Continuing our new series of video interviews, Halloween Daily News recently talked to Sandy Johnson, the one who started it all when she played Michael Myers’ first ever victim, his older sister Judith Myers, in John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween, and then stepped away from the spotlight soon after the landmark film only to be welcomed back into the franchise in a big way four decades later.
Of filming the groundbreaking opening sequence that is shot from young Michael Myers’ POV, Johnson recalls, “I just remember them telling me they wanted the downstairs scene to just be really playful and fun, kind of a teasing kind of situation, nothing heavy, and then of course upstairs they wanted me to just be relaxed and humming, and just, you know, what you would do after a 10 second sex scene. (laughs) I remember that there was Debra (Hill) and I think John (Carpenter) and maybe just the cameraman there, so it was a little scary waiting for them to get up there because I was kind of alone knowing I’m about to be murdered. So yeah, it was kind of spooky, but it was fun.”
In the full interview, she talks more about shooting her shockingly unforgettable death scene, her reaction when she first saw the finished film, and her thoughts on the legacy of Michael Myers.
In 2018, after 40 years away from the franchise and its fans, Johnson made her first ever convention appearance at the 40 Years of Terror reunion event in South Pasadena just days before the release of that year’s Blumhouse-produced Halloween, in which her iconic scene is once again featured prominently.
Of the massive fandom surrounding the 1978 film, Sandy says, “I had no idea. My life had gone a completely different way.” And then her current agent located her after a nine-year search and informed her that Blumhouse was also looking for her.
“They had to have my signature in order to use me in the (2018) film,” she said, “so they had been hoping to find me so that they could use that footage for the cemetery scene. Of course, I had no idea anyone was looking for me. so when he reached out he said, ‘Is it okay if I reach out to Blumhouse and let them know that I found you because they really wanted to use your footage in the scene,’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ It turned out that they were within like 10 days of wrapping up the film, so if he hadn’t found me when he did, I wouldn’t have been in the film because it would have been too late, so it was just one of those things that the timing and everything just fell into place.”
In our conversation, Sandy also discussed appearing in Playboy as Playmate of the Month in June 1974, working with future Friday the 13th Part 2 star Kirsten Baker in 1979’s Gas Pump Girls, and of course her own memories of celebrating the Halloween holiday itself.
You can watch our exclusive new interview with Sandy Johnson below.
For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily.