In 2007, Sheri Moon Zombie brought the role of Deborah Myers to life, and death, in the box office success Halloween. The character, who never appeared in the classic John Carpenter films, gave a depth and history to her homicidal son, Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) that audiences had never seen before.
The wife of the movie’s director, Rob Zombie, she returns to the role in Halloween II. Sheri is no newcomer to the horror genre, previously starring in House of 1,000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist and The Devil’s Rejects.
Were you surprised to be in the second movie because your character was killed in the first film?
She killed herself in the first movie, because she had a lot of guilt [about Michael Myers] and felt a modicum of responsibility. I said I would never do a second one because I didn’t think Rob would have anything to do with a second one. And then, it just happened that he did.
How was it to be so ethereal in a film where the rest of it is nothing like that? Did you feel like you were in another movie?
Actually, when I first read the script, I was like, “I’m going to get cut out of this!” It seemed so separate from the movie. I just couldn’t picture it. I didn’t see how it was going to work.
I guess I did feel a little different filming this because no one else could see me. When I was in the scenes, I was invisible, so when I was working with other actors, it was just Tyler and Chase (Wright Vanek, who plays Michael as a child) that could see me.
It was a little strange for me.
What’s it like on the set of a film like this?
When we’re filming, it’s so procedural. You go there and you block and you chat and you wait. Actually, for some of my scenes, I would be there before the killing, see it and then go back to my trailer and wait.
But, it’s funny because I know how it works and still, when I see the film, I have to block my eyes. It’s so silly, but I do.
I guess that’s a testament to how good the film is. Being so close to it, I still can suspend my disbelief and sit there and be mortified.
Growing up, you weren’t a horror movie fan?
I watched horror movies, but I liked all types of movies, growing up.
What was one that you remember?
Amityville Horror scared me. I still won’t watch that by myself. And, I won’t watch The Shining by myself. That really scared me. And, the black and white Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I saw that when I was in Florida and that freaked me out because it just seemed swampy.
What’s it like, working with Rob?
It’s great. If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t work with him. We’ve been working together for so many years now. I just like it. I don’t know why people are so shocked.
I guess couples don’t generally like to work with each other, but we have a lot of fun.
Did you give any advice to any of the actors who were coming into the horror genre?
For Chase, it was his first horror film, and I think his first real feature that he’d done. We had a lot of fun together. I didn’t give him any acting advice, but I would make sure to tell him, “If you need some tea or hot chocolate, you let somebody know.”
I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t get taken advantage of because that can easily happen on a set, even though he had his teacher and his mom there.
Did he know what his character would grow up to be? Was he aware of the franchise and who he was playing?
I think he was slightly aware of it. He’s never seen the original. He’s really excited and he’s a cute kid. We bonded.
Since Rob was so adamant about not doing another film when he finished the first one, is he definitely done with the franchise now? I know that whatever we say now doesn’t really mean anything because we did two films, but he feels like he concluded it. He wanted to do another one because there were other writers involved and another director attached, and there were a lot of problems.
The Weinsteins asked him if he would do Halloween II, and Rob really wanted to continue it. He didn’t want it to go straight to video and be a crappy movie. He just wanted to finish what he started, and I think he feels that he did that now.
What’s your take on the horror genre?
I think people like to go see horror movies because they like going to an amusement park. You get a thrill, you get an adrenalin rush, you hug your date and you scream. You have that anticipation of something, and then something happens.
It’s like an amusement park.