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JOHN CARPENTERS HALLOWEEN-
PROFILES- DANIELLE HARRIS




It was in October of 1988 that Danielle Harris first hit the big screen. She has since gone on to star in several films and television series to become of the most popular HALLOWEEN alumni. Little is known about Harris. Her full name is Danielle Andrea Harris...she was born on June 1, 1977. Her mother represented her in her youth. HALLOWEEN 4 marked her entrance into the motion picture industry, where she became good friends with her co-star, Ellie Cornell. She returned for HALLOWEEN 5, and wanted to play the part of Jamie in HALLOWEEN 6, although Dimension Films ended up going with J.C. Brandy instead. In her spare time, which there is very little of, she enjoys dancing, biking, ice skating, horseback riding, and karate. Here is a list of her appearances in the media...

MOTION PICTURES

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers [1988] -- Jamie Lloyd
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers [1989] -- Jamie Lloyd
Marked for Death [1990] -- Tracey
The Last Boy Scout {1991} -- Darian Hallenbeck
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead {1991} -- Melissa
City Slickers {1991} -- Classroom Student
Free Willy {1993} -- Gwenie (note: directed by H4 director, Dwight Little)
Daylight {1996} -- Ashley Crighton
Wish Upon a Star {1997} -- Hayley Wheaton
Urban Legend (1998)


TELEVISION APPEARANCES

"Oprah Winfrey Show" {1989} - appeared to promote H5
"In Living Color" {1990}
The Killing Mind {1991} {TV Movie} --Young Isobel
Nightmare {1991} {TV Movie} --Dana Hemmings
"The Commish" (1991)
" Erere Indiana" {1991}, as Melanie Monroe {ep. Heart on a Chain}
"Growing Pains" {1991}, {ep.The Big Fix }
"Jack's Place" {1992}
"Roseanne" TV Series {1992-1993} Molly Tilden
The Women Who Loved Elvis {1993} (TV Movie) -- Priscilla
Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography {1994} {TV Movie} -- Jessica
Back To Back {1996} {TV Movie} -- Chelsea


In the spring of 1997, she returned to the big screen with WISH UPON A STAR. Here she plays Hayley, your average high school grungey outcast. Meanwhile, her sister is the preppy, popular one with a great looking boyfriend. One night Hayley wishes on a shooting star to BECOME her sister. The next morning, she awakes, in her sister's body! "Thank God, Katie [her co-star] and I got along!" says Harris. "We had to work really closely, studying each other's performances and then trying to duplicate them...We only played our physical characters for about ten minutes, the rest of the time we were playing each other!"Harris also recently returned to horror with a supporting role in URBAN LEGEND and a guest spot on the hit TV show CHARMED.

"Danielle Harris on Horror Movies"

If cinematic horror had a royal family, Danielle Harris would be it's princess. Her celluloid image as little Jamie Lloyd was etched forever into the consciousness of horror fans when she starred in Halloween 4 & 5 as the niece of Michael Myers and the daughter of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) - who appears only in 4 as a photograph in a frame. If audiences felt in any way betrayed by the undocumented disappearance of Curtis' character, they accepted it and took Laurie's orphaned daughter to their hearts -and their nightmares - in the two sequels. Halloween fans watched in horror as the Shape rose from the dead to stalk - and ultimately possess - the innocent little girl. They endured the incoherent Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, which featured an older Jamie (now played by J.C. Brandy). And they watched thrilled but bemused, as Curtis reprised her role in Halloween: H20, which bears no reference to the previous four films - and likely missed Harris terribly in the process.

Instead, horror's crown princess appears this year in TriStar's Urban Legend, all grown up and almost unrecognizable to anyone still looking for the ebony-haired little girl in the clown suit. At 20, Danielle Harris has blossomed into a beautiful woman, and an actress of consequence who has appeared in several major action films like The Last Boy Scout and Daylight. And with Urban Legend, she has come back full circle to horror films, a fact that wasn't lost on anyone on set. The presence of Harris and Robert England in the cast generated its own heart and nostalgia, and her return to the genre is something she is happy to discuss with her fans, and with FANGORIA, the magazine she recalls as her first enthusiastic supporter.

"This movie is different from all the other horror films out there right now, because it's about something unique, but something that everyone knows," she says of Urban Legend. "I think that when it's left to the imagination, it's much more scary. Even the opening scene-you see the ax come through the window and the blood hitting the glass, but you don't actually see her head coming off."

