Star of the New 'Halloween' Says He Got Murder Tips from an Actual Hitman
Michael Myers, the knife-wielding dude in a William Shatner mask from the Halloween franchise, has done a lot of murdering. He made his first kill when he was six and continued to slice and dice unsuspecting victims and an entire graduating class's-worth of teenage girls over the course of ten movies—save for Halloween III, when he took a breather and let some witches do the killing for him or whatever.
The character may be a master killer at this point, but the new actor behind the Myers mask apparently still needed some pointers on the art of murder to get ready for his role. According to James Jude Courtney, the guy who plays Myers in the upcoming Halloween film, he learned how to get into character as a crazed murderer from a professional—as in, an actual, professional hitman.
Courtney told Vanity Fair in a new interview that he met a former contract killer through a mutual friend back in the early 2010s. The man was allegedly freshly out of prison and wanted Courtney to help him write his life story, so they wound up living together for a while. At one point, Courtney took the guy to see the Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie The Hit List, and he was less than impressed.
"We walked out of the screening, and he said to me, 'Jimmy, it’s a really nice movie, but that’s not how you kill people,'" Courtney explained to Vanity Fair.
According to Courtney, the guy promised to "show" him how actual hitmen work—but since the guy was seemingly retired and had already done his time, this probably didn't mean literally bringing him around on hits. It probably (hopefully) just involved some advice and conversation. But in any case, it sounds like it really helped Courtney get into the mind of a murderer.
“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."
Efficient murder isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind with Michael Myers, since the guy has been known to waste a lot of time standing around and holding his knife menacingly while it glints in a streetlight or whatever, so it sounds like Courtney's bringing something very new and different to the character.
The new Halloween reboot is set to hit theaters on October 19, so we'll get to see how Courtney's real-life murder training stacks up against Laurie Strode's fire power and general quest for revenge just in time for the real Halloween.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow VICE on Twitter.