If you come across Michael Myers, his bleached-white mask is usually the last thing you’ll ever see.
After seven movies and dozens of victims, the sister-slicing serial killer from “Halloween” has become arguably the most iconic slasher-movie character of all time. Now the boots and overalls have been passed on to 6-foot-10 “X-Men” star — and former wrestler — Tyler Mane, who has trimmed his trademark mullet and plans to terrify people in a whole new way.
Fortunately, the star of Rob Zombie’s upcoming nightmare (see “Rob Zombie Talks ’Halloween’: ’A Bloodbath Doesn’t Interest Me’ “ ) let us walk away from the set unharmed so we could bring you his thoughts on terror, teens and being too tall.
MTV: What did Rob Zombie say when he approached you to take the role?
Tyler Mane: Rob said that he had written this “Halloween” and that he wanted Michael to be a little larger than life. [He said] he was thinking of me when he wrote it. He asked if I wanted to do it, and, of course, it being Rob Zombie, I said sure.
MTV: Tell us about the first time you saw John Carpenter’s original movie and how it made you feel.
Mane: I didn’t remember it. Since I signed on, I’ve watched all the movies except for the third one, where Michael Myers does not appear. So I have become a fan of the “Halloween”s, and hopefully I will be the scariest Michael ever.
MTV: Rob has made a point of saying that he wanted to hire an actor, not just a stuntman, to put on the mask. So tell us: What thespian skills are you bringing to this unusual gig?
Mane: Well, there is a whole thought process you have to do. You have to figure out the character; you have to figure out the movements. I needed to figure out a way that I wanted to play Michael Myers and bring a little something different to the character. That’s what I’m doing, and hopefully everyone will be pleased with it.
MTV: You tell people that Rob Zombie is remaking “Halloween,” and they assume it’ll be the old movie with tons more blood. How accurate is that?
Mane: Well, let’s just say it’s a little bit more intense than any of the other ones.
MTV: Have you attempted to meet with any of the other people who played Michael Myers?
Mane: I haven’t talked to any of the other Michaels. For research, [all I wanted to do was] figure out what would be going on in the mind of a killer so I could bring something behind the mask, other than just putting on the mask and running around stabbing people.
MTV: A lot of people on the Internet are arguing over whether you’re too tall, or even too skinny, to be Michael Myers. What would you say to them?
Mane: Well, you know, Rob Zombie had a vision and we are bringing it to life.
MTV: You’ve spent several days working opposite Malcolm McDowell (see “Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell, The New Dr. Loomis, Talks ’Halloween’ “ ). What is he bringing to the character of Dr. Loomis?
Mane: Malcolm is fantastic. Working with an icon, you can’t have anything better than that. I think he makes an excellent Loomis.
MTV: This seems like the type of job that would make you look around and think, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this.”
Mane: Oh, yeah. I mean, we are here to do the movie; we are here to get it done. I’m sure it’s going to sink in afterwards, just exactly what happened.
MTV: So give us an idea: What’s it like inside that iconic mask?
Mane: It’s hot and sweaty, and it smells like rubber.
MTV: What was it like the first time you put it on?
Mane: I realized, putting it on the first time, just what I was getting into. Michael Myers is a very famous character. This is the ninth movie with Michael Myers, and when you put on that mask for the first time, you get a little chill going down your spine.
MTV: Is it easy to get into character once you’re looking through those little slits?
Mane: Yeah, once you have that mask on, you get that bloody knife, you get breathing … it gets intense. It’s kind of interesting, and a good feeling.
MTV: In this movie, you’re stalking 18-year-old Scout Taylor-Compton, who is stepping into the Jamie Lee Curtis role (see ” ’Halloween’ Star Scout Taylor-Compton Calls Michael Myers ’Cute,’ Talks Sequel” ). How will the character of Laurie Strode be changing?
Mane: She is doing a fantastic job. I think everyone is going to be very pleased with what she’s doing. I don’t like to compare actors like that. Jamie Lee Curtis brought what she did. Scout is bringing to Laurie what she is bringing, and it’s going to be excellent.
MTV: What has been your favorite scene to shoot so far?
Mane: Where do you begin? Anytime you get to put that knife in your hand and slice somebody up, it’s a good time. People are going to enjoy just about every killing scene. They are looking really good.
MTV: Rob said his version is going to show us Michael getting the mask. Did you enjoy re-creating such an iconic origin scene?
Mane: Yeah, doing those scenes you’re bringing Michael to life. People are going to be able to see his transformation: when he gets his mask, when he gets his suit and how he comes to town on that Halloween night.
MTV: Are we ever going to get to see your face?
Mane: You’re going to have to wait and see.
MTV: Scout and Malcolm say they’d do sequels, but Rob says this is his only one. Where do you stand?
Mane: Well, we will see. If they call, I will definitely put on the mask again.
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