While visiting the set of Jim Mickle’s STAKE LAND recently, Fango had a chance to chat with actress Danielle Harris (pictured) about her role in HATCHET 2, writer/director Adam Green’s highly anticipated sequel which just started shooting in LA. The HALLOWEEN actress is a newcomer to a cast of returning favorites, including Tony Todd and Kane Hodder, in the Victor Crowley adventure.
“I’m really excited about it,” Harris tells us while getting her makeup touched up. “I replaced the lead actress. Adam is a really good friend of mine, and I have been trying to work with him for so long. I have yet to do a comedy in the genre, and I’ve really been trying to pick things I’ve never done before. I did the web series [FEAR CLINIC]—I’d never worked with Robert Englund before, or Kane [Hodder] for that matter. I did a zombie short called BURY THE EX; I’d never done anything of that kind before. So I kind of tackled the zombie thing, now I’m doing the vampire thing [with STAKE LAND], and I get to do a humorous approach to the genre next.”
Marking her first leading role in years, HATCHET 2 (on which Green’s ArieScope Pictures is partnered with Dark Sky Films) offers Harris a chance to flex her acting chops in a way we haven’t seen in some time. “I’ve been playing the friend for so long,” she says with a sigh. “But to be honest, in a lot of ways those are the roles I prefer. It seems that the lead characters are the girls who start off as not strong, feisty people, and then they grow into being that girl. It’s not really who I am to be that character; I’m better as the Annie to the Laurie. I like the sidekick parts. There’s a little bit more room to play and be crazy and sassy; they’re just edgier. In HATCHET 2 I’m actually the lead, and I haven’t had that in a horror film for a long time.
“I mean, I guess I’m the female lead here [in STAKE LAND],” she continues, “but I still think of Nick Damici and Connor Paolo as the leads. I feel like it’s Mister’s [Damici] movie, he created the scene, and it’s through Martin’s [Paolo] eyes, and then I’m one of the players in his game. To actually carry a movie in this genre, and for it to be a comedy that sort of makes fun of what I do for a living, is something I’m really excited about. Also, finally getting the chance to play, rather than go to work and be emotionally and physically exhausted every night, is something I found very enticing.”
Despite the toll her roles take on her, Harris is adamant that the horror genre is the only place for her. “It kind of chose me more than I chose it,” says the actress, who can be seen and heard in the recent DVD releases BLOOD NIGHT: THE LEGEND OF MARY HATCHET and GODKILLER: WALK AMONG US respectively. “I can’t imagine being in a romantic comedy, as nice as that might be. I like this, this is what I do and I feel like with HALLOWEEN 4 being my first role, it’s in my blood. There’s really no other actress around my age that I can compare my career to, so I believe I’m kind of the go-to girl. But I’m very picky. A lot of stuff comes my way, and as much as I like to act, I want to do things that challenge me. I believe I’m getting there. I’m working on it.”