Special Edition With The VIXENS OF THE VICTIM
Hey Fiends, I now have an extra special trick to treat you all to, the Vixens of The Victim! The talented Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and her legendary husband placed their heart and souls into this thriller about two carefree party girls placed into a terrible and potentially deadly situation. Jennifer not only stars in the film, she also produced the project as well. She opened up her home to an entire film crew, aided in writing the script, sat in the editing chair when she could have been relaxing when the night had finally set in. Jennifer also has her best friend co-starring with her, the aptly named Scream Queen, Danielle Harris. I got the chance to speak to both Jennifer and Danielle about the film, producing, acting with people you know, and so much more! Here is my interview with the gorgeous Vixens in its entirety, starting first with Jennifer, future horror queen in her own right. Also, I would like to give a special bloodcurdling scream to Horrornews journalist Tabitha, who did an awesome job reporting on the set of the film. This one’s for you girl!
Horror Talk: Jennifer, I want to thank you so much for speaking with me tonight, my first question has to do with the origins of The Victim’s story. Where did the idea stem from? Was it something that Michael and yourself had been working on for quite awhile?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Well, there’s a guy named Reed Lackey whose script slash novella had scenes with alot of these characters. Originally, the characters had different names, but we changed them to make them more broad and involved.
Horror Talk: Did you have any feedback when it came to the actual writing, and if so what inclusions or changes had to do with you personally?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Well, Danielle’s character, Mary, did not have as big a role in the original story, also my grandmother had died about a year and a half ago, so in her honor, I wanted to change my characters name to Annie. I thought that would make her happy. We also just made the characters have a better relationship.
Horror Talk: You are not only the star of The Victim, but you also produce the film. What was the experience like for you, and is it a task you would like to take on again?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Well, I’ll tell ya, it’s intense but I love it! I’m an actor foremost, but I really love producing, and I’m open to doing it. The only thing I would do differently, well, we really put our heart and soul into this. We opened our home, we had a craft service table, there were people in and out. Michael was writing when we were home. . all of the time (laughs). Everything involved the movie. Michael and I love the idea of producing together. Michael has the editing eye, I would be able to get the actors that I want together. I’m really good at that. If this is even a little well received as it could be, we will start a production company we have been talking about called Blanc-Biehn Productions.
Horror Talk: This film is obviously a horror/thriller. What is your favorite genre in the film spectrum, and why?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I would say thriller actually, I like watching it probably even more than horror. I like watching Memento type of stuff where you have to figure sh*t out. I can do comedy, I can do alot of things. I’m usually more of a party girl, but here in the film I’m more of a frightened girl, even though I’m supposed to be a hard ass stripper (laughs). I relied on Michael alot to “get me there”. It’s a little thriller, it’s not Shakespeare, but it has great cinematography, tense scenes, gruesome scenes. It has everything. Plus, it was a total labor of love for us.
Horror Talk: You star with your husband, of course, the great action star, Michael Biehn. Was it easy for you to act in his presence? Was it ever awkward to the point that maybe you could not step into your character, maybe started laughing uncontrollably?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Umm. . that’s actually, well we definitely had a great time working together. I was always relying on him to “get me there” as I said. He did things like cut me off, told me what to do, whatever. It was more like me screaming at the top of my lungs. There were moments that we were doing the fight scene, and Michael would laugh at me because I was so not myself. I also have a blow job scene, and Michael was coaching me through it (laughs). Plus, my parents were visiting the set, so it was f*cking surreal and strange. Yeah, my parents were sitting on apple boxes, and Michael’s yelling sh*t like, “use more hand! Cup it that way! Do that a little more. . make it real! (laughs loudly)
Horror Talk: (Stops laughing) Okay, holy sh*t. Hatchet II’s Danielle Harris is also a female lead in the film. Was the part written specifically for her in mind, or was it a part that she actually auditioned for?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: She was offered the role. I said to Danielle, “listen, Michael’s writing the script, I think it’s a great part for you. “She said yes right away. She made a bit of rewrites here and there, just little changes to the female characters to heighten their relationships. Michael said to her specifically, “if there are any changes you want to make, please, feel free. Do anything you want. “She was always easy to work with, and she is a great actress to deal with. I’m not just saying that just because she’s my best friend, she’s great.
Horror Talk: My next question is similar to the one that I asked you about Michael. You and Danielle are obviously thick as thieves, you’re seen everywhere together. So was it difficult to act serious in front of her, and can you name a moment during filming where she completely broke you out of character?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: The moments we had together in the movie, well, our scenes are more lighthearted. We have fun best friend scenes. So when we were goofy it always worked. It did enhance the relationship of the characters because truthfully, you only see them together in the beginning of the film. Our goofy moments definitely worked.
