The wait is nearly over, everyone! The return of Michael Myers is officially only a few days away now, with Haddonfield’s most notorious resident set to return in Halloween Kills. David Gordon Green’s sequel arrives in theaters and exclusively on the Peacock streaming app on October 15th, and during a recent press day, Daily Dead had a chance to speak with one of the franchise’s newest cast members, Anthony Michael Hall. Hall is portraying Tommy Wallace in Green’s latest Halloween film, and during our interview, he discussed taking on such a notable character in horror history, his experiences collaborating with his fellow cast members as well as with Green, and what it was like to take on the iconic Michael Myers in Halloween Kills, too.
Look for more on Halloween Kills all this week right here on Daily Dead!
So great to speak with you today, Anthony. First of all, congratulations on making it into the Halloween family.
Anthony Michael Hall: Thank you so much. That's been a lot of the discussion today. I'm excited. I really am. I've never been a part of a franchise and especially such a beloved one, so it's really cool and I think that the anticipation waiting for this extra year for everybody makes it even more meaningful because we're all excited for people to see it.
So, the news comes out that they're going to do Halloween Kills and that they're bringing back the character, Tommy Doyle. How did this come together that you were able to take on this role? I'm curious how everything fell into place.
Anthony Michael Hall: So basically, it came through my managers. I have a company called Untitled that I work with; they're fantastic. So Mitch Mason and Jason Weinberg, who represent me, gave me a call, this is like two years ago now. But when it came up, I was thrilled. What I did is I first requested a meeting with David Gordon Green, and they were really nice to comply and set that up. And so basically, I met David Gordon Green at a hotel in Los Sciatica where he stays, and we had a great talk for about an hour. We met at the hotel bar and just had a beer and just talked about the whole experience. I got a sense of his objectives, what he wanted to accomplish with the sequel, and how he likes to work.
We just had a really nice, easygoing conversation. And then from there, I screen tested. I just felt that it would be a very interesting challenge because, in a film like this, it's not even anti-hero. The villain is the hero in this context because everybody loves Myers. So it's just that classic fight of good versus evil. I was just so grateful that Jamie Lee [Curtis], David, Danny [McBride], and of course Jason Blum gave me this opportunity because I just really attacked it. I really dug in and really went for it.
All of the original characters that you’ve seen in these films, we all rise up, and we all have this heroic instinct to really combat Michael and to go against him. And so the movie, as you saw, just really feels like a freight train or a rollercoaster. I'm just so proud of it, especially with this additional wait of another year. It gave me extra time to plug into how massive this fan base is, and I was doing everything from watching people that have fan sites on YouTube to reaction videos, to people giving reactions to the trailers, to the test screenings. I was like an avid fan for the last year and a half, waiting like everybody else. So it's a really thrilling and exciting opportunity and a great time for me because I'm just honored to be a part of it and work with all these great people.
The scene where we meet you is a real showstopper because it cements the trauma of Michael Myers that has lingered over your character for 40 years. There’s anger, there's a hint of sadness, and there’s the shadow of this kid who went through so much. Can you talk about diving into the psychology of Tommy and creating a character that has had to live with this trauma for all this time?
Anthony Michael Hall: It's a great question. Fortunately, the way it worked out schedule-wise, films are always typically shot out of sequence, but we were pretty early into the schedule. It was almost as if we were in sequence shooting that scene. One of the things I do as an actor is I make the crew my first audience, and I think with that sequence, we had a great opportunity because I was just all into it. David had chosen this really cool place called The Rusty Nail, and it really sets up the story about us survivors who all get together on Halloween to talk about the things that we've endured and how we've gone through all this trauma together, and then it just kicks off from there as you saw. The beginning of the movie has so much energy and momentum and David, Danny, and Scott [Teems], the writers, just set it up beautifully.
There are so few films that I can recall in my lifetime that really have that effect where the audience is really going on that journey, and yet, at the same time, they're telling you a good story. I also think all the departments really came together and you see a lot of great artistry in this film; whether it's Christopher Nelson or Michael Simmons, our cinematographer, everybody really brought their best work to the table here with this project.
I won't get into anything too specific because I don't want to ruin anything for readers, but there is a moment where we get Michael and Tommy in the same space. What was that moment like for you? Did David keep James [Jude Courtney] and Nick [Castle] away from you guys to create that special aura that only Michael has?
Anthony Michael Hall: The truth is I naturally did that myself, and I think that James Jude Courtney had a similar mindset. Chris [Nelson]'s team was very protective of not only just the look of Michael, but also the masks, and all the details. James is a former stuntman, and he does a great job of really embodying his physicality of Michael. But I did give that space to him, and I only wanted to meet him in those scenes. And when we finally do meet, even though it is make-believe, at the same time, you have to create those stakes and make it real for yourself in a way.
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[Photo Credit: Above photo by Ryan Green/Universal Pictures. © 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.]