Interview: Danielle Harris talks Inoperable, Jamie Lloyd and Halloween


Scream queen Danielle Harris paid us a visit here at 1428 Elm to talk about her newest film Inoperable, her time as Jamie Lloyd, and Halloween 2018.

Ever since the 1980s, Danielle Harris has been a mainstay in the horror genre. After winning the hearts of horror fans as young Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and 5, Harris would grow up to become one of the genre’s most beloved scream queens. She’s killing it to this very day, as can be seen in her newest flick Inoperable — due for release on DVD and VOD on Feb. 6.

In anticipation of the new film, Harris stopped by 1428 Elm to chat about about the past, present, and future of her career. Read on ahead for the complete interview!

Thanks for joining us here at 1428 Elm today, Danielle! First, I want to talk to you about your newest film Inoperable. One of the interesting things about this movie, compared to some of your other roles, is that it’s more of a psychological thriller. It’s a lot different than many of your other movies, so I was wondering what attracted you to this role when it came your way?

DH: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think a lot of times I get offered the same thing over and over again because somebody saw me do it one time, and they think, ‘Oh, I think that obviously Danielle would do that role.’ It’s really hard for me to find things that I haven’t done before, so this was one of the scripts that I hadn’t done. I hadn’t done a psychological thriller like this, so that was the reason for taking it.

How do you feel about the final product overall now that it’s wrapped?

I actually really liked it! Honestly, you never know, and there’s definitely been times that I’ve been surprised. Sometimes I thought it was going to be awesome, and then it was just shit, and I was the first one to be like, ‘Oh my god.’ And there’s other times where you’re a little bit concerned, and then you see it, and you’re like, ‘Okay, this isn’t bad.’ So it exceeded my expectations, let’s just say that.

via 20th Century Fox

Next, I’m going back a little bit, as I would be remiss if I didn’t ask about this. One of the freakiest horror movie moments is the ending of Halloween 4 where you’re brandishing a pair of bloody scissors at the top of the staircase. That moment really freaked me out as a kid, and I was curious how it was to create that scene from your point of view. Do you have any memories of filming that scene?

Because I was ten, I don’t think I really knew the impact that it would have on the Halloween fans, that it was going to start all over again. I think I just felt like, ‘Oh, this is fun! I get to be covered in blood, and I get to breathe heavy, and hold these scissors!’ I really had no idea that it was even referring to the cycle starting all over again, because in the scene where you see Jamie stabbing her stepmom in the bathtub, they actually had my stunt double doing that because they thought it was too graphic for me. So I don’t think I put two and two together until two or so years later, when I went, ‘Wait a minute, that is really creepy now looking back on it.’

I was going to ask you about that, if filming that role was more fun than it was scary, as you were on the other side of the curtain, so to speak.

Oh, yeah! I mean, they do everything that they possibly can to make it not scary for a child. They don’t want to fuck me up too much.

Right! I read online how you had the desire to appear in the sixth Halloween movie to reprise Jamie once again. As the story goes, you were too young to take the role, so you actually emancipated yourself to become available, but it ultimately still didn’t happen. What was it that happened that led to you not taking the role? Obviously they killed the character off very early into the movie, which was a controversial decision with the fans…

Yeah, I think we had found out that they were trying to replace Jamie, and it was because they just didn’t want to deal with the work schedule of a minor. I was just seventeen actually, so it wasn’t like I was that far from turning eighteen. And maybe it was because of, also, what it had entailed. But, the truth is, the movie that we actually ended up seeing was definitely not the script that I had read and wanted to be a part of.

So, I got emancipated on my own dime, and we went in to get the ball rolling, and then everything just kind of started changing. So, we decided to go our separate ways. In retrospect, I’m kind of glad. Dan Farrands, the writer, and I always joke that one day we’re going to remake Halloween 6 the way it should have been made.

via 20th Century Fox

I’d love to see that some day! Obviously, the next film in the franchise is due to come out this year. Recently, you were making some headlines after you expressed your desire to be a part of the movie. Did you have any specific ideas? Were you hoping to reprise the role of Jamie in an alternate timeline as Laurie’s daughter?

Yeah, I mean, really, from what I’ve heard, it’s supposed to be the last one, even though they say that a lot. And I know Jamie Lee’s back, and I’ve never met her before, so I just thought, ‘Wow, that would be really cool to do a movie with her,’ since they’re going back to the original style again. I thought it’d be a really great idea.