Horror Talk: For the readers and myself, I wanted to know how long you and Danielle have known each other, and how did you two meet exactly?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: We have known each other through auditions and stuff on and off over the years. Our friendship solidified about six years ago, and that had to do with a random thing that involved an artist friend. Danielle bought a painting from my friend. He asked me to deliver it to her house. When I got there we kept looking at each other like, do I know you? And then it just hit us where we knew each other from. We started talking and totally hit it off right away. Danielle started teaching me on her stripper pole while I was there, you see, she exercises on that thing all of the time. So, I started going there to do it with her. So basically, you can say the stripper pole started it all (laughs).
Horror Talk: Danielle is obviously a board certified Scream Queen in alot of people’s eyes. Would being chased by a mutant or maniac be something that you would be into in the future?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I think it would be really fun! Danielle’s really used to it, as you obviously know. I think I could definitely do it. I could scream really well. Danielle has heard me do it a bunch of times. As a matter of fact, we are both in the sequel to Laid To Rest together, you know, Rob Hall’s movie? Yeah, we start doing that together in November.
Horror Talk: Jen, thank you so much for speaking with me. I had a great time, and cannot wait for the film to finally come out!
Next, we have another woman who if you’re a horror fan needs no introduction, Danielle is also a workaholic recently juggling five different projects at one time including Hatchet II, Laid To Rest 2, and of course The Victim. She has been a major player in the genre for a little over two decades, and has absolutely no intentions of slowing down. I asked the supersweet. amazingly personable Danielle about her role in The Victim, being a heroine for the first time, her Scream Queen status, as well as other subjects she had no issues answering. Here is that interview, which was on my birthday funny enough. Considering she has always been one of my favorite horror actresses, I could not have asked for a better gift.
Horror Talk: Danielle, you have no idea how awesome it is to be speaking with you at this very moment. I’m kinda giddy (laughs nervously). So, the first question is about your character in the script of The Victim. Jennifer made your part more expansive due to the fact there was not enough of your character in the novella which inspired the script. When the expansions were made, did you have any part in that process of writing?
Danielle Harris: Umm. . yeah. Michael checked in with me periodically. When it came to rewrites, he was very open. I wanted to place myself and Jen’s characters into fuller scenes, to have more of a relationship between them. That relationship was already established between her and I, but I wanted the characters’ relationships to come across more to take you further into the journey. Michael’s really open to suggestions, but, they’re guys! (laughs)They expect females to just know exactly what to do emotionally, know what I mean? But, it was a true labor of love, and we all definitely had everything to do with the process.
Horror Talk: That’s so cool. I asked Jennifer if due to the fact that you two are best friends, were there any scenes where you both act together where it became difficult to stay in character?
Danielle Harris: We definitely do goofy things to each other to keep our spirits up, especially since Jennifer was sick with the flu half of the time. I was just trying to make her happy. Also, Jenny Kirkwood, the music director on the movie, is a friend of ours too, so we goof off alot with her also. The context of the story has to do with how you interact with each other. If the story’s much darker, you definitely try to keep the mood positive when not filming. So yeah, we definitely messed around alot.
Horror Talk: You are obviously great friends with both Jennifer and Michael, and this is of course a movie where you get the chance to act with people you already have an awesome relationship with. So with that in mind, is it easier to act in a situation where you know everyone, or do you enjoy the challenge of working with faces you do not know that well more?
Danielle Harris: Umm. . I really like working with friends. It’s easier to work with people you know just because the mood’s already positive, and the energy’s lighter. Sometimes when you work with someone you don’t know, though, those bonds are easy to build. I have a great example, Tom Holland and I on the Hatchet set, we had a great bond. He was like family, like a father figure kind of. We were so close. You create the bond that you create, sometimes it’s easier than others.
Horror Talk: The Victim is obviously a horror/thriller, one of countless horror films that you have acted in over the years. Although it is usually the genre you act in, is there something inside of you that wants to try something different?
Danielle Harris: Oh yeah! If you remember I took that hiatus. I went from Roseanne to animated series. I just love acting. I love doing this job alot, especially horror! I just did a movie called The Trouble With The Truth with Lea Thompson and John Shea. I’m not used to just talking to another actor in a scene, I usually run and scream in film (laughs). It’s hard to stay still in a scene, but yeah, I definitely have tried different things. And yes, I definitely want to do other things.
Horror Talk: Let’s get to some Hatchet II questions now, another movie I cannot wait to see! The first question is about having the role of a kickass revenge seeker as opposed to the victim that filmmakers usually have you play. Was this role something that you yourself felt was a long time coming? And do you feel that since you have finally had the taste of being a true heroine in film you would never want to play the damsel role ever again?
