Tony Moran was the face of Michael Myers in John Carpenters 1978 horror classic “Halloween.” Until recently Tony had left the acting business to pursue other ventures. After a chance meeting with a fan Tony has returned to the acting game. Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Tony about his role in “Halloween” and a few of his upcoming projects.
Click here to purchase the films in the “Halloween” series
Adam Lawton: How did you become involved with the original “Halloween”?
Tony Moran: Great Story. I was a struggling actor who was at the time sleeping on a friend’s couch. My agent called and started to apologize for the lack of job opportunities. She then goes on to tell me that she did however have a role that was going to be for a B movie horror flick called “Halloween.” She said that the movie was only going to have around a $300,000 budget but it was going to have Jamie Lee Curtis in it. I went on to tell her that I didn’t have a clue who Jamie Lee Curtis was and I really wasn’t into doing a horror movie. At the time horror movies were not at all popular. She goes on to tell me a little more about Jamie Lee and I was still very hesitant to try out for the part. I was still also unaware of the fact that the role called for a mask to be worn. What ended up really getting my interest in the role was my agent had mentioned Donald Pleasence was also going to be in the film. I was a very big fan of his and couldn’t really believe he was going to be in such a low budget film. Three days later, I am in an office in the ghetto section of Hollywood for an interview. I walked into this decrepit office and sitting on one side is Irwin Yablans and on the other side is John Carpenter, who at the time had no clue who he was. We met for about 15 minutes and that was it. A couple days later I received a call saying I got the part. I told them “Yeah, so what!” (Laughs). I never told anyone that I even auditioned because I was embarrassed. The first day on set I find out I have to wear a mask! I had longer thick hair at the time so the crew tells me I should think about putting Vaseline in my hair so when the mask is being ripped of my head the hair doesn’t stick to the mask and get pulled out. I was thinking “Oh great!” I will say that Jamie Lee Curtis was very down to earth and a pleasure to work with.
AL: Did it ever bother you that up until recently you never really received recognition for being the face of Michael Myers
TM: Nope. I didn’t ever really care. I never really followed the horror genre. In 1980, I did get a call asking to use my likeness in “Halloween II” and that they wanted to pay me for it and give me credit. I asked if they were really making a sequel. When “Halloween” was being released, I got an invitation to the premier and just laughed and threw it away. I did however go see it in a regular theater and couldn’t believe that it was actually pretty good! But still I never really followed the genre or sought out the recognition for being in the film.
AL: Shortly after the release of “Halloween” you left the business. What made you decide to do so?
TM: I worked on a bunch of TV shows and things like that until my early 30’s then I decided to split. I was very tired of the Hollywood scene and the people that were involved in it at the time were not the best.
AL: As of lately you have started to re-emerge into the acting scene. What sparked that decision?
TM: About ten years ago a friend of mine told me a story about how he was at a party and there was a guy there asking about me. He had heard my name mentioned in conversation. The guy said he was a writer for horror movie stuff and that he had been looking for me for quite some time. After talking with the guy a few times on the phone we set up an interview. Ater the interview he asked if I would sign some things for him. I said “You want my autograph?” I said “Ok, whatever”. This led to me getting involved with doing movie conventions around the country. People then started contacting me through MySpace offering me roles in their films. One of these requests was from a guy named Kevin McDonald. Kevin had a script that he said was written specifically for me called “Beg”. If I wasn’t interested in doing the film, he wasn’t going to even make it. I called him back and we are actually partners now along with his wife. I really liked the script and in it there was a role for someone to play my wife. I called Kevin and told him the script was great and that I would do it. I then asked if he had someone in mind for the wife. I told him I thought P.J. Soles would be perfect for the role. Kevin started laughing and said that he had tried to contact her but got turned down. I told Kevin, P.J. was a friend of mine and that I would try to get her for the role. I sent P.J. the script and she called me back and said it was great and agreed to do the film. This kind of led to a bunch of other people getting involved in the film such as Tony Todd and Michael Berryman. Being involved with Kevin has led to us starting another project called “The Witching Hour.” The movie is going to be four horror shorts based around a radio DJ who takes calls during the witching hour. William Forsythe has agreed to play the DJ and the movie is also going to feature Tony Todd and Michael Madsen.
AL: Are there any release dates for these films?
TM: They are independent releases so right now we are finishing up the little stuff on “Beg”. I have been talking to some distribution people who are also aware of “The Witching Hour”. So we will go from there and hopefully go with the highest bidder.
AL: Any other upcoming projects other than what you have mentioned already?
TM: I did a cameo in a movie called “Emerging Past” which also has my nine year old daughter in it! She plays a living dead kid. In one scene she’s on a counter top stroking a Michael Myers mask laughing at the lead actress. She totally nailed that scene.
AL: Did your daughter know your association with the Michael Myers mask?
TM: Oh yeah. I think she saw “Halloween” when she was four.
Click here to purchase the films in the “Halloween” series