Interview – Danielle Burgess

Originally from Texas, as a child Danielle Burgess quickly found herself attracted to her artistic side. Originally connecting with acting, she would go on to experiment with dance, writing, playing music, modeling, and dabble in photography. Simply put, the young, talented lady finds herself most comfortable while creating. Making a professional career out of acting, Burgess has a part of some big projects including USA Network’s Golden Globe nominated show The Sinner, HBO’s The Deuce, The Blacklist, and Law & Order: SVU.

Open and willing to take on different roles, she most recently held a leading role in the fun, new Horror film Killer Kate! A movie which did well on the film festival circuit throughout 2018, Freestyle Digital Media picked it up, and are set to release Killer Kate! in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on Friday, October 26th. Excited about the official release, the multi-talented Burgess took the time to chat about her path toward acting, the challenges behind her role in Killer Kate!, the fun had on set, plans for her future, plus more. – You have been involved in film and television for some time now. Starring in a list of popular series, you also had roles in several features. First, briefly tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career as an actress?

Danielle Burgess – I started acting as a child in theater and I always loved it. I knew I wanted to be an actress since I was a kid. Then I was a ballet dancer, so that kind of took over for a while. Then when I was in college I started student films and I fell back in love with it. I came to New York shortly after… it has definitely been a long love affair. – You have done a lot of interesting things. In your career, you have taken on various roles from USA’s The Sinner to HBO’s The Deuce. What do you take away from all these experiences?

Danielle Burgess – First of all, I feel very lucky. I think I’ve been really lucky for the opportunities that have come to me. To be part of the two shows you mentioned, they are of such high quality and have been so well-received. Every opportunity that I’ve had I’ve learn a lot from the people I’ve worked with. I’ve been privileged to be around people who are really professional and very intelligent, but also very gracious and kind. They really know what they are doing and work on a high level. I feel there is no better way to learn what you’re doing as an actor, whether it be the craft of acting or how to conduct yourself personally and professionally in the world, then by watching other people who have been doing it for a long time, and doing it well. 

HBO – Most certainly, and you have had a lot of great opportunities to observe a lot over the years. One of your most recent roles comes in the Horror flick Killer Kate! where you take on a leading role as Angie. How did this role come about for you?

Danielle Burgess – The audition came through my agent. I went, read, and they said they knew right away that I was right for it. We all just kind of clicked. Alex (Feld) was reading with me in the room, we look so much like sisters too! It all came together pretty quickly. – That is good to hear. Killer Kate! is billed as a Horror film, but it certainly has its elements of comedy. Was the sense of humor something that attracted you to the project?

Danielle Burgess – Yes, definitely. Gore is a little tough for me to watch to be honest. (Laughs) I thought the humor, heart, and humanity really drew me to it. There was a lot going on. Plus, it was so fun. It was fun to watch and do. It’s a great place to be in that playful fun space. – It sounds like it was a great time making it. Angie is a bachelorette, but also a kid sister to Alexandra Feld’s character Kate. What was it like portraying the character?

Danielle Burgess – It felt really interesting, because it was very different than anything I’ve ever done before on screen. I don’t know if I’ve ever played someone as sweet as her. (Laughs) It was a different kind of challenge, it was to let myself be as natural as possible. The connection I had with the other girls really helped a lot. We all monologued so well and I felt so comfortable with them. A lot of that was really easy because I was working with them and we were having such a great time together! 

L to R: Alexandra Feld as Kate, Amaris Davidson as Sara, and Danielle Burgess as Angie in Killer Kate!. – The other leading ladies – Alexandra Feld, Amaris Davidson, and Abby Eiland – did a good job with their roles. Everyone got along very well together?

Danielle Burgess – Yea we did! Alex and I are still very great friends. Amaris and Abby are amazing, they were really fun to work with. Everyone was so great, we just had a really good time on set. – That always makes for a good working environment. As you said, you had never really played a role like this before. Seeing you have played various roles in the past, what did you take from those former roles to this film?

Danielle Burgess – Every role, you just get a little bit more comfortable. Really, what happens is you start to trust yourself more. Everything builds on the last project that you did, even if they are totally different. There is always something you can take into the next one. – Yes, as you said, you learn from people and experiences. Killer Kate! did well at various festivals, and now it has an official release in select theaters and VOD on Friday, October 26th. What have been the reactions you are receiving from the film?

Danielle Burgess – The thing I’m hearing most is it’s fun, which is great! I think we can use fun right now, it’s a positive thing to be putting out there. Also, from what I’ve heard, people are very excited that it’s female led and the female characters are a lot different than the stereotypical thing we see in Horror movies a lot of the times. 

Danielle Burgess as Angie in Killer Kate!. – That is refreshing! This is really your first Horror film. That in mind, would you consider working in the genre again?

Danielle Burgess – Absolutely. If it were the right story and character, I would definitely be open to it. – You never know what the future holds, right? What updates can you provide on some of your other projects?

Danielle Burgess – The second season of The Deuce is on right now. My character in season two is in one episode, not as much as the first season. There was a film I did a little while ago called The Pretenders that was directed by James Franco. It hasn’t yet come out and I’m not sure when it will come out. I know it’s in post-production and hopefully it will be out soon. – That will be something to look forward to. Beyond film, you also have a love for music, photography, and model. Have you considered doing something musically in the future?

Danielle Burgess – Yes! When I was living in New York I did a few solo shows. I am always thinking about writing and starting to focus on that more. I think an EP might be a possibility in the next few years. 

Freestyle Digital Media – Very cool. What genre of music would you like to work in?

Danielle Burgess – Singer-songwriter/Folk inspired music. I’m from Texas originally, so I love older Country music. Even as old as Patsy Cline, but more Emmylou Harris and that vibe. That sound inspires me a lot. – It sounds like a lot of great things could be happening for you in the future. Last question. You had said you are not really a fan of gore, but if you enjoy Horror films, do you have any favorites?  

Danielle Burgess – Yes, I saw The Descent (2005) recently, and I thought that was great. The writing was strong and the performances were really strong. The monsters weren’t necessarily and obviously scary, but there was something psychological about that film. Being trapped underground and the things in the shadows really hit on this very deep level of fear. I thought that was a great film. 

For more on Danielle Burgessdaniellenburgess.comInstagram

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