But you do see plenty of Harris' blood-mostly on the wall, in a message left by the killer for Urban Legend's heroine (Alicia Witt). It's an enactment of the old story about a coed who retires for the night with out turning the light on, only to discover the freshly murdered corpse of her roommate the next morning. Several factors weighed on Harris when she decided to resume her career as a scream queen, her role in the film being just one of them. "I play a terrific part", she says. "I'm a supporting cast member, but she's one of the most intriguing characters in the movie - a Marilyn Manson-loving maniac depressive. I'm only on screen long enough for the audience to want me off. As this character, Tosh, I'm not a little princess, or a good little girl, or sweet or innocent. I'm so opposite from that right now."

Harris has often been asked what it meant to her to assume a pivotal role in one of the most celebrated horror franchises of all time, at an age when most of her peers were still in the throes of full-time childhood. "I really didn't think about it, because I was 10," she says of Halloween 4. "It was my first movie, so I was more excited about that-just being an actress, never mind being in a horror movie. At that time, I wasn't even a horror movie fan. I did Halloween 4 and 5 back to back, and I decided that horror movies were all I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was going to be my thing."

There were tangible benefits for the young star. In addition to burgeoning fame with the public and increased visibility among her peers, she became an adored member of the franchise family as well. "For Halloween," she laughs. "I went out trick-or-treating as my character, Jamie Llyod. All of my friends went with me. [Executive Producer] Moustapha Akkad have my mom money to have a premiere for me in New York because I couldn't make it to the one in LA. She hired a theater, we screened the movie and I invited all of my friends." She saw the film many subsequent times as well. "I would go with my friends," she says, "and my mom would have to go with us because we were underage!"
Six months later, she began shooting Halloween 5, which followed little Jamie's story to it's next logical conclusion. Wiser and more experienced-even if only by half as year-the actress began to learn about the mechanics-and ego conflicts-inherent in her new position. "I had a bit of a problem with one of the characters on Halloween 5," Harris reveals. "It was a problem between his mom and my mom. He actually only worked on the show for about a week, and I was there for six weeks. Something had happened to my trailer, and they gave me his. There was a VCR in there, and my videos and my stuff-my costumes, blankets and pillows.
"When he came back on set, his mom threw all of my stuff out of the trailer, into horse manure, because we were shooting on a ranch," she continues. "She was furious that I has even been in his room. My mom freaked out and basically said, This is ridiculous-why is my daughter going through all of this? She's the star of the film. You need to take care of this problem. Until you do, I'm taking her offset.' My mom is anything but a stage mother, and she would only have done that if there was a major problem. I was crying, and his mom was yelling at me."

It was at this point that Harris was able ro witness, up close, the kindness and grace much evidenced by the late Donald Pleasence. "Donald pulled me aside and said, 'Look I wrap tonight, and when I leave tomorrow I'm going to make them keep my trailer, and it's going to be yours because you are the star of this movie.' My trailer was bigger than the director's trailer," Harris laughs, "and it was all because of him. He was such a gentlemen." Her performances in both films were made easier by the good will of the rest of the cast and crew, who took the young actress under their wing. Recognizing that Harris was young and possibly vulnerable, everyone pulled together to make the experience more comfortable for her. "I made really good friends with the special effects guys on both Halloweens," she says. "They showed me everything, and explained how it was going to be done. They didn't want me to have nightmares. I was even close and friendly with both George Wilbur and Don Shanks, who played Michael Myers in those two films. They were really cool with me, and they explained everything that they were going to do before they did it." One unexpected side effect of her new visibility as a horror icon, albeit a junior one, was that Harris unwittingly became a lightning rod for many of the prejudices the general population has about horror. She remembers one experience on Geraldo, where she appeared on a panel with Stepfather star Terry O'Quinn, producer Richard Rubinstein and Fango editor Tony Timpone.