Danielle Harris: Never say never. But I think as I change over the years. . . even though I’m a kickass badass, there’s a vulnerability to the character. Adam Green, director of Hatchet II, even said to me that his idea of me as a Scream Queen makes him want to eat ice cream (laughs). You can’t have a Scream Queen without having some sense of sensitivity. So, would I play the victim again? It really depends on the role, and the circumstances. It definitely would be better to play the hero or the survivor all of the time.
Horror Talk: Why do you feel that a film like Hatchet II has such a difficult time being distributed to theaters, even though the gore, though grisly is off the wall and somewhat campy?
Danielle Harris: I think it has alot to do with independent filmmakers versus studio filmmakers. Adam Green keeps saying Hatchet II, it’s kind of campy, but we kind of became legendary because of the movie being pulled, but I’m so proud to be a part of it. It just sucks for it to happen though, it really does.
Horror Talk: In Halloween or Hatchet II, you are either running from or fighting fictional maniacs. So I was curious. Would you ever like to play the role of killer in a film yourself?
Danielle Harris: I have actually done that before in Blood Night:The Legend Of Mary Hatchet, and I felt like I was not doing enough! (laughs)It’s weird. . I don’t like it. I really don’t know how to intimidate someone just through certain looks and stuff, it’s tough. . but it is fun though. Kane Hodder on the set was always like, “try to intimidate me with just your eyes. It’s almost impossible, it’s just an art I’m not accustomed to.
Horror Talk: I am really excited for your website, Horror gal. How did that idea come about, and what can we expect from the site once it’s completed?
Danielle Harris: It came about because I speak to alot of journalists, and they ask the same questions all the time. . not you of course (both laugh). I don’t know honestly if they’re just afraid to ask anything but they do. I would much rather do video blogs, visiting friends trailers and whatnot. They are just themselves around me, and I really want that to come across. I hope to have all my videos ready very soon. This is stuff I want to show the fans, my everyday life. I feed my dog, I’m talking to you right now, blah, blah, blah. I want to see stars like me, but there’s nothing like that for horror actors, ya knowJust someone asking them the random stuff. You can get that inside scoop through a friend. I talk to Robert Englund, and when I vacation. . I call him and ask him where to stay, where to eat, and he knows everything. . he’s a human Map Quest (laughs), you would not know that about him. Doug Bradley. . I spoke to him and he’s afraid of needles, and I was like, “what the f*ck? ! Needles? ! “That’s ironic. isn’t it? I found out that Kane Hodder was a member of Mensa, and me. . I’m afraid of aliens and fish. I’m now working on the site, attempting to flush it out. I just want it to be right before it comes to be. I’m not technically savvy so I’m trying to make it as good as I can because people and fans in this industry tend to be very vocal, and I want them to be happy with the final product.
Horror Talk: I was also told by Jennifer that you both are starring in the long awaited Laid To Rest which starts filming in November. Do you feel like you have finally brought her into “your world”?
Danielle Harris: Yeah, you know. . maybe. It’s interesting. We kind of do favors for one another. I started dating Rob during the filming of Fear Clinic, and that’s how we obviously knew who each other were. Rob said he would help out with The Victim, with some effects, and he did alot for Jen and Michael. That’s kind of how this business works for people like us, it’s always labors of love and collaborations. I mean, to be honest, I could make my own movies happen. We don’t need a distributor behind us just because I know so many different people who do so many different things. Robert Hall said to us he wanted us in Laid, asked what I wanted to do, when do I want to do it, and Jen and I said, “yeah, let’s do it! ”
Horror Talk: I absolutely adore you as an actress, and I hope that you stay in the game for another twenty years. But after all is said and done, when the smoke has metaphorically cleared. . as far as your lasting mark in Hollywood, would you like to be remembered as a Scream Queen, and if so why?
Danielle Harris: Umm. . I don’t know if I want to be remembered as a Scream Queen. I want to be remembered for being in people’s lives, perhaps I inspired someone or they just had a great time growing up together in a way. Scream Queen is a pretty damn good title to have, but it’s not something I gave myself so I feel pretty dumb saying it about myself (laughs). But yes, it would be cool. . but I definitely want to be known for so much more.
The Victim is now in post-production and there is no official release date as of yet. I urge you all to tell your friends about this film because I assure you, it’s definitely going to be a great one! There is alot of talent and hard work attached to this project, and it should be placed into theaters. . perhaps I’ll start a petition to get that ball rolling. You can also show your support of the film by checking out the site created by the Biehns for the film, www. the-victim. com! It has everything you want to know about the actors and the project.
Also, see both Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Danielle Harris together in a true slasher for the first time when Laid To Rest 2 tears apart the competition next year!
Sweet Nightmares and Pleasant Screams, FC. ! And remember my motto, and Jen and Danielle are the perfect example. . the only thing that can impale your dreams is your own negativity! Til next time, scare ya later!