Unmasked with Brad Loree
It was a couple of days ago that I told all of you that I had some rather cool interviews coming up. This is the first one. My first interview was with a very talented stunt actor by the name of Brad Loree. Brad, as some of you may know, was Michael Myers in Halloween: Resurrection. He’s known all around the horror/sci-fi con circuit as a very personable guy who loves what he does and enjoys his fans even more. Talking to him on the phone did nothing but prove this. Mr. Loree was very informative, and I can tell he really liked to share his stories and life experiences so that all of his fans could see. At this point there is nothing I can tell you that the interview won’t explain two times better. So without any delay…Grab your butcher knives and pull up a seat because this is…
Unmasked with Brad Loree
Malice Psychotik: What got you into acting and doing stunts?
Brad Loree: Well…As a young Kid, I Just fell in love with movies. Movies were an escape. When I was a little kid I remember thinking the greatest thing you could possibly be wasn’t being an astronaut or the president, It was being an actor. It was like the greatest thing would to be in a movie with lines. I got into stunts when I was 13. I fell in love with Bruce Lee and Martial arts, and joined local karate school and was taught by a guy named Tony Morelli. My Karate instructor went on to be a world cruiser weight kick boxing champion, and he sort of dragged me along into that. Then he got into the film industry in their early 80’s, when it first started coming to Vancouver. Tony introduced me to ever body, and because I could fight somewhat and was a big guy, I was the big guy that the little guy could kick the crap out of and throw down a flight of stairs. He opened a door and I followed in his footsteps. As a young teenager, I developed a case of really bad acne, so it really derailed my confidence. So being a stunt guy kind of worked for me. It was the closest I could get to being an actor without actually being an actor. Stunt is more the physical aspect of acting. I studied drama in school, took some classes off and on, but stunting was the perfect thing for me. I got to appear on camera, and I got to rub elbows with the actors. Occasionally I would get a part what they called Stunt Acting. Instead of getting an actor to say one line and get thrown down a flight of stairs, they hire a stunt guy to say one line and get thrown down a flight of stairs. Basicly…that’s how I got into it.
Malice: In the realm of horror movies, you are known more for your role as Michael Myers in Halloween: Resurrection. We’ll get to that in a minute! Really I want to ask you about your experiences from some of the other films you have stunted in. To look at your imDB page, you have quite the list of Blockbuster movies (X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Last Stand, The Watchmen, Tron: Legacy etc…) What was it like to be on those huge Hollywood sets?
Brad: You know, Malice, being on those big Blockbuster sets is a lot like being a minot in a really big pond! The sets are so huge and it’s so obvious money is being spent. Working with all of those big guys, like Jeff Bridges, Hugh Jackman, and all those guys. It’s always a huge treat because I’m such a movie fan. I still get star struck when I see people or meet people. Being on those sets is like walking through a dream, because when I was kid I always wanted to work in movies. It’s kind of like a dream come true. Some of the guys I work with never get star struck. They’re not big movie fans, they’re like star fighters or world-class athletes and that’s how they got into the business. So it was never a big deal for them, but I’ve always been like a kid in a candy store!!!
Like Tron for instance, I was only there to double Jeff Bridges, and it was like two days. The first day I didn’t even leave the trailer. The second day though, we did the work. I got to meet Jeff…and I even got to do some off camera dialogue with him. It was scene where he was his older self and they computerized his younger face on to the other body. I did about a half a dozen takes with him, all just a few lines each. But it was really a lot of fun. I just wish I could have gotten a picture with him. I’m a huge Jeff Bridges fan! It’s just a real treat and a real honor and I will have those memories forever.
Malice: What are some of the coolest stunts you have ever done?
Brad: Coolest stunt? Wow…boy…huh…One of my favorite stunt actor jobs, I was on the set of a movie of the week called “The Long Way Home.” I think of all the days I was on set I was never as Star Struck as I was when I was on with Jack Lemmon. I got to do this little stunt actor scene with him. This other guy and myself play these two rednecks. My buddy tries to pick the girl up and Jack comes. We get into a fight with him and she ends up maceing us both….
As far as big stunts though…the biggest stunt I’ve ever done…in my opinion…one where I was the most concerned for my safety, was a TV show I was on where I had to jump through an 8 foot by 8 foot window from the third story of an abandoned mental hospital. It was called Rearview Hospital, they closed it down…Normally jumping from the 3rd story wouldn’t bother me at all, because jumping from high places into an air bag can be a lot of fun…BUT!! The floor below jutted out about 14 feet, and it kind of had like a cement patio downstairs with a cement railing. So it was a long jump as far as it was a high jump. The danger was if I didn’t clear that, I would fall 18 feet onto a cement railing, and that would have probably really, really messed me up. They told me “Brad if you land short I don’t know if it will kill you, but it will definitely mess you up.” It was just really scary to shoot. When we did this scene I had this run way built up. They have this big heavy sheet of glass, of course they blow it for you before you hit but it’s still basically a big sheet of glass! I had the wardrobe on, and I had these boots. There was another guy supposed to do the stunt, so all of the clothes were bought to his size. He decided he couldn’t do it because of his knees. So when they brought the boots up to me, they were these brand new motor cycle boots. Stiff, Stiff, Stiff leather that was two sizes to small. So you can imagine trying to run in these boots that are as hard as concrete, with your toes all curled up in them, trying to make this jump…I tell ya, it was one of those nights where you sure wish you didn’t have to do it, but your already committed to it…you already said you would do it and there’s no backing out. But I did it, and the director loved it. They shot it from like four different angles, and played it back like Boom…Boom…Boom…Boom! Four shots of me coming through this window. I was just so tickled. When we finished the shot, a guy named Ken Mathers said “Thank you Brad that was the most amazing thing I have ever had the privilege of shooting! Thanks so much!” It was a real treat!
