James Jude Courtney Talks ‘Halloween’ at Mad Monster Party Q&A
The newest man to don the mask as Michael Myers, our friend James Jude Courtney was among the celebrity guests in attendance at the recent Mad Monster Party convention, which took place Feb. 22-24, 2019 in Charlotte, NC, where he discussed his work on 2018’s Halloween and more.
Read on for some of the highlights from Courtney’s Q&A from Mad Monster Party 2019, moderated by Levi Tinker, and then see more from Mad Monster Party here.
On the physical demands of playing Michael Myers in Halloween:
It was much more physical, I can absolutely assure you, than what you would’ve seen on screen. I had a hemotoma on my left butt cheek. …I had bruises on my right arm that took a week to come out. I had bruised ribs, took a few cuts to the head. But those were all part of the game.
So I would wake up after a night of shooting just beat to Hell, and I’d just go, ‘Wow, what a great night that was.’ I felt like I had played the championship football game and gotten my butt kicked, but we won. You know what I mean? It was worth it. There are those challenges, but those are the challenges we live for.
On working with Jamie Lee Curtis:
That woman is bad to the bone. She’s the poster child for empowerment in this beautiful age when women are stepping up and realizing their power. That woman is kind and compassionate, and self-deprecating. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. But she will not put up with bullshit. She’s a really well-rounded, balanced person. She’s been through a lot of stuff, and she appreciates where she is and what she’s doing. And she throws herself so fully into what she does. What you see is what you get. There’s just no bullshit there. So she’s awesome.
We had so much fun while we were working together. She’s quirky by nature, so we just had this subtle little humor going on, little asides we’d throw at each other. It was a profoundly fulfilling experience.
On the massive success of Halloween:
We knew when we were doing it, we just knew day to day on the set that something special was happening. And of course that made everyone that much more dedicated to just pouring their hearts and souls into it. There was no drama on the set, no anger, no primadonnas, because everybody knew that we were doing something special. So, honestly, when it came out and it did well, I was like, ‘Yeah, I expected that’.
Every single person we worked with was at the top of their game, and I was just lucky enough to be able to play in that sandbox.
On the originally filmed (unused) ending of Halloween:
The ending that we shot was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had in my professional career. I won’t tell you exactly what happened. But it was a moment where David (Gordon Green, director) set the scenario and then he ran camera while he played the music that he thought was going to be at the end of the movie, which ended up not being used. So it was minutes long of David just letting me move the way the music moved me.
And then when the song ended, David said, ‘Look up’. When I looked up, every member of the cast and crew was standing around me – I still get emotional, because it was so sweet – and they were applauding. It was the last shot of the last day, and we all had this overwhelming emotion that we were this amazing, loving family, this team that had done something special. …For me, it was just a magical moment.
You can watch a few clips from the Feb. 23, 2019 Q&A with James Jude Courtney at Mad Monster Party and see some exclusive images in our photo gallery below.
[See all of our Mad Monster Party 2019 coverage here.]
[Read our interview with James Jude Courtney here.]
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