounds like a fanboy question.
Nuke: That’s me. I just thought of it.
Danielle Harris: It’s like people have these crazy ideas about who the guy in black in Halloween 5 was. It’s like no, actually, nobody knows who he is. So I don’t want to bust anyone’s bubbles but I’m sure that it wasn’t. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe. You’d have to ask the writer if that was a reference.
Nuke: It’s okay, it’s just my bubble.
Danielle Harris: I hope I didn’t bust it.
Nuke: It’s okay. I didn’t have a lot invested in that theory.