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Danneel Harris

Danneel Harris

The television series newcomer currently stars as "Shannon McBain" on ABC's soap opera "One Life To Live". She joined the cast in March 2004. Danneel Harris was born in Lafayette, LA and was raised in the small town of Eunice, LA. She moved to Los Angeles and continued her acting training with John Homa, Calmeson and Calmeson and Craig Wargo. Before she landed her first acting role, Harris worked as a model with such companies as Big Sexy Hair and Juicy Jeans. The independent film Clown Anna marks her first major acting role. Her other credits include the WB 's What I Like About You, guest appearance on Mad TV and a supporting role in the yet-to-be released indie Rule Number One starring Ed Harris. Danneel Harris is skilled in gymnastics and her musical talents include playing the piano and singing. She relocated to New York for her role on OLTL.

Newcomer Danneel Harris

Birth Name: Elta Danneel Harris
WEEKLY: I understand you're from a small town in Louisiana.
Harris: Yes, Eunice, La. It's very small. I think around 13-14,000 people. It has a little downtown and the post office. I mean, really small town. I moved out to L.A. and I modeled for a couple years before I started acting.
WEEKLY: Did you know anyone in L.A. or have any work lined up?
Harris: I didn't know anybody or anything. I just knew I wanted to live in L.A. I love California. I packed up everything I had and went there. One of those stories. So I moved out there and I started modeling. I lucked out and I got with a really good agency.

WEEKLY: How did you luck out?
Harris: I started dating this guy who I'm still dating now. We've been dating 2 1/2 years and he's an actor. His name is Riley Smith. His mom is a modeling agent in Chicago. So I flew home with him for Thanksgiving. She called this agency for me and that's how I met the modeling agency. My boyfriend's in the New York Minute movie with the Olsen twins, he was one of their boyfriends. He's on the WB show SUMMERLAND. He's a WB kid. So he helped me with auditions and stuff. I supported myself by modeling for a couple years, and then I auditioned for a commercial and I booked it. So I was like, "Yeah, okay, maybe I'll do this." I guest-starred on MadTV a couple times. Then I got WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU with Amanda Bynes. I did about six episodes of that. And then this audition came up.

WEEKLY: Was this your first soap audition?
Harris: Yes. Very first soap audition.

WEEKLY: Had you watched ONE LIFE before, or any soaps?
Harris: No, but I love them now. I think they're great. I watch them all. I watch all the ABC ones.

WEEKLY: The soap schedule is pretty tough for any actor, but it must have been extra hard since it was your first contract role?
Harris: At first I was really freaked out because I had only worked on sitcoms and we would rehearse Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then tape on Friday. My first day on the job they give me my lines. I'm like, "Okay," and I go up there and I'm thinking we'll have rehearsal and then we'll have dress rehearsal then we'll shoot it. And it's like, we go up there, I say my lines and they say, "Thank you." I learned that if you say your lines correctly they're using it. It was so completely different that it blew me away for a second. I've gotten used to it.

WEEKLY: How are you liking New York?
Harris: I love New York. But, I moved here in the winter. All I had was my little, L.A. bright red with a black-and-white striped leather jacket. It's short. I was walking down the street and snow was hitting me in the face. Everyone here had all black, long coats, no shoes. I'm in my bright-colored stuff walking around. But I love it now. I'm so comfortable here, especially because it's been hot. Louisiana's hot and humid. And then California... I'm actually on my way back to L.A. now. My boyfriend still lives there. I'm in L.A. at least every two months for a good week or so. I have to. I get homesick for the water. I love the ocean. I grew up by the ocean.

WEEKLY: We haven't seen much of Shannon on the show this last month, but I understand you'll be part of the Love House this summer?
Harris: I'm in the Love House and also I have this whole thing with River. The stealing of River from Adriana. So that all comes to a head. That whole story plays out and then I guess I'm going to continue to be the scandalous one on the show. I'm into River, but I'm into a lot of guys. I flirt a little bit with Rex here and there.

