Actress Danielle Harris Directs a Killer Among Friends [OBXE Interview]
Actress Danielle Harris grew up in front of the camera, but now after over two decades in the spotlight the horror icon has directed a killer feature debut fittingly called Among Friends.
OBX Entertainment had the pleasure of talking to Danielle when she was in Virginia Beach last month for the Blood on the Beach Horror Convention, as she gave us the scoop on her next movie and the lowdown on her first full-length directorial effort. Read on for our exclusive interview!
Modern horror movies started with Alfred Hitchcock’s revolutionary masterpiece Psycho, which turned star Janet Leigh into the genre’s first official ‘scream queen’ following the most famous shower scene ever filmed.
When director John Carpenter rebooted what Hitchcock started with his own 1978 classic Halloween, it was Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis who inherited the thrown forged by her mother, after defeating the masked killer Michael Myers in the original film and its sequel (not to mention other genre favorites like The Fog, Terror Train, and Prom Night).
A new scream queen for a new generation was handed the bloody crown in 1988 when the world was introduced to a then 11-year-old Danielle Harris in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
After reprising her role (as the daughter of Curtis’ character) in the 1989 sequel Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Harris would later return the franchise to star as different character in director Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake and its own 2009 sequel, meaning she is now tied with Jamie Lee Curtis, both having appeared in a total of four Halloween films.
In addition to facing Michael Myers, Harris starred in seven episodes of the hit sitcom Roseanne and co-starred in a number of Hollywood hits, including Marked for Death, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, City Slickers, The Last Boy Scout, Free Willy, and Daylight, but it’s her numerous entries into the horror film genre that have solidified her status as the (still) reigning Scream Queen.
In the last decade and a half, in addition to the Zombie Halloween films, Danielle Harris starred in such genre favorites as Urban Legend, Stake Land, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, and the 2010 gorefest Hatchet II and it’s upcoming sequel, as confirmed to us by Danielle herself.
Harris told us exclusively that her next project will be the much anticipated second sequel to director Adam Green’s 2006 gorefest Hatchet.
“I’m excited to be starting Hatchet III next,” Harris told us. “It’s going to be great, and I’m looking forward to that.”
The lead character of ‘Marybeth’ was originally played by Tamara Feldman in the first film, before genre favorite Harris stepped into the role for the 2009 sequel. It was announced earlier this year that B.J. McDonnell would take over directing duties for the first time in this third installment, as Green will stay on as writer and executive producer.
Filming will begin at the end of this month.
Hatchet III will then be followed by the release of Harris’ own directorial debut, Among Friends.
When we talked to Danielle, it was just five days after the world premiere private screening of Among Friends in Los Angeles, and she was clearly happy with the reception of the film so far.
“Yeah, we just had the premiere,” said Harris, “and it was great. Everybody and their brother came out to see it and they all seemed to like it. It was a lot of fun.”
Following some festival screenings this summer, Danielle said she hopes the film will be available on DVD later this year.
“We’re working on a distribution deal now,” she said. “Hopefully it will be out in the fall.”
The low-budget flick is fittingly titled, as Harris worked with group of her real life friends to get the project off the ground – including producer/star Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (who co-starred with Harris in husband Michael Biehn’s own directorial debut The Victim) and writer/star Alyssa Lobit.
An early review at Joblo said the film as an ’80s-style throwback filled with wickedly dark humor, mind-bending drug use, and (of course) blood, calling Among Friends “fast, fun and pretty ferocious”.
After confirming her upcoming rematch with Victor Crowley in Hatchet 3, we asked Harris if she indeed appears on screen in Among Friends.
“I do make a small appearance,” she said of her comeo.