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INT: Tyler Mane

12.18.2007by: Matt Withers

One of the challenges when you interview someone playing a famous masked killer is that there are only so many ways you can ask "How did you decide what sort of lumbering gait to use in this scene?" before it gets lame. Fortunately from conception to performance, Tyler Mane approached the role of Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN remake as an actor.

Granted a lot of the moments that showed his efforts got dropped from the theatrical release, but they are now ready for prime time on DVD. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a chat with the chillest 6'8" behemoth you're likely to meet.

Tyler Mane

Hey Tyler, how you doing today?

Great, man. Hey, youíre in Canada are ya?

No, Iím a Yankee, but JoBlo and The Arrow are both Canadian so Iíll try to represent.

Good luck with that.

On the subject of movie websites, do you pay much attention to those?

I monitor my own MySpace page, a lot of people ask me questions or leave comments there. And of course thereís TylerMane.com. Itís kinda hard not to, especially with something like Halloween thatís such a big franchise and has a huge fan following.

Like in the beginning a lot of people were saying I was too big, too bulky to play Michael Myers. But you canít worry about stuff like that, because what they didnít see is that I was 100 lbs. heavier in all my wrestling photos than I am today. I changed my workout to slim down for this role. So you listen to it, but you also have to take it with a grain of salt.

I presume your two favorite sites are JoBlo.com and ArrowInTheHead.com.

Absolutely.

The work print of Halloween that leaked days before the theatrical release had some pretty significant differences. Which version of the film did you prefer?

Itís hard to say. Especially when you add in the Unrated DVD version to the mix which has 11 additional minutes of footage.

Plus the DVD offers 17 deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

Oh man, I didnít know that. I havenít seen the DVD yet.

Thereís even a blooper reel.

I hope Rob didnít put in too many of my mistakes.

After watching the bloopers I have to ask, was Malcolm McDowell drunk on set everyday, or is he just clinically insane?

[laughs] He definitely wasnít drunk. Take him for what you will. So youíve seen the blooper reel?

Yeah. It was interesting seeing what appeared to be a very lighthearted set given the material.

We had a fantastic time on there. But when it comes time to work, and I put on the mask, itís time to work. You donít want to have that atmosphere and vibe going all day long, though.

Makes sense. Related to that concept of getting into and out of character, how do you manage to be fully in character, while still maintaining the safety of ďvictimsĒ who for the most part are about as big as your leg?

SPOILER ALERT (Wrestling fans only)

Since I spent 11 and a half years as a professional wrestler, itís pretty easy. As you know, wrestling is sports entertainment. Youíre not trying to hurt anybody. The first thing when Iím on set is safety and making sure everything is going to go smoothly. Then you just keep in mind where your character is, and where he wants to go, and you just gotta get him there.

END SPOILER ALERT

What is your take on who and what Michael Myers is? What drives him?

To create the character I just broke down the script to see where Rob wanted it to go. What I found was that once Loomis walked out of his life, and no one left in the asylum had any real connection to him, it was time to reunite with the only other person he still knows - Laurie Strode. So heís just trying to get back to his family. And I looked at him as a Great White shark. Anything that got in his way to prevent that had to pay the price.

By any means necessary - the Malcolm X of serial killers.

Well if you get in the way of Michael Myers, and heís got a knife in his hand, itís not going to end well for you.

One thing I wasnít completely clear on in the movie was why Michael hid/buried the mask and the knife.

When heís ten and heís done what heíd done, on some level he knew he needed to hide the evidence. His only option was the basement.

It wasnít meant to be a Hannibal Lecter-like plan where he already knew he was going to break out 15 years later and come back for it?

I donít think he foresaw all that happening, but he definitely knew he wanted it stored so that he could come back and get it again.

Are the producers pushing to get a sequel into theaters for next fall, or are they going to take a little more time on it?

I donít know exactly when theyíre planning to do it, or what the situation is, especially with the writers strike, but I am signed for another one.

