The Actor Playing 'Halloween' Murderer Michael Myers was Coached by an Actual Murderer
Faceless, voiceless, emotionless slasher Michael Myers has been played by six actors over the years, but the latest to take up the mask is probably the only one to have been given pointers on how murderers go about murdering by an actual murderer.
James Jude Courtney, who plays Myers in the new sequel to the original Halloween after a lifetime of odd parts in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Babylon Five and a later slide toward less exciting roles ('Huge Goon' in The Gray In Between; 'Mafia Goon' in Soccer Dog: The Movie), told Vanity Fair that he used to live with a contract killer who wanted somebody to write his life story. Mystifyingly, nobody seems to have taken him up on the offer.
While they lived together Courtney took his flatmate out to see him in The Hit List—not the 2011 one with Cuba Gooding Jr, the 1993 one with a late-period James Coburn—in which Courtney plays 'Final Hitman'. His mate wasn't too impressed with Courtney's work though.
"Jimmy, it’s a really nice movie, but that’s not how you kill people," Courtney recalls his friend saying. "I’m gonna show you how."
Obviously at that point you'd say you were going to the toilet and then hide in an air conditioning vent until everyone had left, just to make sure you weren't found in chunks in a chest freezer six months later. That, however, is why you're not a Very Serious Actor. Courtney took his mate up on the offer though, and explained that Myers' ruthlessness comes from the advice this actual murderer gave him.
"There’s a stealth efficiency to the way an actual trained killer works," Courtney said. "Movies tend to dilute that quality with dramatic pauses and dialogue, which a true predator would never waste time doing. That efficiency is what I took to the part of Michael Myers."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.