After a more than 30 years in the movie business, starting with her iconic starring role as Jamie Lloyd in the 1988 classic Halloween 4, Danielle Harris says that she has only recently begun to truly appreciate and enjoy acting since becoming mom, and with a ton of exciting new projects happening and on the horizon, she is more in control of her own brand and destiny than ever before.
We recently talked to Danielle in an exclusive video interview about her amazing career and incredible journey that has brought her to this point, from being a part of the legacy of Michael Myers to being pals with Quentin Tarantino, and how her new podcast, Talk Scary To Me, with Scout Compton is the perfect outlet to show you who she really is behind the glamour, underneath the blood splatter, and beyond the masks.
When asked when she first knew that she wanted to act, Harris tells HDN, “You know, I’m only really kind of getting into it now as an adult. Being able to draw from life, essentially, is really rewarding. As a kid, I think I just thought it was fun. It was a way to get out of school, honestly, and to go away somewhere and get to meet a bunch of people, and do really fun things that other kids weren’t doing necessarily.
“But I think as I’m getting older – I mean, I went through a phase when I didn’t know if I wanted to be an actress anymore. That hard transition from kid to adult, not a lot of people can do that, and I was definitely having a hard time making that jump. Once I got back into horror, which is probably where I should have stayed maybe, I realized the community, that this is kind of my home.
“I didn’t do horror movies for 20 years. I did one, I did Urban Legend between Halloween 4 and Rob Zombie’s Halloween, but going back into it, I was like, ‘Okay, alright, this feels really good. Oh, I can carry the weight of a movie, I could be the lead’, like in the Hatchet series, things that I hadn’t really been given the opportunity, because was never really like the girl next door or the lead.
“I don’t know, I cut all my hair when I was younger and I put on a little bit of weight, and I think I was sort of rebelling against what the type was that they were looking for in the business when I was in my 20s. And now that I’m playing the mom, I think most actresses fear this part of their career, but for me, I’m like, ‘Yay, thank God.’ I don’t want to have to do that other part anymore. I don’t want to have to dress a certain way or be a certain way when I go into auditions anymore. I can just literally be me, and if it works, it does, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
“I think I’m just now coming into my own.”
Harris also reveals that seemingly no one behind the scenes of Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake had any conversation or acknowledgement about what a big deal it was going to be for fans to have our former Jamie Lloyd return to the franchise to take on the role of Annie.
“There really wasn’t,” she says. “It was actually fairly difficult for me to get in the room for that movie. It wasn’t offered to me. Rob didn’t want anybody from any of the Halloweens, including myself. I never thought like, ‘Oh, I could play another character,’ because I didn’t know if it would be accepted. These characters are iconic in the original, and yes, I was too in 4 and 5, but I didn’t know if that would necessarily cross over. And again, I didn’t really know that the fan support would be there, until after Rob’s movies came out. So I didn’t know what I was getting into. I just auditioned for it. I sort of fought my way in.
“I remember going to the audition room in front of casting, and signing in on the call sheet, my name, and it was like the Untitled Rob Zombie Project, but of course I knew what it was. And I’m looking around at the other people in the room, like I wonder if they know what this is or if they know who I am. I didn’t feel like I had a foot in the door. I thought that the cards were stacked against me for it.
“Even on set, I sort of felt like, Scout, that’s Laurie, she’s the lead and I’m a supporting character, and this is really fun. But I only worked two weeks on it, so I really didn’t feel like it was my thing, until after, and then I was like, ‘Oh this actually is a pretty important part,’ and fans were excited to have me back and were super accepting. I mean Scout got a lot of shit for playing Laurie, where I was immediately accepted and they were like ‘Yay, she’s back.’ So I was pretty happy about that, that’s for sure.”
On Halloween of this year, Harris launched her new podcast Talk Scary To Me, which she co-hosts with her Halloween and Halloween II co-star Scout Compton, where both are opening up about their personal lives like never before, revealing intimate details, wild stories, and lessons learned from their past experiences, and offering advice in response to fan questions about sex, love, and horror. It is refreshingly honest, unpredictably raw, and fascinatingly entertaining.
In describing the show, Danielle explains, “I grew up listening to Loveline. I loved Loveline. I just remember being a teenager and laying in my room listening to 103.5 and Dr. Drew was on, and just feeling like, wow – and it was the same stuff (we are discussing), the same questions mostly, but – just really kind of hearing everyone’s experiences, and it made me feel not so alone necessarily. And fan interaction, like getting to talk to you guys all the time, and really maybe helping some people, and having fun while we’re doing it. And then dishing. We definitely dish.
“I’ve always loved to tell stories. Then me just telling Scout stories about my life or sharing life situations. We’ve known each for so many years, but really have just bonded over the last couple of years traveling together, and sort of I’ve stepped into the big sister role. We just said, ‘Fuck it, let’s just do it.’ We were in quarantine, we had nothing to do. We’ve got to keep active and keep creative. ‘How can I get you to come over and hang out with me? We’ll do a podcast. That way you have to come over and hang out with me.’ So that’s kind of how it started.”
We also discussed working on Stake Land and Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (she almost had her baby on set), directing and reprising Jamie Lloyd in Among Friends, revisiting her Rosanne character on The Conners, and more, including celebrating Halloween itself. And of course we asked if Danielle would ever want to return to Haddonfield for another Halloween movie.
You can watch our full exclusive interview with Danielle Harris below.
You can listen to Talk Scary To Me on Spotify here or on your podcast platform of choice.
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