Judy Greer reprises her now iconic role of Laurie Strode’s daughter Karen in the new sequel Halloween Kills, but she could not have done it without a little help from her stunt double, Rachel Hoffpauir, a warrior and action junky, who we recently talked to about working with one of her idols, stepping into the legacy of horror’s most hallowed franchise, facing Michael Myers in the shocking climax, and much more.
In our exclusive new video interview, Hoffpauir discusses her journey into the world of stunts, beginning with a live burn on the sands of The Lost Colony, an 80-year-old play about America’s first urban legend, continuing into Haddonfield, and beyond.
Speaking for the first time about working on Halloween Kills, Rachel reveals that the mob in the hospital were originally going be more physically violent toward Karen. She tells HDN, “My second day (on set) was the first day that I worked as ‘Stunt Karen,’ which is my favorite title I’ve ever had. The first thing we did was in the hallway when they’re trying to say, ‘No, it’s not him.’ Then Jamie Lee Curtis knees the doctor in the stomach, which was James Northrup, who’s an amazing stunt guy, and he just took it like a champ. She was nailing him. That was a lot fun.
“The next thing I did was all the stuff in the stairwell. I was actually not supposed to work that day. I was on hold, so I was just at my hotel, and I had gone for a run that morning and didn’t have my phone in my pocket – probably the only 15 minutes of the day that I don’t have my phone sitting next to me. I pull it out on this beach in North Carolina and there’s a million missed calls from the second A.D., from Airon (Armstrong, stunt coordinator), a bunch of text messages, like, ‘Hey, we need you to get to the set right now.’
“So I rushed to set and I get there, and they’re like, ‘Okay, this is all the stuff that Judy has done, the establishing stuff, all the running up an down the stairs. and they said, ‘We need you fall,’ and I was like, ‘Got it’…
“We proceeded up the stairs, up to the hallway and all the scenes with Tivoli. Those had originally been planned to be a little different, a little more violence toward Karen with the mob and everything, because I had been told I need to bring extra back pads and stuff because we were going to be doing some big pushes. But when they got to rehearsing it, they were like, the mob’s goal at that point was not her, it was who they thought was Michael Myers, and so we changed it up a little bit and I just kind of got to be there as support for Judy.
“That’s a lot of what our jobs are as stunt doubles, specifically. We’re there to make the actor look good, we’re there to make them feel comfortable and safe, and just be there, like, ‘Hey, I’m here if you need me, and we’ll make this awesome.’ So that was just my first week.”
Amazingly, Hoffpauir’s last night of filming was actually on Halloween, October 31, 2019, and it was the climactic final kill of movie, which she had no idea was coming.
“My last day… It was just me (no other stunt performers), and I had no idea what I was shooting,” Rachel says. “It was October 31st. On the call sheet, the scene just said ‘Karen and The Shape dance.’ I looked to Airon and said, ‘What are we doing?’ And he goes, ‘No one told you?’ I said, ‘No. What are we doing today?’ And he pulled out his phone to the pre-vis and shows me the stabbing of Karen. Internally, I was like, ‘Wait, what? (laughs) There goes my job security! You can’t do this.’ I was heartbroken, but it was really cool.
“It was pretty much the last thing we shot that day. We did shots of both of us doing it, obviously her from the front and I did a couple takes from behind. Again, I was in kind of that nervous zone. It didn’t even register with me at that time that I’m getting killed by Michael Myers right now. I remember seeing his mask and knife and stuff, but I remember zeroing in on a bit of paint that was on the mask, that was like the thing I was doing to kind of center myself. Then to look back, and see how it turned out in the movie, (now) I’m just like, ‘I’m getting killed by Michael Myers, oh my gosh!‘
So Karen’s climactic end, and Rachel’s epic beginning, fittingly took place on Halloween Night. “That’s a secret I had to keep for a very long time,” says Hoffpauir.
Since filming wrapped on HK in the fall of 2019, Rachel has been busy building her stunt performing resume, having taken her first step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe working on another climactic scene of a different kind in WandaVision, and more recently kicking it on Cobra Kai. We talked about all of it and more in our wide ranging, candid conversation.
You can watch our full exclusive new interview with Rachel Hoffpauir on stunt doubling for Judy Greer in Halloween Kills below.
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