[Interview] James Jude Courtney Talks ‘Halloween Ends’ and Playing Michael Myers
James Jude Courtney has made history as the only actor ever to appear on screen as Michael Myers in three consecutive films, concluding with Halloween Ends currently in theaters, and so we were beyond excited to talk to Courtney again for our fourth interview since he first wore the mask and the opportunity to look back on his journey from stepping into The Shape the 2018 requel to becoming its ultimate incarnation in Kills, and now to the end of one hell of a ride.
In our recent video conversation, James talked about the divisive nature of certain elements of the new movie and of his real life mentorship of Rohan Campbell, who costars in Ends as Corey Cunningham, telling HDN, “I actually knew what was going to happen before even reading the script, because last year prior to the premiere (of Halloween Kills), David Gordon Green told me that he would be introducing me to Rohan Campbell and that basically he wanted to establish a mentor protege relationship then. So we developed a relationship as friends, but I definitely mentored him in terms of the character and the depth of the character.
“Now I liken this process to playing on a football team, and if you play on a football team, if there’s any chance at all of winning a championship, you’ve got to buy in to the coach’s program. So when David told me what was going to happen way back then – I look at it like this: Do I want more screen time? Yeah. If I’m a football player, I want more field time, I want more action, but trusting in David Gordon Green’s vision is what I’ve done all three films, and very rightly so. It’s an honor to work with such a talented director.
“I knew what was going to happen, and basically for me, I go into mission mode. By the time I got the script, and in fact I didn’t want to read early iterations of the script. I didn’t want to cloud my mind with what could or should be. I wanted to stay away from any preconceived notions of things that might change. So I waited until almost probably about a month before we started shooting to actually sit down and read. But I just went, ‘Okay, great man, we’re taking chances’. And what do you do when you’re an artist? You’ve got to take chances, and we did.”
“I think the great thing is that the fans are debating, which means they have passion, and we welcome that. David knew that was going to happen, I knew it was going to happen, Jamie (Lee Curtis) knew it was going to happen, and we were like, ‘Bring it on, man. Let’s talk about it’.”
Looking back on his time as The Shape over the past four years, Courtney reflects, “An experience like this expands you, so the expansive place that I had to go to to play this character, it stretches and morphs and moves internally, so it’s an emotional and spiritual experience, but it has definitely expanded my awareness of myself as a human being, as an actor. It’s expanded my capacity for intuitive interaction with fellow creators, especially working with David and Jamie, two highly intuitive, highly gifted talents. So I would just say that it’s made me richer; richer as a human being and richer as an actor.”
On what has surprised him most during his time in Haddonfield, he said, “They prepared me for the number of fans who were going to approach me, but what they didn’t prepare me for was the love – the love of the fans and the interaction of the love with each fan that I get meet. So even though I only get to spend a few moments with each fan as they stand in line and I sign an autograph and take a selfie, it’s very genuine and real. We look in each other’s eyes and we share a moment together, and even though it’s brief, it’s genuine. And there’s so much love.
“The opportunity to receive that kind love is amazing, and the opportunity to give that kind love is. So it’s this beautiful circle of love. I characterize it as little drops of love all day long when I go to a convention. It’s all about love, and it’s so gratifying and fulfilling.
“I would wish that every human being could have this experience, because it’s overwhelming really how beautiful it is.”
Courtney also reveals his favorite kill of all three movies, and discusses his emotional bond with Jamie Lee Curtis, shooting his final scene, what his reaction would be if he was asked to wear Michael’s mask again, and more.
You can watch our full exclusive new interview with James Jude Courtney on Halloween Ends and playing Michael Myers below.
Halloween Ends is now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.
Watch our interview with Lydia Hand on stunt doubling for Andi Matichak as Allyson in three recent Halloween movies here.
Watch our interview with Marteen on playing bully Billy in Halloween Ends here.
Watch our interview with Joey Harris on playing bully Margo in Halloween Ends here.
Watch our interview with Paul Brad Logan on co-writing Halloween Ends and authoring the novelization here.
Read our Halloween Ends review here.
See all of our Halloween Ends coverage here!
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