The wait is nearly over for all you maniacal Michael Myers fans out there! Haddonfield’s most notorious resident is set to return in Halloween Kills, which finally arrives in theaters and on the Peacock streaming app later this week on October 15th. During a recent press day for David Gordon Green’s sequel, Daily Dead had the opportunity to briefly chat with one of Halloween Kills returning co-stars, Judy Greer, who plays Laurie Strode’s daughter Karen in the films.
During our interview with Greer, she discussed her experiences returning for Halloween Kills, how thrilled she is that the sequel is finally coming out, the evolution of her character in this latest installment in the series, why horror movies are the most fun movies to make, and more.
Look for more on Halloween Kills all this week, right here on Daily Dead!
So great to speak with you today, Judy. I'm absolutely thrilled, and I’ll admit that I'm a little intimidated, too, just because Jawbreaker was such a huge movie for me when it came out, and I still love it a lot. And so, just seeing your career over the years flourish and being a part of this series especially, it's just been really great to see for me as a fan.
Judy Greer: Oh, thank you. I love Jawbreaker so much. In fact, Darren [Stein], Julie [Bowen], Rebecca, [Gayheart], and I are having lunch next week. We've been trying to get together more often lately.
That’s wonderful to hear. I know we don’t have a ton of time, so I would love to jump into Halloween Kills because obviously, it wasn't a surprise for you that you were coming back because of basically where the film ended. But I wanted to ask, coming into the sequel, was there anything about where your character heads in this story that surprised you or you thought was a really interesting dynamic that maybe you weren't expecting to see when you read the script for the sequel?
Judy Greer: I was happily surprised that the screenwriters gave me and Andi [Matichak] a moment to mourn the loss of Ray, who was my husband and her father. That made me really happy. I really was thrilled with how quickly Karen embraces her mom and begins caregiving for her mom and even tries to lie to her mom about Michael being alive still to protect her. I just feel like for someone who has hated her mother for so many years and actively tried not to embrace her mom's, what Karen thought were delusional ideas of Michael Myers, to just so quickly join her and care for her and love her, I just thought that was really beautiful. I think it says a lot about Karen's character.
I wanted to ask, because with your character in the first film she's very much a part of the story, but she's not quite as proactive as some of the other characters just because of the way that the story plays out and how she’s trying to protect herself. So when you were coming into the sequel and you were looking at the script and looking at your character, did you work with David at all in terms of some of the things that you wanted to incorporate, or was everything already there in the script, just waiting for you to tackle it?
Judy Greer: The script was really in good shape when we started shooting, but David is always open. I mean, he loves collaborating and he's open to ideas from anyone. So a lot of times we would work on scenes while we shot them and make adjustments and changes. And so he's really open to it, but it's not like I ever think with him that I need to do it. It's just like, “If what's on the page is amazing, is there anything that can top it? Is there anything that can be scarier, more disgusting or tell the story better?” So we're always kind of playing with that.
We had to wait a little bit to get this movie. Has this been sort of an interesting process for you as a performer? Because usually you go make a movie and you'll have maybe about a year till it comes out, maybe less, but everyone involved with Halloween Kills has had to sit with this movie for an extra year. And I'm curious, for you, now that it’s coming out and you can finally talk about it, does it feel like you’re shouting from the rooftops now that you can celebrate it properly after the delay from 2020?
Judy Greer: I don't know. I feel like I have no concept of time anymore after 2020. So it could have been two years, it could have been two weeks. I don't know anymore [laughs]. I'm just so happy we're talking about it now.
Earlier, you mentioned getting to share those moments with Andi's character, Allyson, in terms of mourning. But I also thought what was really interesting, too, as far as obviously as much as this is a slasher movie, it also extends the theme in the first Halloween of the interesting dynamics shared between mothers and daughters. I just thought it was really interesting that this time around, the relationship between Karen and Allyson has also evolved in some really interesting ways where you're still trying to protect her, but ultimately you're also letting her go out into this world. I think it says a lot about what the journey that your character has been like throughout the events of these two films.
Judy Greer: Yeah, absolutely. I think Karen's priority in this movie kind of turned toward Laurie, her mom, and in some ways, I think she loses track of her daughter. I think that's an interesting character choice, because she has missed out on so much of her relationship as an adult with her mother, and she feels so confident in Allyson that I think it's very shocking for Karen when she finds out that Allyson has gone and left, even though she told her not to. And yet, I don't think Karen's at all surprised that her daughter has that kind of strength and tenacity.
I'm a really big believer in that whenever you do something creative—whether it's directing, acting, writing, etc.—you put a piece of yourself into that work, but you also take a part of it with you. Looking at your experiences working on both of these Halloween movies, what has been your biggest takeaway from being part of this franchise and the rebirth of this series?
Judy Greer: Well, I was so shocked at how much fun it was to make a horror movie [laughs]. That is the real takeaway that I had—that it's just as fun as making a comedy. We laugh hard all the time and we mess around all the time, and it's definitely easier to spend all day looking busted and covered in blood and dirt and messy than having to be glamorous and beautiful all the time. I feel like I've gotten to wear way more comfortable shoes in these horror movies, which I'm always happy about [laughs].
Before we go, I have to ask—did you get to keep the sweater?
Judy Greer: Oh, no, no, no. I remember when we finished filming, they were like, "Do you want one of the sweaters?" And I was like, "No way, I'll just set it on fire" [laughs].
[Photo Credit: Above photo by Ryan Green/Universal Pictures. © 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.]