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SUBJECT: Halloween

Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode and Malcom McDowell as Dr Loomis Malcolm McDowell has had his fair share of iconic film roles – the brutal hooligan Alex in A Clockwork Orange, HG Wells in Time after Time, even a brutal Roman emperor in Caligula. But for Rob Zombie’s remake of the classic slasher flick Halloween, McDowell steps into someone else’s large shoes as Dr Loomis, the gun-toting psychiatrist created by Donald Pleasance in the original 1978 hit. For the affable McDowell, though, the burden was minimal – as was, it turns out, the preparation for the part.

Q: Did you take some convincing to do Halloween?
A: No. I mean, it's good to work with somebody who has a vision and knows what time of the day it is. And he's a smart guy – very, very intelligent. And he has a vision. Rob, whether you like it or not, at least he knows what he wants. And that's a huge relief. Hell, yeah.

Q: Did you watch the original movie?
A: No. I haven't seen any Halloween. I haven't even seen this one. I'll see it tomorrow.

Q: Your Dr Loomis is different from what Donald Pleasance did, but it also seems like you knew the character very well.
A: Well, then it's a mark of the script, because I just read the script. You know, Loomis is Loomis. You kind of bring a lot of stuff. There's a skeleton of a character, and then you bring the flesh and sort of flesh it out. But it's a pretty nice part, really, and the great thing about it is that you don't have to be there every day. That's good.

Q: When you made A Clockwork Orange, you worked with Stanley Kubrick, one of the great directors. Do you see any of what Kubrick had in Rob Zombie?:
Rob ZombieA: Stanley was midway through his career – he was 47 when I met him. Rob… I don't know how old he is, but he's young, and he's made three films, so he's at the beginning of his journey. And I would bet that he's going to have a remarkable career as a director. I don't think he'll stay in the Horror genre very long; it's probably done-and-dusted for him. He should move on to something else. But he's capable of it, and he should do it, he should try it.

Q: Halloween is the latest salvo in what could be considered a bit of a renaissance for you, thanks to your roles on the TV shows Entourage and Heroes. How are you enjoying your latest burst of fame?
A: It's overwhelming. I'm so overwhelmed by all the fans. The hype doesn't mean a damn bit of difference to me. I live in the country, and I don't think any of my neighbors have ever seen anything that I've done. But apparently it was good to do the shows. I mean, I had to be talked into it by my oldest son. I went, 'Oh, I've been sent some rubbishy thing called Entourage. ' 'What? Dad, oh my God, that's great! Oh, you've got to do it!' 'Oh, really? OK, I'll meet them.' And then he told me that I should do Heroes, too … or, my wife told me that.

Q: At this point, what are you looking to do now?
A: I'm looking for a consistent 76 at golf. I'm not there yet, but I'm looking.

Written by Dave Waldon. Back to top

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Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #687, September 2007 cover

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