I would really like Jamie to come back at some point. I think that would be a really nice, cool thing to maybe one day do a movie with Jamie Lee Curtis, where she’s Laurie and I’m Jamie, and we’re mother and daughter. And I think fans would really love that,

But, she has another daughter in this movie. And I was bummed when H20 came out, and Josh Hartnett was her son, and there was no mention of her daughter. And now, here you go again, where she’s got a new daughter, and no mention of her daughter again. So, it’s kind of a bummer, but maybe one day. I’m not going to hold my breath.

I think that would have been amazing for the fans to finally see you and Jamie Lee Curtis on the screen together in a Halloween film. That would have been a really iconic moment.

It would be awesome, right? Sometimes I think the powers that be don’t really get it. Maybe they don’t make the movie for fans as much. I don’t know how it would have hurt the movie. But, I get it. I came back — maybe coming back as Annie and dying had something to do with it. I have no idea. I don’t know what they’re thinking. I can’t quite figure it out.

Sounds like you just never received a clear explanation.

No. If she didn’t have a daughter, I would have nothing to really say. But the fact that she does have a daughter — listen, I love Judy Greer. I think she’s awesome. I watch all of her movies. So, I’m stoked, and I’ll definitely be there to see Halloween opening night. I just don’t know how the fans are necessarily going to care one way or another about that particular character being in the movie.

Yeah, this is the third time now they’ve given Laurie a new family.

[laughs] So crazy!

via ArieScope

Switching over to another franchise that you’re a part of, Victor Crowley is also getting ready to hit blu-ray and DVD. Without saying anything about what happens in this film, I just wanted to ask if Marybeth is able to come back in any future Hatchet films, would you be on board for battling Victor Crowley once again?

Oh yeah, for sure! I think if Marybeth does come back, then it can’t be anybody else doing that role. So, I’m on board, for sure.

While we’re talking about other franchises, I wanted to ask what other horror films or franchises are you a fan of? Or what else do you enjoy watching?

Oh, gosh. I mean, I hate to say it, but I’m a big fan of 80s films. I’m typical — I grew up in the 80s, so I’m a big fan of all those Garry Marshall movies, and that kind of stuff. Even music wise, kind of the same thing. I also love documentaries.

As far as television, any kind of real crime stuff, like The First 48. I always make the joke that my favorite show is Dateline . So it’s kind of in the genre, but I’m always fascinated by people and why they do what they do, and trying to put the pieces together. I always say if I wasn’t an actress, I’d be a homicide detective.

I guess it come back around to the psychological horror we were talking about earlier, the horror of the human mind.

Yeah, I don’t know, maybe doing Halloween kind of got me interested in that stuff. But the real life stuff is what I’m really into.

via Zorya Films

So, I was wondering if there were any other upcoming film projects you’re working on that you can tell me about.

Yeah, I just did a movie at the end of summer. We’re about to have a screening in a week and a half called Camp Cold Brook. It’s a Joe Dante film and Andy Palmer directed it. It also stars Chad Michael Murray, who was in House of Wax. It’s like a kind-of a throwback style, and I think that we did Joe Dante right in this one. It’s about a crew of reality TV Ghosthunters-style cast and producers, who go out to the middle of nowhere at this abandoned camp where all this crazy shit happened many, many years ago. It’s for one last shot at keeping the show on the air, and all hell breaks loose. We shot that in Oklahoma, and I’m really excited to see this one.

2018 is looking to be a great year for horror conventions, and I know you often make appearances at them. Can you tell me about any specific cons you’ve got on your calendar for this year where the fans can come and meet you?

I do! I’ve got a bunch of them, if I can even remember them. My next one is at New Jersey Horror Con, which is in March. Then, I’m going to Germany in April. I’m kind of all over the place. I know for sure I’m going to the UK, where I haven’t been in many years. I know I’ve got four or five from now through the summer, so probably one a month. is my website where I always post about this stuff, and you can also follow me on social media. I’m always posting where I’m heading off to.*

Next: Interview: Friday the 13th Part V's Final Girl Melanie Kinnaman

I want to thank Danielle once again for stopping by 1428 Elm for this pleasant chat! If you are as big a fan as I am, you’re going to want to see her newest movie Inoperable, which hits DVD and VOD on Feb. 6. You can keep up with Danielle by following her on Twitter and Facebook or by going to her official website.