Michele Dawson plays the new character Nurse Deb in Halloween Ends, and her face – and scream – have been used quite prominently in virtually all of the marketing for the film, a pleasant surprise for Dawson, who we were thrilled to talk to recently about how she arrived in Haddonfield, facing Michael Myers in a killer homage the original 1978 Halloween, and stepping into the legacy of the biggest franchise in horror.
In our recent video conversation, Michele talked about shooting her character’s death scene, a tribute to Bob’s iconic kill in the first film, a sequence that features both Michael Myers and Corey Cunningham working together, telling HDN, “I’m so honored to play that part and be a part of that, because it does feel just epic having Corey and Michael there together. We actually shot that over two different days. I loved it. I loved every moment of it. They were my last two days filming, and I felt like was getting in the groove of it, getting comfortable being in this world and everything. And, oh man, that mask is scary. That mask is so scary.
“So the funny thing was they actually had some of the wonderful props and the mask set up on this table in this room that they had as a holding room for us, and I had to remind myself whenever I had walk into this room what I was going to walk into and see, because it was quite frightening.
“I remember the first time I saw James (Jude Courtney; watch our interview here) with that Michael Myers mask on, and I was genuinely frightened. It is terrifying. So to have him then opening that door in the bathroom and coming at me was literally terrifying. I was frightened, but it was such a fun scene to be a part of, because it’s things like that, even though I’m scared and going through all these things, as an actor, I loved every minute of it. It was just so fun.
“You know there’s choreography to all of it, like me slamming Corey’s hand in the door. I remember I was so nervous, because I didn’t want to actually hurt Rohan (Campbell), but we had such fantastic stunt people and stunt coordinators that were guiding us the whole way.
“We were shooting in the middle of the night at a real house in Savannah, Georgia, so there are the elements of already this eeriness and this creepiness, because it really is like two, three, four in the morning, it’s not like we’re on some soundstage filming at like 1:00 p.m. or noon, so that added a whole heightened element of all the fear factor.
“But that death scene was so fun. I don’t know how many times we did it, but I could’ve kept doing it. I mean sign me up, I’m ready to go do it again… It was an acting dream come true for me.”
Michele also confirms that there was no stunt double needed for her to shoot her death with James Jude Courtney behind the mask as Michael Myers. “James is so sweet and so nice,” she said, “He towers over me and he’s so strong. The death scene – that was our strength, our pure strength. My feet were not (on) anything. He was using his arm around my neck, and I kind of used my hands to assist and do like a little pullup. So I was doing like a little bit of a pullup, and so that was all of our strength. I did that full scene myself, so it was nice having my gymnastics background, because I’m very embodied and very strong, so it made it doable for us. It was just a lot of fun.”
We also of course discussed celebrating Halloween itself, and talked more about how Dawson’s gymnastics background helped to prepare her for acting, and much more.
You can watch our full exclusive interview with Michele Dawson below, premiering at 10:31am EST on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
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