New Michael Myers Actor Got Advice From A Real-Life Hitman For Halloween


There’s character research and then there’s character research, if you know what I mean.

Judging by the clips we’ve seen of Michael Myers in action in Halloween (due out this Friday), he’s an efficient, driven and utterly terrifying killer. So how did actor James Jude Courtney, who plays Myers for the majority of the movie (the original Michael Myers, Nick Castle, cameos in a key scene) prepare for the role? Well, he went and chatted with an actual real-life hitman in order to make sure his killing was terrifyingly accurate.

Years ago, I met a real hit man through a mutual acquaintance—he wanted his life story written, so he was living with me. He had just left a safe house and served in a penitentiary up in the Northwest. I absorbed his life just by hanging out with him every day. I took him to see a film I was in called The Hit List. 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.”


“I’m gonna show you how.”

Let’s pause for a second here and point out that if a hitman says to you he’s going to show you how you really kill people, that’s your cue to run like hell. Plus, I like that Courtney is so chill about having a professional assassin as a housemate. Anyways, he got some good advice about how to play a killer, with the actor saying:

“There’s a stealth efficiency to the way an actual trained killer works. 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.”

Granted, Myers certainly isn’t one for monologuing at his victims, but while he might be an efficient stalker and stabber, he does seem to enjoy the thrill of the chase and the fear of his victims. Over the course of the franchise, he’s repeatedly shown a flair for the dramatic in cranking up the fear that his prey feels. Just check out this clip of him sprinkling a handful of teeth over the top of a bathroom stall before he bursts through. All that said, knowing there’s a glimmer of real-life homicidal violence influencing Courtney’s performance should make it that much more terrifying.

So far, it’s looking like this new sequel is going to smash through previous box office records for the franchise. The reviews are great, advance ticket sales are healthy and there’s a real buzz about the movie. Suffice it to say, I can’t wait to see Halloween this weekend.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.