I would say that the first day of fall is actually the official launch of Halloween season, and how else to better kick off the month of October than with John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis presenting Halloween to a sold out crowd of 700+ fans? Beyond Fest hosted Carpenter and Curtis for a special screening of the horror classic with the star and director answering questions and revealing behind the scenes stories from the production of one of the most successful independent films ever made.
Curtis spoke about her seminal character of Laurie Strode and why she was excited to be cast in that particular role saying, “Obviously there are three women in the piece. There’s a cheerleader, there’s a smart aleck and then there’s the repressed virgin, and I was thrilled that I was reading for that because in the previous work I had done it was more the other things and so, for me, it was an actual chance to be an actor and not just kind of cute. And so I was thrilled that there was some gravitas and some depth to it and some intelligence to this woman instead of just being cute.”
While speaking about his leading lady, with whom he reteamed in 1980’s The Fog, Carpenter spouted true affection, telling the crowd, “Jamie has an extraordinary talent, ever since I first met her and it translates. So when you watch a movie with Jamie Lee Curtis in it, she’s expressive, she’s the perfect character that she’s playing. She molds herself to whatever she has to do. I love Jamie, she’s one of my favorite actresses of all time.”
The pair actually talked about The Shape himself and the birth of Michael Myers. Carpenter revealed, “Once we had the mask, we had it made. The mask was the big thing. Everybody knows the story, it’s a Captain Kirk mask spray painted, so there’s no need to retell that but there’s really no character there. There’s no personality. He’s just a force. He’s just a force of evil. That’s all he is. He doesn’t walk like a monster, he walks like a man and by stripping away a character, he became more powerful. That was in the script and once we had the mask we were all set to go.”
“It was your friend, so this is someone you were in a band with,” Jamie Lee added. “So it’s also not just, in subsequent years it became stuntmen, it became, this is a very different experience.” Curtis continued, “But the fact that he was Nick [Castle] also allowed there to be some depth to it. Nick is a talented director and so I think he has something richer to offer and I certainly think it comes out, as you said, in the sort of human but non-human way that he acts and the way that he cocks his head to look at his fine work like a dog with a bone.”
Halloween: The Complete Collection is now available on Blu-ray. The original Halloween will screen in cinemas all over the world this month.