Judy Greer had no trouble finding her voice.
Filming the the latest Michael Myers Halloween saga, “I really let go and was screaming my balls off,” the actress recalls to Us. “Everyone was like, ‘Whoa, Judy!’ To have people compliment my screaming felt like I was doing my job well.”
For Greer — she plays the daughter of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in the sequel to the 1978 slasher — yelling on camera was a welcome change of pace. As a viewer, “I’m jumping, screaming, grabbing onto people and keeping my fingers over my eyes but stretched out so I can see,” she explains. “I’m basically your dream audience.”
The 43-year-old gives Us a fright.
Us Weekly: Yes, it’s a sequel. But how does this movie stand on its own?
Judy Greer: It’s not like a bunch of people standing around like, “Remember 40 years ago how this happened?” Which, the character I play usually ends up having to do that. It’s a brand new horror film!
Us: What’s the relationship like between your character and her mom?
JG: Pretty strained. I grew up in and out of her house because of where she was mentally. I don’t have a lot of patience for her continued obsession with this man — and I don’t really believe her. I think it’s a pretty typical mother-daughter relationship where she goes on and on about something for so long that you’re like, “Alright, I get it.”
Us: Did you freak out seeing Michael Myers on set for the first time?
JG: Oh my God, it was so cool! I know how the sausage is made, but when you see his face through a doorway or a window, it’s still so scary. Also, I do love coveralls and his navy blue mechanic suit is really working for me. I think Michael Myers’ look is very epic right now. I mean, everyone’s doing jumpsuits and coveralls! Fashion icon Michael Myers.
Us: What was the scariest moment for you?
JG: One of the houses we were shooting in was on a farm in the middle of the woods. Golf carts drove us back and forth to our trailers, but I would just want to walk. Everyone would be like, “Judy, don’t go in the woods by yourself!” Plus, we had a snake wrangler on set because there were so many and he was there to make sure we were safe. So I would get halfway down the path, using my iPhone as a flashlight and be like, “I’m walking through the dark woods while shooting a horror movie and there are enough snakes that production felt it was important to have a professional here to grab them. What am I doing? I’m super freaked out!”
Us: Obviously it’s a dark film. How did you lighten the mood?
JG: Horror movies are, in some ways, funnier than comedies because you do anything to lighten the mood. Any time we filmed a scary situation and someone yelled, “Cut!” we would start dancing. Plus, [director] David Gordon Green was just like, “Yes! Oh, yes!” It let like he was watching a football game but he was watching us. He was the best cheerleader.
Us: OK, be honest: Did you get spooked at night trying to fall asleep?
JG: I stayed in a hotel, and it helped so much. I felt like I had all these phases of protection. Michael Myers would have to get through the front desk and get in the elevator. Plus, they have supersonic locks on the rooms. If I had an Airbnb, I would’ve been so freaked out. Imagine going home at 4 a.m. to a completely dark, strange place? Then imagine that face? No way!
US: What’s your favorite Halloween memory?
JG: I didn’t have a costume picked out for my first boy-girl party. So my dad decided I should go as a garbage can, which at the time, I was like, “That’s kind of fun.” He cut the bottom off of one of our actual garbage cans, fastened suspenders around them, put actual garbage all over the can and made me wear it. I smelled so gross! Now, as an adult, I totally understand what my dad was doing. Like, “I’ll cover my little girl in garbage at her first boy girl party!”
Halloween hits theaters Friday, October 19.