WEEKLY: Is there a story behind your name?
Harris: Danneel is a street in New Orleans. It's a school, a park and a street. I think my mother must have driven by it every day for work. We used to live in New Orleans. My first name is actually Elta, but I don't go by it. I've always gone by my middle name.

WEEKLY: Is Elta a family name?
Harris: Elta was my great-grandmother's name. I believe it's French.

WEEKLY: But you've never gone by that?
Harris: No. Would you? No.

WEEKLY: I understand you're from a small town in Louisiana.
Harris: Yes, Eunice, La. It's very small. I think around 13-14,000 people. It has a little downtown and the post office. I mean, really small town. I moved out to L.A. and I modeled for a couple years before I started acting.
WEEKLY: Did you know anyone in L.A. or have any work lined up?
Harris: I didn't know anybody or anything. I just knew I wanted to live in L.A. I love California. I packed up everything I had and went there. One of those stories. So I moved out there and I started modeling. I lucked out and I got with a really good agency.

WEEKLY: How did you luck out?
Harris: I started dating this guy who I'm still dating now. We've been dating 2 1/2 years and he's an actor. His name is Riley Smith. His mom is a modeling agent in Chicago. So I flew home with him for Thanksgiving. She called this agency for me and that's how I met the modeling agency. My boyfriend's in the New York Minute movie with the Olsen twins, he was one of their boyfriends. He's on the WB show SUMMERLAND. He's a WB kid. So he helped me with auditions and stuff. I supported myself by modeling for a couple years, and then I auditioned for a commercial and I booked it. So I was like, "Yeah, okay, maybe I'll do this." I guest-starred on MadTV a couple times. Then I got WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU with Amanda Bynes. I did about six episodes of that. And then this audition came up.

WEEKLY: Was this your first soap audition?
Harris: Yes. Very first soap audition.

WEEKLY: Had you watched ONE LIFE before, or any soaps?
Harris: No, but I love them now. I think they're great. I watch them all. I watch all the ABC ones.

WEEKLY: The soap schedule is pretty tough for any actor, but it must have been extra hard since it was your first contract role?
Harris: At first I was really freaked out because I had only worked on sitcoms and we would rehearse Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then tape on Friday. My first day on the job they give me my lines. I'm like, "Okay," and I go up there and I'm thinking we'll have rehearsal and then we'll have dress rehearsal then we'll shoot it. And it's like, we go up there, I say my lines and they say, "Thank you." I learned that if you say your lines correctly they're using it. It was so completely different that it blew me away for a second. I've gotten used to it.

WEEKLY: How are you liking New York?
Harris: I love New York. But, I moved here in the winter. All I had was my little, L.A. bright red with a black-and-white striped leather jacket. It's short. I was walking down the street and snow was hitting me in the face. Everyone here had all black, long coats, no shoes. I'm in my bright-colored stuff walking around. But I love it now. I'm so comfortable here, especially because it's been hot. Louisiana's hot and humid. And then California... I'm actually on my way back to L.A. now. My boyfriend still lives there. I'm in L.A. at least every two months for a good week or so. I have to. I get homesick for the water. I love the ocean. I grew up by the ocean.

WEEKLY: We haven't seen much of Shannon on the show this last month, but I understand you'll be part of the Love House this summer?
Harris: I'm in the Love House and also I have this whole thing with River. The stealing of River from Adriana. So that all comes to a head. That whole story plays out and then I guess I'm going to continue to be the scandalous one on the show. I'm into River, but I'm into a lot of guys. I flirt a little bit with Rex here and there.

WEEKLY: Is there a story behind your name?
Harris: Danneel is a street in New Orleans. It's a school, a park and a street. I think my mother must have driven by it every day for work. We used to live in New Orleans. My first name is actually Elta, but I don't go by it. I've always gone by my middle name.

WEEKLY: Is Elta a family name?
Harris: Elta was my great-grandmother's name. I believe it's French.

WEEKLY: But you've never gone by that?
Harris: No. Would you? No.


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