Donning the mask of Michael Myers
Not too many professional wrestlers have been able to successfully make the move from the ring to the big screen as well as Tyler Mane, who went from playing comic book villain Sabretooth in Bryan Singer’s X-Men to his latest role as horror icon Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s update of John Carpenter’s Halloween.
Before Mane was to appear on a panel for the movie at Comic-Con International, ShockTillYouDrop.com sat down to talk with Mane after getting over the shock that he actually does talk, because you can’t really tell from watching his mostly silent film roles. We also were surprised to see that he had cut his trademark long hair short, which we assumed was for the role.
ShockTilYouDrop.com: Michael Myers is very much one of the key icons of horror…
Tyler Mane: I’m totally finding that out. It’s pretty intense. There’s a big following to this, and it’s sort of like when I did “X-Men.” I didn’t understand how big “X-Men” was when I stepped into those shoes and this is sort of the same thing with this “Halloween” franchise.
Shock: I’m assuming that you went back and rewatched the original John Carpenter movie after getting the role.
Mane: As soon as I knew, I went out and rented 1 through 8, excluding 3 because Michael Myers doesn’t appear in 3, to see what the other guys brought to the role, and I found out that it was very much one-dimensional in the way that the character was portrayed and I wanted to bring a little bit more to Michael Myers instead of just walking around stabbing people, ’cause I mean, let’s face it, if someone’s walking towards you getting ready to stab you, you would just run away and try not to trip three times on the way.
Shock: Exactly, but most people don’t realize that Michael actually sets things up for his victims to trip over beforehand.
Mane: Right, yeah…
Shock: What were you able to get out of watching all 7 of those movies at once?
Mane: There’s a very distinct mannerism that Michael Myers has. Each of them brought their own little nuances to it, but there are a few certain things. The only way you can show your emotion is through body gestures, head tilts, things like that, and then I take it to the next level a little bit and try and put a little bit more fright into people.
Shock: Are you wearing a mask for the whole movie?
Mane: The mask is on. I have some different masks. I switch masks, and I have long hair, and you will see my face a bit.
Shock: Oh, you’ll have long hair? I assumed you cut your hair to play the role.
Mane: I used to have long hair and about two weeks before Rob called me, I cut it off. The first question was, “Do you still have long hair?” and I go, “No, it’s gone,” so he goes, “Ah, we’ll get a wig.”
Shock: Do you get to talk a bit in the movie as well? I’m not sure if we ever heard the original Michael Myers say much of anything.
Mane: No, no…people will have to wait and see the movie.
Shock: What’s the reaction been to you playing Michael Myers? Have the fans been fairly open to you playing the role and what you’re going to do?
Mane: Oh, yeah. I mean everybody that’s seen…I mean, when they first released the pictures they were like, “Oh my God, it’s fantastic!” and then they see the little clips and the teaser trailer and I’m getting a lot of, “Oh my God! You rock!” It’s been a very good, positive response once they got past the whole height issue, because I’m a little taller than the other ones.
Shock: Have you seen the movie yet?
Mane: I’ve seen quite a bit of it. I’ve seen two-thirds of the film the last day of principal photography, it was all cut together in a rough cut, and it was fantastic, and then the stuff I’ve seen since is even more intense.
Shock: Do you think they’ll go and remake “Halloween 2″ and some of the other sequels as well?
Mane: You never know, because this one is sort of like a prequel, sequel, who knows what else, you know? Reinvention…because you’re seeing more of the Michael Myers character and how he became a product of his environment and how he’s driven the way he is, so it’s interesting and very intense.
Shock: Was playing Sabretooth your first real acting role?
Mane: I had done some things before, but it was the first major thing, the actual transition out of the wrestling was when that happened.
Shock: They’re making a “Wolverine” movie now and everyone expects Sabretooth to make an appearance, so is it safe to assume that if he’s in the movie, they’ll come to you first to reprise the role?
Mane: We will see. We will see.
Shock: Or will everyone think of you as Michael Myers now?
Mane: Yeah, we wouldn’t want to confuse people. Wouldn’t know whether to put on a mask or put on a lot of hair.
Shock: What else have you been doing between “X-Men” and this?
Mane: Oh, I did several pictures. I was King Ajax in “Troy”, I was in “The Scorpion King.” I was Rufus in Rob’s “The Devil’s Rejects” and then what else? Several other things.
Shock: As an actor, what kind of roles and movies are you looking for these days, especially since it’s really a second career for you?
Mane: Yeah, yeah. I’m looking for roles that stretch me and give me some different variety and things like that. Who knows? But when the phone rings, you do not want to say “No.”
Rob Zombie’s Halloween opens on August 31 for Labor Day weekend.
Source: Edward Douglas