The list just goes on and on. I’ve got to do a fight scene with Jean Claude Van Damme, I’ve got to do a fight scene with Jackie Chan, I’ve gotten chased out of a house by Sylvester Stalone, I’ve gotten shot by Arnold Schwarzenegger…I didn’t get to be in a scene with Jet Li, but I was in Romeo Must Die, I’ve had fight scenes with Steven Segal, Lorenzo Lamas…I’ve gotten to work with a lot of the big action guys.
Malice: You’ve also done some movies that were far out of the scope of what you normally do, (Freddy Got Fingered, Twilight Saga: New Moon, Josie and the Pussycats) can you tell us a little about them?
Brad: New Moon I doubled Graham Greene. It was a scene where he gets tackled by I think a Werewolf. Freddy Got Fingered I just slid a car out into the intersection as Tom Green was driving through. Josie and the Pussycats, there’s this scene where a van comes racing down the ally and these guys jump out and grab this girl, I was one of the guys that grabbed her. There are a lot of movies I’ve done where I was on-screen for about 2.5 seconds. But you still get paid for the day, so it’s always been fun that way. About 95% of my work is as a stunt man…If I hadn’t had the good fortune of falling into the role of Michael Myers, me and you wouldn’t be talking right now. Brad Loree probably wouldn’t even be on the imDB. The fame that Michael Myers has brought me, has brought a lot of my other work to the floor. It catapulted me into the spotlight for a time. I’m very fortunate and I get to do these Horror conventions, and I hope I always do. I hope I’ll always be available to come to them. Horror fans are just the most loyal I’ve met out of any genre.
Malice: What do you find more fulfilling Acting or Stunt work?
Brad: Well if I answer honestly I would have to say I’ve always enjoyed acting more. You know Malice, thats where my heart has always been. Unfortunately I didn’t grow up with a ton of confidence. I don’t want to say I never appreciated the stunt work, it’s just to me it was always a job. Also because I was a fairly athletic guy growing up, I don’t want to say it was easy. By and by I always sort of took for granted if I could do it then anybody could do it. I’ve met a lot of people though that can’t. To answer your question though, I’ve always loved the acting, that’s where my love has always been.
Malice: Now let’s talk about Mr. Hush. I have been chomping at the bit to see this movie, and it looks awesome! Is there anything you can tell us about the movie? Maybe a little about your character?
Brad: Well, I met Dave Madison at a convention a few years back. Most conventions you meet a few upcoming directors or writers that want you for their movie. But God Bless him, David sent me this script, and we ended up shooting the film in Pennsylvania last year. It’s essentially the story of this middle-aged guy that’s married with a kid, and he get’s haunted by a demon from his family’s past. I really don’t want to say too much at this point, because the movie hasn’t been released yet and I don’t want to give the story away. But basically the character is tormented for ten years by this demon, I can tell you that much. The movie has not been released yet, but I believe David told me that it was going to release in October in a theater in Pennsylvania. I’m hoping to come down for that. I guess that will be like our premiere. It was just a really great experience. I hope it does well and we can do Mr. Hush 2. It’s supposed to actually be a trilogy, so I really hope that happens.
You know when you haven’t acted in a while, you start to get kind of rusty. You have to keep your chops up. So when Dave called me I hadn’t done any acting or classes in a while. So actually I turned him down at first. But then I told myself “Brad, the only reason you’re not doing this is because you don’t believe in yourself. Why don’t you believe in yourself for once, and go and do the best you can and just put it all out there.” I called him and said “Alright David I’m coming out.” We shot it in three weeks last fall. It was great! I hope to work with Dave and Thom for the rest of my life!
Malice: Well there are thousands of Halloween Fans out there that are wondering when the hell am I going to get to Halloween: Resurrection, so let’s dive in head first! How did you come across the role?
