PASADENA, California — She ain’t your parents’ Laurie Strode, that’s for sure.
Between takes on Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” remake, newly 18-year-old Scout Taylor-Compton doodles “I Love Michael Myers” in her prop notebook. Dressed in jeans, black-rimmed glasses and matching Chucks, she pulls the hood on her skull-emblazoned sweatshirt up over her dyed-brown hair and bounces ideas for her in-production punk-pop debut record off 6-foot-10 actor/wrestler Tyler Mane. Then Zombie calls “Action!” Mane straps his white mask back on and promptly tosses Taylor-Compton around the set like the world’s happiest rag doll.
Recently, MTV News caught up with the actress for her first-ever interview since landing the coveted role that gave Jamie Lee Curtis a career. The former “Sleepover” star got giggly talking about why she was originally scared by Zombie, some of the (formerly) top-secret stunts she’s endured and why a remake of “Halloween II” might be on the horizon.
MTV: So here we are on the set of the “Halloween” remake, on the front lawn of the new Laurie Strode house. Is Rob going to make this movie a hard “R”?
Scout Taylor-Compton: Just picture the original “Halloween” but with more blood and with Rob’s creativity. It’ll be “The Devil’s Rejects” mixed with “Halloween.”
MTV: Does Rob like a lot of blood around the set?
Taylor-Compton: Yeah, I still have some underneath my nails from yesterday.
MTV: Tell us what we’re seeing here today.
Taylor-Compton: I am coming from just being with my best friends, and Michael [Myers] is following me, stalking me. Then I’m coming to help my poor mother with this skeleton [Halloween decoration] that she can’t put together. And then she brings up an incident that we already filmed that I will not talk about. [She laughs.] It’s a bagel incident that you guys will know very well when this [film] comes out.
MTV: What were your thoughts when you first realized you’d be working with Rob Zombie?
Taylor-Compton: I was a little scared, like, seeing his appearance. [She laughs.] But then when I got on set, and realized who he was, I really calmed down.
MTV: Have you seen all the “Halloween” movies?
Taylor-Compton: No, I haven’t seen all of them. I’ve only seen a couple of them, but since I began working on this film, I have been watching them like crazy.
MTV: Tell us about the first time you saw the original “Halloween.” What struck you?
Taylor-Compton: I was watching the original one when I was going to audition for this, to see how I could bring Jamie Lee Curtis into it. But I’ve changed [Laurie Strode] a lot. She’s Scout now.
MTV: Have you ever met Jamie?
Taylor-Compton: No, I haven’t, but I want to. She’s a role model of mine.
MTV: The original “Halloween” started Jamie Lee Curtis on a path that had her become “The Scream Queen,” and then she transformed that into a very respectable career. So how does it feel to be the new “Scream Queen”?
Taylor-Compton: It’s nerve-racking. I remember getting the call, and from the very beginning I wanted this. I tried so hard, and I remember going in about four or five times, testing with Rob and screaming my brains out! But it feels good following in Jamie Lee Curtis’ footsteps.
MTV: Jamie was dressed very conservatively in the original, whereas you have more of a goth thing going on.
Taylor-Compton: Well, this is [Rob Zombie's wife] Sheri’s Total Skull sweatshirt. I got it for my birthday, which was on set and I was filming. I was just begging Rob to let me wear it. Laurie still has the glasses, she’s conservative, but she has a little attitude to herself now.
MTV: Tell us about the areas where you are inserting a little bit of Scout, as opposed to just following the Jamie Lee Curtis game plan.
Taylor-Compton: Well, definitely in the sassy attitude that I bring to it — especially talking to my mom and talking to my friends. I am more blending in with my friends than I am the good girl in the back, you know?
MTV: One of the interesting aspects in the original film was that Michael and Laurie had a kind of bizarre bond, being brother and sister. Do you guys similarly play that up?
Taylor-Compton: I think so. He’s searching for her throughout the whole entire time, and I think when they finally meet down in the basement Laurie knows there’s something. I think she realizes, “Wait a minute, he is very gentle.” … He’s not Freddy Krueger saying, “I am going to stab you right now!” I mean, of course he is killing everybody, but there is just a little cute thing to him, I think.
MTV: Laurie doesn’t enter the new version of the movie until about two-thirds into it. Which scenes are you not in but eager to see once the movie is put together?
Taylor-Compton: I want to go see Michael in the institution, which is different from the original, with Malcolm [McDowell as Dr. Loomis] talking to him, and Michael expressing himself with different masks and stuff. That’s definitely different, and I just want to see what people’s reactions are going to be.
MTV: Rob said he loves putting you through the wringer. Tell us about some of the tougher stunts you’ve had to do.
Taylor-Compton: [She laughs.] I really love doing all the stunts like in the pool [behind the Myers' home], falling into the empty pool and rolling and crying and searching my way out. I really like doing my own stunts; now I’m an action woman.
MTV: Can you give us a sample of the new Laurie Strode scream?
Taylor-Compton: Oh, no, no, no! I want people to rate me, but I want them to hear it in the movie.
MTV: Do you go home and practice?
Taylor-Compton: No, I got my scream down now. I scream a lot — I love screaming.
MTV: Would you like to do some “Halloween” sequels?
Taylor-Compton: I would. I am enjoying myself a lot, and I would love to continue on.
MTV: Well, in “Halloween II,” Jamie Lee Curtis got to come back.
Taylor-Compton: I’m hoping this is a big success and we can make another one, and we can enjoy it more. Because Laurie is going to change in the sequel. She is going to be different.
MTV: How so?
Taylor-Compton: I think we’re going to spice her up a little bit, make her a little bit more real rather than the girl next door. There are some problems, I’m sure, that she’d be dealing with. Going through this kind of tragedy does stuff to you.
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