"He was totally on my side," Harris says of Timpone. "There was a guy in the audience who said that most women in horror movies turn out to be porno stars. That was actually cut out of the Geraldo show because my mom said,‘That's wrong-that's not going to be my daughter.' I told the audience that there was crime every day in New York, and that the news was just as graphic as any horror movie, perhaps even more so-the fact that you can read that a women was stabbed to death 18 times and left in a dumpster is far more gruesome." When it came time to shoot Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, conflicts manifested themselves that eventually precluded her involvement, "I didn't like the script and there was a conflict about money-they were convinced that my character was a ‘scale plus 10' character, which was odd because I made more money on the first one and that was 10 years ago," Harris says wryly. "I was butting heads with everybody in the room-I really wanted to say, ‘Hey, let me tell you how Halloween sequels go, ‘ I didn't know if the director [Joe Chappelle] was even a fan of horror movies, or what kind of person he was. We never even talked until we met, and he told me what we were going to do. I didn't click." And when Halloween: H20 rolled around, there was no place for her-since the film is a follow up to the events following Halloween 2, Harris ‘ character was essentially uncreated and Curtis' Laurie was suddenly alive and well. Audiences were delighted at Curtis' return, but Harris has regrets about her non-presence in the movie. "I wasn't offered any involvement in H20," she says. "I had my manager call the producer and ask if I could play a cameo. Maybe there were a little mad that I didn't do Halloween 6. I hadn't asked to play one of the leads-that would have been a little dumb. But even a walk-by or a little scene behind the counter serving soda. Just something simple. All of the people who'd seen the Halloweens would have said, ‘Hey there she is!' But they didn't want to do it."

Like Curtis, Harris has made an impressive career for herself outside the horror genre, and her partial list of male co-stars reads like a blockbuster Who's Who. She has appeared with Sylvestor Stallone (in Daylight), Bruce Willis (in Last Boy Scout), and Steven Seagal (in Marked for Death, from Halloween 4 director Dwight Little), to name just a few.

"He was so nice," Harris says of Stallone (whose son Sage also appeared in Daylight as a potential romantic interest for Harris' character). "I was a little freaked out thinking, ‘Oh God, maybe he's going to be a jerk, he's such a big star,' and I was nervous. It was really cool, actually. We met him about an hour before we had out first scenes with him in the tunnel. He took the time to hang out-we were sitting in a tunnel full of water, and he would kneel down with me and have a conversation. I had a lot of fun doing Daylight, even though it was hard-‘Ugh, I have to get we again!'-and working with thousands of rats, etc. Actually, it was like a big playground-a huge water park."

She had an even better time in Last Boy Scout. "That was probably my favorite. Bruce Willis is awesome," she says foundly. "We'd ride this guy Carmine's big Bronco up to set, and Bruce would be pumping rap musi and spitting bubble hum out the window with me.

"I didn't work with Steven Seagal that much-two or three days at most," she says of her Marked for Death stint. "But he was really nice. He took me into his trailer and showed me all of his spears and ninja stuff."

Harris has also appeared opposite another imposing figure, Roseanne, in the actress' hit series and the network movie The Woman Who Loved Elvis, and in the young appeal films Don't Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead and Free Willy and a TV flick called Don't Touch My Daughter (released on video as Nightmare). Now she's back in scream territory, and one reason for her Urban participation is that she has genuine supporters in the genre, horror fans being among the most loyal of any type of film followers. "I get recognized the most from those movies," she says of the Halloween duo. "They are my most devoted fans, the real, true fans who have followed my career over the last 11 years." And they will be delighted to know that she'd like to continue working in this genre. "Yeah, I do want to do more horror films," she says, "but cool ones. I read for I Know What You Did Last Summer and Killing Mrs. Tingle. Kevin Williamson and I talked about it, but Katie Holmes is playing the lead and there's a height difference-she's 5-foot-10 and I'm 4-foot-11, so I couldn't really play her best friend. And I Know wasn't something I saw myself doing. It would have been a great opportunity, because it did so well. It made Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar, but Urban is a better horror movie." She doesn't, however, believe that horror films today have become more sophisticated as the audience for them grew up and was replaced by a younger, more experienced one. "I don't know if sophistication is the right word, because the original Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street were very simple-the sequels were like B-movies," she says. "Maybe today's movies are cleaner. You don't really see that much any more-it's more mental, about mood and terror. Scream was awesome, but I didn't like Scream 2 as much. Then again," she says philosophically, "it's hard to make a sequel, especially when the first one was so good. Look at the Halloween series: Halloween and Halloween 2 were fantastic, Season of the Witch didn't have anything to do with that story, in 4 they came back to the story after 2, then the story got lost again in Halloween 5. And I didn't care for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers very much. It's like hit and miss."