Interview With Actress Danielle Chuchran, “Runaway Romance”

By Ruth on January 4, 2018 in Interview, movie, television
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I believe I’m consistently fascinated by child actors who grow up, mature and continue their careers as adults. In “old Hollywood,” that feat was often an anomaly, but I have discovered that more and more actors are able to build successful careers both as young people and as adults due to the ever-shifting dynamics of filmmaking in the world of entertainment today. In the case of Danielle Chuchran, I was only aware of her in one or two works at best, but being the classy and benevolent professional that she is, she agreed to answer a few questions about her career as we chatted all things present, past, and future!

RH: What inspired you to become an actress?

DC: I was fortunate to film my first project when I was eight, and I certainly wasn’t chasing after this career. It just so happened that after I filmed my first film, Little Secrets, I was completely in love with everything about the process. So after getting my first taste, what inspired me to continue on was the love I developed during that shoot. 

What was your first professional job and what are your memories of it?

Little Secrets was my first film. I remember the crew… I LOVED everyone. I’m still friends with quite a few of them to this day. I also have a profound memory of being extremely sick during one of the biggest scenes of the film. I had a horrendous migraine and was throwing up in between takes. You can see the green in my face and crazy red puffy eyes during the scene. 

Please tell us about your experience on The Cat in the Hat. Any special memories from that set?

With Brittany Oaks The Cat in the Hat
Photo by Lester Cohen – © WireImage.com Image courtesy WireImage.com

The Cat in Hat is an experience I’ll never forget. Again, I made some of my best friends on that set. That film is where my love of stunts began. I just idolized the stunt coordinator, Jack Gill, and his whole team. Between them and my unbelievable makeup artists, the amount of amazing memories and funny stories are no way in short supply. I have a profound memory of a sleepover Dakota Fanning and I had. My makeup artist got me my very own watercolor paint pallet because I wanted to be just like him. We painted flowers and girly designs on each others leg and drank Jamba Juice all night. LOL!

You also got to play Mary Ingalls in the miniseries Little House on the Prairie (2005). What was that experience like? Had you seen the old Little House on the Prairie and/or read the books? 

100733_132 — LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE – (ABC/CHRIS LARGE)
DANIELLE CHUCHRAN, ERIN COTTRELL, CAMERON BANCROFT, KYLE CHAVARRIA

I absolutely knew all about the older Little House TV series, and later on, while filming, I ended up reading all of the books for part of my schooling. That mini-series has such a special place in my heart. The cast and crew were truly a dream team; every single person was just so impactful in my life. I don’t think they’ll ever realize what examples they were to me. I was beyond smitten with the horse wrangler, Lyle. I followed him around like a puppy; he’d sneak me out on horse rides when I’d wrap. Canada was jaw-dropping…. and sooooooo cold! But worth it in every way. That filming experience was truly a turning point for me and a reminder of how blessed I am to be surrounded by such talented, passionate, beautiful people. 

You were on a few episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. What was it like being on a soap opera as a young person?

I was! It was a great experience, very different from the majority of work I had done prior and I loved it. Plus meeting and working with Betty White was just icing on the cake. 

You’ve had the opportunity to be in several Christmas movies. Any favorites stand out? What do you like about making Christmas movies?

Christmas movies are so fun! They always have such a good message and really get me excited for the holiday. I’m a big Christmas lover, so being able to work and be surrounded by beautifully decorated sets makes work so fun. I have to say 12 Dogs of Christmas 2 was an exceptionally fun experience because I was surrounded by dogs all day and c’mon…. you can hardly call that work! 

You began as a child actor and transitioned to an adult actor. What were the benefits and difficulties of “growing up” in the industry?

I am frequently asked if I would go back and choose to wait until I was older to be involved in this industry… and no. I wouldn’t change a thing! I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had. The work I have done and the people I have been surrounded by have been nothing but great examples to me. I’ve come across people that I wanted to be just like, and also people I have observed and made a conscious choice to learn from them and not follow their lead. I am fortunate enough to have a very, very strong family who has always kept me grounded and continues to help guide me. 

Though not my usual genre, I notice that Haunt is listed as one of the films you’re known for. What are your memories of doing that film, and why do you think it had a degree of popularity?

with Harrison Gilbertson
Haunt

Horror films are soooo fun to film. The atmosphere and sets are usually parallel to the story so it really helps you set the mood mentally. The makeup for the Demon in that film was so great; makeup artists blow my mind with the art they are able to create. I feel it was popular because it was shot so well, and there is such a large audience that wants to watch a film that can scare and entertain them.

Many will know you from Love Finds You in Charm. How did you get that role, and what did you enjoy most about your character?

I received a phone call from the producer, George {Shamieh}, who had seen me in another film. He offered me the script to read, which I did. I loved it and I was on a plane headed to Ohio a few short days later! I loved Emma’s journey. It was so fun to play her and bring to life her innocence and personality.

What can you tell us about your role in Runaway Romance?

