George Wilbur played Michael Myers in both of my favorite "Halloween" sequels, 1988's "The Return" and 1995's "The Curse." We caught up with him recently to talk about everything from the fabled "Producer's Cut" of H6 to Rob Zombie's remake of Carpenter's classic. Here's what he had to say.
In my opinion, Halloween 6 was a good movie.
I read on your site that you're good friends with Dick Warlock from Halloween 2, how did you two end up being friends?
Dick is a great friend of mine. We met when I started out in the business. He was an active stuntman and so was I. I saw him on several sets and we became friends. We also were members of the Stuntman’s Association so we’d see each other at meetings as well.
When you took the role, did you have any idea how big a pair of shoes you were stepping into? Would you have been more or less excited to take on the role had you known?
No, I had never even seen any of the films so I guess I didn’t realize it. I absolutely would have been excited to have taken the role in "Halloween 4" had I known what I was stepping into. Of course after part 4 came out, I knew how big of a role it was. When I was called back to do Halloween 6, I packed my bags right away.
I also read on your site that you hadn't seen the previous films before auditioning... did you check them out before portraying Michael on the big screen? What were your thoughts?
Actually, I didn’t watch "Halloween" 1 or 2 before I did 4. I saw the first two years later. I didn’t think the Michael Myers character was very developed in 1 and 2. Moustapha Akkad really developed the concept of Michael Myers and created the menacing character (he) is today.
Often times actors describe the on-set experience of horror films as being like a really fun family affair, can you describe the atmosphere on the sets of both H4 and H6?
I guess you can say it was like a family affair. That comes from being on set with the same people for an extended period of time. But once the cameras started rolling, everyone was professional about their roles and jobs. Also, working on a horror movie set was exciting and different because of all the blood, action, and dark atmosphere.
Can you describe working on the perilous rooftop sequence in "Halloween 4?"
That was a good scene! It was difficult walking with the mask on so I had to be pretty careful. I was more worried about the safety of the actress although she was secured with wires.
Can you explain why you weren't in "Halloween 5," and how you ended up being brought back for "Halloween 6?"
At the time, I had other commitments so I was unable to take on the role in "Halloween 5." After 5 came out, Moustapha Akkad personally asked that I come back for "Halloween 6." I immediately took the job after hearing he had requested me.
You had a good amount of on-screen time with Donald Pleasance, could you describe what it was like working with an onscreen legend like that?
I always respected Donald as an actor. I felt privileged to work with him and be on the set with him. I watched him as a teenager so I was honored just to be in his presence.
There's alot of rumor on the internet concerning certain sequences of "Halloween 6" that you weren't in (with A. Michael Lerner instead playing Michael). Can you explain to us which scenes with Michael you weren't in, and what the reason was?
They decided to re-shoot the last 10 minutes of the ending sequence of the film to add more blood and gore. This was after the film had wrapped. The reason I couldn’t make it for those pick-up shots was because I was
working on another project so there were some scheduling conflicts.
"Halloween 6" is infamous for having had issues with too many writers and too many hands in the editing room. What's your opinion of the finished product? Have you seen (or been aware) of the fabled "Producer's Cut" of
In my opinion, "Halloween 6" was a good movie. It helped develop the Michael Myers character, and gave him a reason (for) being evil. I have seen the Producer’s cut and I thought the ending was better than the Director’s cut. The blood and gore at the end of the Director's cut seems to be out of place and unnecessary to the story.
Do you have any opinion on Rob Zombie's upcoming remake of the original "Halloween?"
I wish Rob Zombie much success. I only hope he stays true to the Halloween franchise. I look forward to seeing what he does with it.
You're scheduled to attend Monster Mania on the weekend of the 24th, how many conventions do you make it out to in a typical year? Is it something you enjoy?
I usually attend about 3-5 conventions a year. Although I don’t do too many, I enjoy every minute of them when I’m there. I’m honored that I still have fans and they still want my autograph!