Brad: I was working on this show “Los Luchadors.” We did 13 episodes and broke for hiatus. Even though there was a lot of talking about “oh, yeah we are going to come back for another 13.” Most veterans don’t wait around, they all go out and look for work. Our first AV guy Brian Knight went and interviewed with the Halloween people, because Halloween: Resurrection had already set up shop. And during the interview they mentioned that they didn’t know who their Canadian Stunt coordinator was going to be and they didn’t have a Michael Myers yet. So he said you know who you should talk to is Brad Loree. He’s a pretty big guy and he has done some really good stunt coordinating with me lately. So I’m driving my car one day, and I get this phone call “Hey Brad, this is Tracey Long with Halloween: Resurrection. We are looking for a Michael Myers, I just wanna know how tall are you?” I said I’m 6’2″ and a half and she said “Oh Perfect! You want to come meet the Executives?” I was like sure! I went there the next day and everyone was there. All the producers, the director…I hadn’t seen the movie in like 17 years, but the director got me to go up against the wall and walk toward him as Michael Myers. He gave me a few tips and direction…And he said I did just fine. They then told me it was nothing definite, but if they did pick me they would fly me out to L.A to get my head cast. I looked at them and said, “You mean I have to fly all the way out to L.A. just to double the guy?” They said “No you’re not going to double him, you will be the guy.” That’s when I went OHHHH I REALLLLLY WANT THIS JOB!! And so the director gave me the thumbs up from there, I went down to L.A. to get my head cast. We started camera tests a couple of weeks later, we shot for six weeks, then came back and did reshoots for two weeks.
Malice: How do you think Halloween: Resurrection stacks up against the others?
Brad: I don’t really know…I really like how they brought it into this day with all the technology and the kids texting and the cameras. I like it for that because it really kept with the times. It didn’t try to stay in the 70’s for example. It was sort of the modern time film for the Halloween franchise. I can’t really tell you how scary it is because I was in all the scenes so they don’t really shock me. I’ve had some tell me that they didn’t really like the direction, but they thought I was great. But then I’ve had people tell me it was their favorite one.I love the first one head, shoulders, and torso above all of them. Resurrection will always be the highlight of my life, even though I wore a mask and didn’t have any dialogue I was one of the stars of the movie. I’ve got a group of friends and me that always get a chuckle out of seeing the movie on cable and it says starring Jaime Lee Curtis and Brad Loree…we always get a laugh when we see that! It sure is an honor to have played Michael Myers because I’m a big Halloween fan. Everyone was great, we had a lot of fun, and made a buck!
Malice: Now I know most of the other “Men Behind the Mask” if you will, say they all brought a certain trademark to their version of the character. Whether it be a way they turn their head, or a way they walk. Did you do anything like that to make your Michael stand out from other incarnations?
Brad: Well when I was researching the role, I noticed some of the newer guys had really gotten away from the way Michael walked. His gait to me was one of the scariest things about him in the first one. I just remember it being so creepy! He’s not in a hurry, he’s just so methodical and calm. A lot of the guys got away from that. I just watched the first one over and over, and a lot of people have credited me for bringing that back, that Michael Myers walk. So I can’t take it as my own. But I like to say that I kind of resurrected it. ((No Pun Intended)) There was also another scene where I killed a girl and tilted my head. I asked the director if I could do that because I hadn’t seen that in a while. I remember that was just kind of creepy in the first one. It kind of reminded me of a cat playing with a mouse. I’ve always related Michael to a child. How like he doesn’t realize he is hurting these people, but more he is just playing with them. Kind of like a cat with a mouse, and how they end up getting too rough and the mouse ends up dying. So that’s what I like to think I brought back to the character.
Malice: Well this last section of the interview is what I like to call “Out-of Hat” questions. More or less a small set of questions that are either off the wall or just don’t particularly fit, are you game for some?
Brad: Oh absolutely!
Malice: Well, let’s do this then!!! If you got to pick a character in a Zombie flick which would it be…The Noble Hero, The Kick Ass Take no trash Zombie Killing Machine, The awkward Science Nerd that figures everything out, or the Stoner screw-up that dies a hilarious death and reanimates only to bring crap right to the main casts door?
Brad: I would have to say the nobel character…the first one. That’s who I’d like to be. That’s the one the chicks would go for!!
Malice: As far as cryptozoological animals (Big Foot, Lochness, Yeti, Chupacabra…etc…) What are your feelings on them? Real or fake?
Brad: Well I believe that when there is a lake or a planet that are deeper or vaster than we can register on a radar…You know I think there are a lot of areas that are still uncharted.So I believe these creatures are out there. I don’t like to think that there is no mystery left in the world. I hope one day they do reveal themselves, just like I hope one day aliens come down from outer space. I don’t want to be ridiculed for these things. I want them to show themselves and prove the nay sayers wrong.
Malice: Since you were in two of the original three X-Men films, if you could be any of the X-Men, which character would it be?
Brad: I would really love to be Wolverine. When I saw the first one, I really like Wolverine in that scene where he is fighting for money in the cage. He Kicks Ass!
Malice: So do you have anything else you would like to add?
Brad: Well I’m going to be at Contamination Weekend this weekend. Next week I will be at Days of the Dead in Indy. Dave and Thom’s stars are rising and they are wanting to keep me in their rolladex of actors, so I hope to see a lot more appearances and roles from them. I look forward to seeing everyone at the shows!
Well My Freaky Darlings, that about wraps it up for tonight. Brad is a really great guy, I wish him all the best, and I hope to have him back on here soon. If any of you are at Contamination Weekend right now and are reading this, be sure to stop by and say hey from your dear Uncle Malice. Stay tuned for my next candid interview I’m sure your Sister will Cry to see….
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,