I play Ann. She’s a driven, passionate woman who moves from a small town in Pennsylvania to LA where she dreams of fulfilling a career as a caterer. Shortly after moving, she meets what she believes to be the love of her life, Scott, a reality TV star.

Runaway Romance

After realizing that her life is merely a TV set, and seeing that she’s lost her true self, Ann decides to sneak away and head back home to PA. Along the way, her car breaks down and she meets a young Amish woman {Galadriel Stineman}, who later on becomes her best friend. Her time in Cave City is just what she needs to find herself and her passion again. Of course, what’s a mysterious new town without a hunk in the picture? That’s where Hunter (Trevor Donovan) comes into play. For the first time in a long time, Ann finally feels like she’s where she belongs.

I loved playing this character. She goes through such a journey; it was an honor to portray such a beautiful story of realizing one’s self-worth and self-discovery.

With Gala
Runaway Romance

What did you enjoy about shooting that film?

So many things!! The locations were unbelievable! Kentucky is such a beautiful state, and I can’t wait to go back. The whole cast and crew just made the shoot. I quickly became best friends with Gala, and that woman is stuck with me forever; I adore her to pieces and getting to know and work with her was certainly a highlight. Working with Trevor is always such a blast; that stinker always keeps me laughing and makes being on set such a blast. The talent on this shoot between the Director, Brian {Herzlinger} who I adore and am such a fan of, to the entire cast and crew…it left this film near the top of the list of my favorites.

Runaway Romance

Any special behind-the-scenes memories?

So many to choose from! So instead I’ll pick one of my favorite days of filming. We filmed in the most magnificent cave for a scene with Hunter and Ann. The cave was a last-minute location, and from the outside didn’t seem like much, but when inside, it was breathtaking. I was geeking out at the enormous abundance of stalagmites and stalactites. Trevor and Brian were chasing around cave spiders (that jumped) and the crew was pulling pranks on the first A.D trying to get him with his fear of bats by hanging faux ones from the overhangs…. it was just such a fun day. It made the scene so realistic, and a blast to film. It’s a scene I’m looking most forward to seeing. I certainly won’t be complaining if we make that a returning location for the sequel!

What other upcoming works can you mention? 

Well, Runaway Romance 2 is in the process of pre-production which is so exciting and I can’t wait to get back on set with some of my best friends! Alongside that, I have a few action films which I ALWAYS look forward to. This will be such a fun year and I can’t wait for all the memories that have yet to be made. 

How do you remain grounded as a young woman in the industry? What helps you to remain positive and keep your priorities straight?

Amazing people in my life. My family and friends are such “North Stars”, no matter what path I’m on or where I am, they continue to point me in the right direction. I am surrounded by people who are profound examples of work ethic, heart, passion, understanding, and love. They are supportive of me and my drive, and I’m so blessed for that.

When not working, what do you like to do for fun?

Horses are a huge part of my life. I am with mine every single day; I am a big outdoors person. Every chance I get, I throw my pup in the car and we go on a hiking adventure. I live a very active life and have a hard time standing still. I also recently discovered after moving that I LOVE DIY house projects! I usually have about three fun projects going on and am loving seeing the before and after.

One of the things I dearly treasure as a journalist is the art of discovering new people with whom I can connect, and I am immensely grateful to Danielle for her eagerness to share her fascinating experiences and wealth of knowledge. Danielle is a perfect example of a young woman who has charted her course from the outset by surrounding herself with supportive people, positive adventures, and engaging works. Additionally, she is such a professional in spite of her tender age. She possesses an uncanny acumen for show business, and no one can question her innate giftedness within the entertainment industry. She has not permitted herself to become pretentious, jaded, or unduly egotistical. Instead, she continues to sharpen her craft and learn from everyone with whom she comes into contact. Her experiences have been so extensive and diverse that there is probably very little she has not witnessed in her young life, but even she has the common sense to focus on the positive while learning from the negative about what NOT to do. And I do believe that is the secret as to why she has blossomed into an actress and a woman of exceptional caliber and bearing.

No matter what you may choose to watch this weekend, I hope you consider tuning into and/or setting your DVR for Runaway Romance which premieres on the UP Network on Sunday, January 7th. Furthermore, I would invite you to check out all of Danielle’s links below and consider following her where applicable. It’s easy to see why she and Galadriel have become such good friends because Danielle is yet another one whose star is extending its upward spiral while she maintains her humility, dignity, and beauty. And somehow in the midst of her abundantly active lifestyle, she seeks to perfect her skills and abilities in film and TV. She is the epitome of everything that is radiant and cheery in this oftentimes dark and dismal world in which we live, and I am so glad that luminaries like Danielle can inspire, teach, and encourage all of us as we make the conscious choice to view something that snatches us from the doldrums of life. 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. denise January 6, 2018 Reply

    I remember seeing her in the Charm movies.

    • Author
      Ruth January 6, 2018 Reply

      I didn’t see that one but I’m excited to see her in Runaway Romance

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