“Minutes after Laurie Strode, her daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor,” reads the official synopsis. “But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.”
ComingSoon’s Alyse Wax spoke with Halloween Kills star Anthony Michael Hall about stepping into the franchise, his relationship with the series, and what attracted him to the role.
Alyse Wax: So tell me how familiar were you with the original Halloween?
Anthony Michael Hall: Good question. You know, when it came out in theaters, I was born in ’68, so I’m 53 as I sit here, so I missed it in the theaters, but I remember that was at the beginning of sort of cable television. So I saw it in probably 79 or 80. It was either on Cinemax or Showtime. It had a very tangible effect on me. I remember, I think my parents were out that night and I was watching it. I’ve always had a crush on Jamie Lee Curtis. I haven’t even told her this, but I loved her and I remember how compelling those shots were, where you’re kind of from Michael’s POV and he’s kind of stalking her through the town and the kids are making their way across the street. I mean, I really remember that as a very visceral feeling that the film gives you, there’s that kind of voyeuristic thing. Carpenter’s score and direction. Incredible. So, it left a mark on me as a kid. It did.
So then when the opportunity came for you to play Tommy Doyle, how did that come about?
Well, it was a very fortunate occurrence. Basically I met with David Gordon Green at the end of the summer of 2019 before we made the film. It was at my request before I did my screen test and we just really hit it off. I was able to meet him at his hotel and within five minutes he was just such an open, cool guy, very fluid, very easygoing, great personality. We just talked about his vision for the film. Obviously, the last one we all saw was a massive hit. He did a phenomenal job, so I kind of wanted to just speak to him and get a sense of what his objectives were and how he liked to work and et cetera. Then I did my screen tests and I just kinda tried to rev myself up and give it my all and make those circumstances real.
So I felt very blessed, very privileged, and fortunate when I got the part and super excited because I’ve never been a part of a franchise with the exception of The Dark Knight, which I had kind of a small role in, so this is really exciting for me. I’ve never been in a franchise film that people were, that was so hotly anticipated, so I think it’s that combination of those things, knowing we made a great film, and David and the entire team really delivered. There’s also this great buildup and anticipation with audiences that are excited to see it. So it’s wonderful. A combination of things that have come together.
Being part of a franchise, have you kind of gotten the insanity of it yet? Or is that still building?
I think I know what you’re alluding to. Well this last year with the delay, I’m someone that my wife and I were often on YouTube like a lot of people looking for inspiration, looking for things to watch, and it’s almost like it’s replaced the library for people, right? It’s like a visual library. So, what I’ve done is over the last little year and a half at least, I’ve been watching all these fan sites, reaction videos, people that had comments or commentary about the test screenings and just trying to extract as much information from people that had seen the film. So that really plugged me into the whole fan universe. How beloved the franchise is. I really got a clear picture, particularly in this waiting period of how much this franchise excites people, how much they’re looking forward to it. So all of that adds up to it’s a great feeling. Again, on the flip side of that is knowing that the movie really has impacted and that there’s a groundswell of buzz about it is very exciting. Those things coming together make it an exciting time [that] I really feel very privileged and fortunate for.
So was that all of the research that you did for the film was just watching on YouTube or what did you do?
Honestly, I did look at the original film. I’ve seen a bunch of the others in the interim in that period of time, but I just really kind of dug into it. The script was so solid. I think one of the things that David and Danny [McBride] and Scott Teems have done beautifully is to kind of thread those characters from the original through 2018. Now the universe expands, and not only do they reintroduce us to all these beloved characters, but they also make room for other characters and there’s a lot of great cameos and supporting roles. So I think it’s really an amazing thing that they’re able to do, and they do it quite effortlessly. Because they’ve come from comedy into this world and they’re doing such a phenomenal job. So I think that those two things are the most exciting knowing that we have a great film that packs a punch and knowing that there’s an audience waiting for it is really a great combination.
In this film, you organize a mob of vigilantes. Do you think that this would be the kind of thing that you would do if there were a real Michael Myers that you would have to hunt down?
I mean, me personally, I have this sort of Italian Irish background and descent, so I kind of have a fighter’s mentality and I’ve always kind of applied that to my work. Just kind of being in show business this long. So, I kind of liken it to that in a way. It’s very interesting and fascinating, I think for all of us, how the world strangely with all these things going on societal issues and COVID, and the pandemic and everything, it kind of in strange ways kind of mirrored this world we’ve now seen for two years. So that was obviously unintentional and unplanned, but it’s really interesting too, though. Because I think what’s interesting is that the movie opens and everybody’s at the bar and we’re kind of commiserating about having survived all of his violence and the things that Myers has represented to the town.
But then everybody makes a very specific turn, I feel at least, which is ultimately very heroic. Not just Tommy, but all the characters. Kyle, her character of Lindsay, and Nancy, everybody kind of summons the strength to really combat this evil. They unify not only the survivors but as fighters. That’s the kind of mantra that Jamie kicks in when she says in that scene, “We fight now.” So I think this kind of classic theme of good versus evil, but now the inclusion of the town really summoning something deep within themselves to take him on makes it very special. It also gives us a very specific momentum that charges the movie, and it gives it a lot of energy as it opens.
What do you think is the lasting allure of Michael Myers? Why has he remained so popular for the last 40 years?
That’s a great question. I was doing my homework and watching a bunch of interviews that Jamie Lee and David had done, and David said something really interesting about it. There’s actually a very limited mythology of Myers. When you think about it, we don’t really know what makes him tick, but it’s that idea of storytelling is as old as the world. I think the idea of good versus evil, once again, this character that’s a stalker, he’s a predator, he’s the boogeyman. I think that there are some kind of classical things about this kind of evil character, but at the same time, people love it. Just like they love Laurie and Jamie Lee’s character. So I think it’s a fascinating thing that he kind of embodies and personifies human evil. At the same time, he’s something otherworldly as well because he just represents that kind of darkness in the world.
So I love those kinds of stakes. When I was a part of The Dark Knight or other projects, I love that kind of classic good versus evil approach and the storytelling. So for me, that gave me all I needed to really hit the ground running and to be a fighter as Tommy and to play that heroism, which as I said, I really feel like it’s there for all of us, all the townspeople really summoned that, that heroic intent to really combat him and go against makes it interesting.