Interview: The Dark Side of Laurie Strode


On the set of Rob Zombie’s H2 with Scout Taylor-Compton

When Scout Taylor-Compton was younger, her uncle would don the iconic Michael Myers mask and scare the hell out of the actress. Years later, when she became a part of horror franchise history playing Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie’s Halloween that memorable piece of latex and hair would come back to haunt her yet again. “I hate that mask so much,” she says, her voice cut with an ounce of revulsion to prove her point. “By filming the movie, it freaked me out the first time, but now I’m used to it. It’s not really scary.”

The 20-year-old star of the highly controversial update of John Carpenter’s film is reprising her role as Strode for Zombie’s H2. And if you thought the mousy innocent high school student of the remake, who cracked sexual jokes using a bagel, was a departure from Jamie Lee Curtis’ virginal representation of Strode, wait until you get a load of Taylor-Compton in the sequel. joins the actress, post-dinner, on the set of H2 nearly five months before the film’s August 28th release. It’s a frigid night in Newborn, Georgia where the crew is shooting and she retires for a spell to her trailer dressed in a flannel robe, a humorous contradiction to the concealed display of sex appeal beneath: A black French maid’s costume, shredded black stockings and pointy-toed boots. The ensemble is tied together by blood, literally from head to toe. Crimson streaks adorn her pale face like war paint.

“Do you mind if I smoke,” she asks. I don’t. There are cartons around the room. She finds a cigarette in one, but doesn’t light it. Instead, she hops on a nearby counter and perches there with the cigarette in hand. “The first time I heard about Halloween 2, there were two French directors [Inside‘s Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury] doing it and I was hesitant,” she admits. “Then Rob e-mailed me and said, ‘Hey, I’m doing this film but don’t tell anybody, it hasn’t been set down yet.’ Then he called me and said, ‘We’re doing this,’ and I hadn’t read the script until the day before I was leaving. All he said was ‘Be ready to kick ass.’ I had no idea what the script was about until I read it on the plane. I had no idea what Laurie was going to go through, then I was like ‘Holy shit, this movie’s about me.’ I guess I got to be prepared.”

The actress says she was relieved two years had passed before she was asked back for the sequel. Although she has yet to experience the back-to-back filming some franchise films are wont to do, Taylor-Compton agrees time off from Strode was healthy – especially since the sequel also picks up two years later after her character was thrown from the second floor of a house with her masked brother. That’s an experience bound to screw anyone up, Strode is no exception.

“It’s just really intense what she’s going through [in the sequel],” Taylor-Compton explains. “She’s happy one moment and in the next she’s yelling at the people she loves and she’s crying. She’s going through these bipolar moments. [Rob] definitely wanted to see my character go into these really dark places by little pieces here and there.” The result surprised both the director and his actress. “I did this scene with Margot Kidder and we had to do both of her scenes in one day. The first scene is me with the psychiatrist expressing my feelings – and I just told Danielle Harris [Annie Brackett] I hate expressing my feelings. And then here I am developing this friendship with my psychiatrist, but then I just freak out and I go apeshit on her. I yell at her and scream at her and it was so empowering. Rob just looked at me and said, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know you had that in you.’ There are a lot of things I didn’t know I had in me and discovered while I was filming this movie.”

An outburst during a visit to the psychiatrist is just the tip of the iceberg. Strode, this time out, has emotional angst pulling at her on a myriad of levels. For instance, she’s still in the dark on how she’s connected to Myers when the film begins. “I don’t know certain elements about it. I know all of my friends are dead, my parents are dead and it’s two years later and here’s this run down Laurie Strode. And she learns these things and it’s more and more adding to her. She doesn’t know how to deal with it.” Her internal darkness materializes externally as shown in recent photos of Strode on the set that were posted by Zombie on his MySpace page. “Those are my boots and people online were saying they were white trash, and I was like ‘Hey, those are my f**kin’ boots!’ She’s messed up, what do you expect? The first time we were trying on wardrobe, the wardrobe people got it totally wrong and Rob came into the session and was like ‘What the fuck, she’s run down her family’s been murdered, make her look grungy.’ So we did and she totally kicks ass and I’m taking all of the clothes home with me.”

Strode isn’t the only one with a new look. Big bro Michael Myers (returning actor Tyler Mane) spends most of his time sans the jumpsuit and mask and sports a pretty impressive beard. “It’s quite different. They had filmed with Tyler before me and I had heard things about a jacket and the mask. I hadn’t necessarily seen it until two weeks into shooting. It was quite shocking, I think it’s scarier than his look in the first one. It freaks me out a lot more than the suit and the mask. It’s him trying to hide himself and it’s a different emotion I think.”

On this note, the unit publicist pops into the trailer and requests we wrap it up. Taylor-Compton apologizes for not being able to delve much further into the dynamic Strode shares with Myers this time out, but she teases, “It’s something I don’t think the audience is going to expect at all.”

Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor