BY GRANT HERMANNS
The season of scares is back and with it comes not only Halloween Kills but also many of the franchise’s most iconic characters, including Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode, James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers, Kyle Richards’ Lindsey Wallace and Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Longstreet making their franchise debuts as Tommy Doyle and Lonnie Elam. The film picks up from the events of the 2018 sequel as Myers breaks free from the trap sprung on him by Laurie and resumes his murderous rampage on the town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
Screen Rant partook in a press roundtable for Halloween Kills and spoke with stars Anthony Michael Hall and Kyle Richards to discuss bringing back the original film characters and their evolution into fighters taking a stand against Michael Myers.
It’s been so long since we’ve seen the first one, so what is it for you that you found appealing either in the script or just your character itself returning?
Kyle Richards: It was just so exciting because to think that after 40-plus years that I could be reviving my character of Lindsay was so exciting and to come back and work with Jamie Lee Curtis and get to work with David Gordon Green and Anthony Michael Hall, and all these new people as well was just so exciting. Going back to my roots of acting is just a thrill.
Anthony Michael Hall: Well, this is the first one I’m in, so I’m just happy to be here, I’m glad to be working. [Laughs] I’ve never been this jazzed about anything, the only franchise I’ve been a part of was The Dark Knight and I had kind of a small role in that. But I’ve never been more pumped up about anything I’ve ever been a part of and what I think makes it really special for all of us, I think it’s kind of unanimous, is that we all feel so great about the film.
It packs a punch, it’s really a thrill ride, it’s like a freight train. It’s all of that and most importantly, this is a movie really made for the fans of the franchise. So I think audiences will flip out and I’m really excited, like all of us, all my co-workers, to really unleash the film on the world. It’s gonna be really fun.
Anthony, curious as to how you went about creating an adult version of this character that you didn’t play as a child – did you find any challenges with that? Did you go back and watch the original? Did you kind of create your own version of what you thought?
Anthony Michael Hall: Kind of all the above; I was really very happy when this came about. I had a meeting with David Gordon Green and then I did my screen test two and a half years ago, whatever it was, and I was just so grateful that they welcomed me into this franchise in terms of creating the character. I love that it’s kind of a heroic character, he’s willing to fight with his fellow neighbors in the town of Haddonfield to really rise up against Myers.
I think that there’s a really interesting and cool, unique turn that we all make that we go from the opening sequence where people are sort of commiserating about being survivors and victims of Myers and what they’ve gone through for 40 years, but then they all really summon something really deep in themselves and decide to fight back. They’re not just survivors, but fighters and I think that’s a really cool turn in this classic good versus evil theme.
We have Laurie – and Judy [Greer] and Andi [Matichak] are back. And it’s good versus evil, the Strodes versus Myers, and in this case, the whole town. We really kind of rise up so that was a lot of fun to play with and I think, I speak for only myself, but there was plenty there to work with in the screenplay. It was really a great, great screenplay.
As you’re aware, the 1978 Halloween pioneered many slasher tropes, not the least of which is the “children in danger with the babysitter” trope. How did Halloween Kills adapt, subvert, or even keep the original tropes that the story developed?
Kyle Richards: I think by having my character there with Jamie Lee Curtis kind of kept with the continuity. She was my babysitter in the original Halloween and here we are together all these years later, so with that, we covered the babysitting aspect. But just having part of the original cast, you know, bringing that back was amazing. David Gordon Green, directing all of us and bringing the new characters together, merging to make this amazing film I think it was really a creative way to continue the franchise and having this take on Michael Myers instead of being afraid and running from him, which is what we have always done is. Facing him head-on, I really like that twist.
Screen Rant: My question’s for Anthony, you mentioned that it was fun getting to dive into this iconic character but I’m curious, was there ever any sense of intimidation going into the role given that there have been multiple incarnations of Tommy over the years?
Anthony Michael Hall: Honestly, with the exception of the original film which I loved as a kid – I was about 11 or 12 when it came out – I just kind of went my own direction. I really just followed the guidelines and the clues laid out for us by Danny [McBride] and David and Scott [Teems] with their screenplay. Really, the stakes were high, it’s this classic good versus evil Strode versus Myers and there’s so many great actors and such a great crew that they’ve been with for so long, it was just a really nice family atmosphere.
So on set, it was just very natural just to go about the work and attack it and so all those themes are kind of built-in. It was plenty to work with and I had a lot of fun with that. I think that one of the things I keep saying consistently is everybody in the town makes this kind of heroic turn and rises up and changes from being victims or just merely survivors to fighting.
You know, like that clip from the film where Jamie Lee gives us our marching orders, I think that’s really cool. Although it’s very basic, I think it’s classic, kind of good versus evil and I did that when I was a part of The Dark Knight, but I had a much smaller role. So this was a real challenge and a real privilege to dig into, you know, a lot of fun.
This question is for Kyle, we were just talking about how it took 40 years for Lindsey Wallace to make a return. I’m just wondering after the franchise took off, so many sequels spawned and became so popular, were you surprised that it took 40 years for you to return to this character and how close of an eye did you keep on all the sequels? Did you always have this secret desire to come back and face off against Michael Myers again?
Kyle Richards: Yes, I’ve been waiting 40 years, can you imagine! [Laughs] I kept up with some of the franchise throughout the years, but you know, not all of them to be honest, and then when I saw the last one, before Halloween Kills, it was so great and I was at the premiere.
I just looked at the guys on the carpet, I think it was David Gordon Green and I forget who else was standing there, and I said, “Why wasn’t I in this movie? Everyone keeps asking me on the red carpet. I’m asking you, ‘Why wasn’t I in this?'” So I was really excited to finally be able to reprise my role, because it had come up a number of times, but never happened. So I’m very grateful.
This movie is about standing up still and facing your fears. When in your life did you feel you were actually being really, really brave?
Anthony Michael Hall: I mean, I guess my first thought was in my career, because even though I was a kid, I kind of just dove right into it. It was actually before I was conscious of the fear in a way. But it reminds me of something that Kyle said earlier when she made the first film, I don’t want to speak for her, but, you know, she was just learning her lines, doing her thing.
But when I look back on my own life, I feel the same way, I started out so young, this is my 45th year in the business and I’m only 53, so it’s kind of surreal that I’ve given so much of my life to this. But I think probably that just diving into my career before I even knew I had one. It was a hobby that became a career, you know.
So much of the rebooted film from 2018 is about reclaiming your power after a traumatic event and the way that your two characters fight in this film is different than what we saw with Laurie Strode and it’s different from other characters in the mob that surrounds you. I was wondering if you could just speak to fighting through trauma and how you interpreted the trauma as experienced for your own characters?
Kyle Richards: Well for me, I wasn’t thinking of building my character when I was eight years old doing [the original] movie, but coming back into this role I had to look at who Lindsey is now after what she has gone through as a child and being raised in this town who has been terrorized for more than 40 years.
She’s chosen not to leave and stay in Haddonfield with all of these people who are survivors, warriors, and who have bonded through all of this trauma. I kind of took it from there for myself and built from that and what I really loved about the script is that instead of us all running, we decided to bond together and take on Michael Myers and be brave and not allow him to take us down again, like Anthony with the bat.
Anthony Michael Hall: I got nothing to add to that, that was perfect.