I chatted with actor Anthony Michael Hall about his decades in the business, “Halloween Kills” and his new film “The Class.”
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I think it was when Harold Ramos and Matty Simmons cast me in “Vacation.” I was eight years old. I’ve really been blessed by standing on the shoulders of giants. Harold Ramis, Matty Simmons and even John Hughes. It was a hobby that turned into a career. I was the kid who was always performing for everyone in my family and making them laugh.
What was it like being thrown into the public eye at such a young age?
It was challenging. I started getting recognized after “Sixteen Candles.” It freaks you out on one hand but on the other it’s exciting because you’re being recognized. I joke that it took me until I was about forty to really process most of that time.
Do you remember meeting John Hughes for the first time?
It was at Universal Pictures in Manhattan. I remember going to the audition and we just hit it off as friends. I got a lot of laughs from him. It was such a fun role to read for.
Do you have a life mantra? And it can’t be “Evil Dies Tonight?”
I remember around “Sixteen Candles” that this Is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I remember having so much fun..almost like a traveling show. I’m so grateful that I have a creative job and that I’ve had a great body of work. I’ve had the determination to keep at it. I think the idea of longevity is what really kept me going. Even through the ups and downs, which any career has. I have a hard head so I guess that helps.
Same. Italian and Irish here
Same! I knew we had some sort of connection. Being Irish and Italian is like being at war with each other
I would be a bad horror fan if I didn’t ask you about “Halloween Kills.” What is it like now being a part of the “Halloween” universe.
When that came up it was the summer of 2019. I get the call and I was thrilled. I was a huge fan of Danny McBride and David Gordon Green. I auditioned for a few of their shows in the past. When this came up, I wanted to have a meeting. He showed up in a Bob Seger T-shirt; just an all around guy. He reminded me a lot of John Hughes. I luckily got the film and soon realized when we started shooting in North Carolina that Tommy was the hero of the town. I was SO pumped.
It was about a week into production and we were camera blocking the scenes in the bar and David goes “I think you need a weapon.” He came up with the bat. The bat REALLY got me pumped up even more about playing Tommy. Another tidbit: The black gentlemen whose name is Dan who played the barkeep, is an actual bar owner that David’s who actually owns a bar. He has sixteen kids and a shotgun collection. It was great working with Jamie Lee as well. We were all pumped up for the release because it had been delayed due to the pandemic closures. So I would watch all of these horror shows on YouTube, and they would talk about the film or just the franchise in general. The fans have been very welcoming.
Your new film is called “The Class.” Who do you play and what is the film about?
The script came to me a few years ago. I didn’t ever anticipate doing an homage to “The Breakfast Club.” I was blown away by the quality of the writing. In this film, we have six kids instead of five. The writing is so present. The kids are dealing with alcoholism, sexuality, etc. It takes the structure of “The Breakfast Club” and expands it. Debbie Gibson is in it and she’s great. The younger actors were great.
We all got to Chicago and we had a week of rehearsals to really get to know each other and figure out how to shoot some of the scenes. What we found surprised us all; the kids became GREAT friends. It was just like that for us thirty five years ago when all of us bonded. Judd and Emilio were in their early twenties playing high school so they would go out at night. I would still have to go with the tutors and do my school work. With these kids, they were eating together, going to theme parks, working out together. So they really ended up bonding and rooting for one another.
Are you excited about the films release?
We have a great partner in Brainstorm Media. It’s coming out in limited release in theaters and will be available on digital. This is a small film based on another small film. I’m pumped for everyone to be able to experience it!
“The Class” is now showing in LIMITED release in theaters AND on Digital!
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