The first Michael Myers of the 21st Century, Brad Loree was never a horror fan, but he was a Halloween fan instantly after watching John Carpenter’s original 1978 classic, ultimately finding his place into cinematic history in the Resurrection of The Shape for the eighth film of the franchise.
Resurrection brought Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode, for what we really thought would be her final confrontation with Michael Myers (wrong again!), and it returned the action to Haddonfield, as a new group of young people attempt to survive Halloween night inside the Myers House, while being filmed for an online live stream. Certain elements of the plot are every bit as innovative as other parts are controversial (Laurie’s opening scene exit; Busta Rhymes’ kung fu, etc.), and as normal as it all may seem today, live streaming was still a novel concept in early 2002.
For the direct followup to 1998’s Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, director Rick Rosenthal, who helmed Halloween II in 1981, returned to the franchise for the eighth installment, Halloween: Resurrection. The cast included American Pie‘s Thomas Ian Nicholas, Daisy McCrackin (read our interview here), future Battlestar Galactica lead Katee Sackhoff, and future America’s Top Model producer/host Tyra Banks, along with Curtis and Rhymes, and Loree as the new Michael Myers.
Loree, who also served as co-stunt coordinator for Resurrection, had worked on a number of low budget projects before embodying The Shape, but he would go on to much greater success, performing stunt work in high profile films including X-Men 2 and 3, Final Destination 2, Watchmen, Jennifer’s Body, and The Cabin in the Woods, and playing Kevin Flynn as stunt double for Jeff Bridges in Disney’s 2010 sci-fi epic Tron: Legacy.
I talked to Brad Loree at this past October’s historic H40: Forty Years of Terror Halloween anniversary event in Pasadena, CA., where he was among a total of 19 actors and stuntmen who played Myers throughout all 11 films of the franchise that were in attendance along with over 50 other cast and crew, the largest gathering of its kind in history.
Read on for our interview with Brad Loree on his first time watching Halloween and the Resurrection of Michael Myers.
So how did you become Michael Myers in Resurrection?
Well, I had been working on a low budget TV show called Los Lochadores for Fox. It was the story of these Mexican wrestlers by day and crime fighters by night.
I don’t remember that.
I’ve never seen it actually. Anyway, the stunt coordinator left after eight episodes, and I then became not only the stunt double, but the stunt coordinator. So I did the last five episodes. Then when we finished the first season of 13 episodes, we all went off looking for work, and the first A.D. I was working with interviewed with the Halloween people. And when they mentioned that they didn’t know who their Michael Myers and their Canadian (stunt) coordinator was going to be, he mentioned my name, and they called me up.
I went in and met Rick (Rosenthal) and the executives. Rick had me do the walk a couple of times. And I was the first and only person they ever looked at. They sent me down to L.A., cast my head.
I wasn’t going to take the job, because when they called, she said they were looking for a stunt double for Mike Myers, so I thought they were talking about Austin Powers.
But when they told me that I was going to play Michael Myers – because the first Halloween is the only horror film on my (list of favorite movies) – I’m not a big horror guy, but I love the first Halloween. When they offered me the job, the actor in me said, ‘Brad, you’ve got to take this job,’ and thank God I did, because the other show, they did two (more) episodes and in the middle of the third episode, they came in and pulled the plug and the show was done.
So it was a complete fluke of happenstance, but they liked me from the first time they met me, and it turned into all this.
It’s fantastic. It was one of the best experiences of my life, because I am just so proud to be a part of this franchise.
So you were already a fan of the original film.
When the first Halloween came out, I didn’t want anything to do with it, but everybody was talking about it. My cousin Diana, whose opinion I really respected, when she said she liked it, I ended up renting it.
I remember sitting there going, ‘This movie is awesome,’ for any genre. It’s not bloody, gory, or violent, but I’m on the edge of my seat biting my nails because this guy just keeps coming.
I’m very proud that I got to play Michael Myers. It’s hilarious.
And now you’re part of this 40-year-old legacy. What do you think of this fandom that’s still going stronger than ever?
It just seems to keep growing. I hear the new movie is really good. Like I said, I’m not a huge fan of horror films, but I’m a huge fan of horror fans. I don’t know what it is with these people that love blood and guts, but they’re the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. They’re absolute sweethearts.
And I’m a movie fan, so I love taking pictures and meeting and greeting and talking and whatnot, so I never get tired of hanging out with my fellow movie fans.
When I talked Rick Rosenthal (interview coming soon), we spoke a little about how the film, technology-wise, is ahead of its time. Streaming is everywhere and normal now, but this film was talking about it before anybody else was.
See that I didn’t know, because I’m not an I.T. guy, but that whole concept was actually (ahead of its time). It incorporated I.T. technology into the whole plot.
Do you have any other projects happening right now?
No, I’m on disability with a bad back. I got knocked off my Harley, twice, off set. And my back was already fucked from hitting the ground. So I’m glad to be doing this (H40 convention). And I’m back doing what they call gravy days, where it’s super easy stuff and it’s not hard on your body.
They sometimes use stunt people to kind of create a margin between fire or any kind of danger and the background (extras). So they’ll have 50 background people and then half a dozen stunt people just doing the same stuff, so you make sure the actors don’t get too close to the danger. So those days I’ll go in. In the past six months, I’ve worked maybe seven or eight days. But if I can even work a day a month, I’m happy. So it’s good. That’s what I’m up to, and just following the Dodgers.
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