Does that hold even if Rob Zombie doesnít direct the second?

When I signed on, I never had that conversation with him, but he did tell me he told his story with a beginning, middle and end - so he didnít want to do another one. But one thing Iíve learned in this business is never say never.

The DVD has a ton of casting reels, but doesnít have one for you. Was it really as easy as Rob calling up and offering you the role?

Well he wrote this with me in mind. I was in Canada getting ready to talk to producers about another project that was going to shoot around the same time. He called me up and said I want you in this. So I was like, ďOh, now you wanna kill me off in a Halloween movie.Ē But he said he wanted me for Myers and told me this was really going to be the Michael Myers story.

One of the interesting differences between the Theatrical release and the Work Print was that the W.P. gave more clarity to Myersí actions and motivations.

You definitely see his decision making, his thought process about whatís happening. Youíre kind of almost a little sympathetic towards him.

As an actor was it tough to see that approach let go?

No, because I knew what they were looking for and how it would eventually come out. I do wish it would have been in there more, and told the story the way we shot it, but I knew thereíd be a DVD release with a lot of that material available. It would be nice if the theatrical could have contained it too, but it is what it is.

Itís a little ironic, because the big question before the release was, ďWhy remake Halloween?Ē And Zombieís answer was that he was going to do it differently but then yaíll were forced to lose a lot of the third act elements that made it different from the original.

What can I say, I wasnít involved in that process.

Even with what didnít make it into the film, you successfully communicate a lot while wearing the mask. The editor even thought masks with different expressions were used. How did you make that happen?

Itís totally through body movement. It was a great opportunity for me because it is very difficult to show emotion and character just through movement. Iím very excited for the DVD release so that more of that will be shown.

What are you working on next?

Iíve got a couple of projects Iím in talks on, and Iím developing one for myself. I canít talk about them right now, but as soon as I can I will give you a call. [Note to Tyler Mane - Donít forget to call!]

One of them is a horror role since people have liked what I did with Michael Myers, so weíll see what happens with that.

Is it a remake or a new project?

Totally new.

Did you and Brad Dourif ever discuss doing a Myers vs. Chucky film while yaíll were on set?

Címon, man. If that happened then Michael Myers would just become a fieldgoaler and kick him.

You got picked on when you were younger. Have you ever revisited any of your tormentors to discuss with them their monumental lack of foresight?

You know what, Iíve forgiven them [laughs in a way that makes me very glad Iím not someone who picked on him]. When I was growing up I had trouble reading, I was this tall skinny kid with glasses and braces, but Iím actually glad I had that because it helped develop me into who I am today. A stronger person with stronger character.

Iíd imagine some of those experiences helped you develop the character of Michael Myers.

Yes they did.

Some cathartic stabbings going on?

Maybe one or two.

Time to wrap up, so let me hit you with the question on everyoneís mind . Whose voice do you prefer - Rob Zombie or Hugh Jackman?

Yíknow, I just caught Robís concert in the Staples Center, and it was phenomenal. If heís coming to your town, or your readers towns, you wanna go see that.

Quick last story for you. Itís the last day of shooting, and Robís in his chair chewing gum. He chews a lot of gum. And the sound guys had one of his videos on where heís whipping around these dreadlocks. And I look at that, and then over at Rob just chewing gum and calmly telling people, ďWe gotta do this, we gotta do thatĒ. It was like Jekyll and Hyde. Heís just perfect for all those roles.

Well thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, and good luck with all those projects you canít tell me about right now.

Alright, man. Take care.

What can I say? A lot of times, for better or for worse, the dudes who play iconic killers really want you to believe they are psychos of the first order in real life. But Tyler seemed totally cool and relaxed, friendly and just happy to have the opportunity to do something he loves for a living. I expect we'll see more and more of him in the next couple of years.

BUY HALLOWEEN ON DVD TODAY!!



BUY HALLOWEEN ON DVD TODAY!!

READ THE ARROW'S HALLOWEEN REVIEW HERE

Source: AITH

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