The 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of John Carpenter’s "Halloween" is coming out this week, so that brings a lot of excitement! We bring to you an interview with the iconic scream queen herself, PJ soles. She discussed her experiences while working on "Halloween" with her co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Nancy Loomis, how one word "totally" has stuck with her, and her thoughts on why many of the films that we know her best from "Carrie", "Rock ‘n’ Roll High School" and of course, "Halloween" which still holds up strong with fans everywhere after all of these years.
Interview courtesy of Daily Dead:
"Thanks for speaking with us today, PJ- it’s incredible that Halloween and so many of your other movies have endured the way that they have over the years.
Thank you and it is pretty amazing to me, I must say. It seems like there are new fans every year for these movies.
It really does and I think conventions are the perfect example of that. In fact, I did a panel with Nancy Loomis last month at Flashback Weekend and I spoke to her about how the relationship between Lynda, Annie and Laurie in Halloween always felt so real and authentic to me. Can you talk about how much of that was natural chemistry between you three and how much of it just came from how the characters were written?
I think a lot of that came from us, really. The script was fantastic, but Jamie, Nancy and I all really bonded and so I think there was something special there between us.
We didn’t have a lot of time before we started shooting- I think we made Halloween in something like 21 days- so time was of the essence which meant we didn’t get a lot of time to hang out before shooting and develop those relationships together. We just ended up spending a lot of time together during the shoot, which I think really helped.
When we made Halloween, Jamie was just something like 19 at the time, so she was really nervous. What’s funny is that I was definitely more like Laurie and Jamie was more like Lynda, and here we were, playing total oppotes. I think that the performances wouldn’t have been as great as they were had we played just verons of ourselves though, so I think John knew exactly what he was doing by making Jamie the more level-headed one of the group and having me as someone like Lynda who was nothing like me in real life.Daily Dead:
So you were the good girl then?PJ Soles:
I was! (laughs) I went to high school in Brussels at this old chateau on top of a hill which was nothing like going to school in America. There were a lot of embassy kids and some other American kids, but just not ‘typical’ by any means. And I was the ‘straight A’ student who always had all her books with her (like Laurie) and was always studying. I was never doing anything I wasn’t supposed to be doing.
When I was at that school, I had this friend from Peoria, IL named Cindy who was the bad girl and was always smoking cigarettes and sneaking off.
I’d t in her room and cover for her with her mom when she’d go off partying, so I really was the good girl. I think I definitely used Cindy as an inspiration for Lynda though (laughs). I think it also shows that in real life, a girl like Laurie would be friends with a girl like Lynda.Daily Dead:
Of course, your use of the word “totally” in Halloween is pretty legendary and has become synonymous with both the film and yourself. How much of that was written into Halloween or was that something you brought to the character outde of John’s script?PJ Soles:
It was totally (laughs) in John’s script- I think I probably just started saying it more and more as we were filming because it just felt like a key piece to Lynda’s character. John told me just to run with saying it as much as I wanted. In fact, when I auditioned as Lynda, John told me I was the only girl to have gotten the “totally” right for him so that one word ended up being so important to me in many ways.Daily Dead:
You’ve been a part of some truly great films throughout your career. Why do you think stories like Halloween, Carrie and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School- or even Stripes- still endure to this day even though we live in an age where so many movies are coming out every year?PJ Soles:
I think they’ve all endured for the same reasons- the directors, the casts, the characters and great stories. Those were all films made by directors who truly cared about those films and would have done anything to make them succeed. That’s why fans still care; they can see that everyone who worked on those films cared as much as the fans do. Fans get that; they understand pason and appreciate real storytelling.Daily Dead:
Carrie was one of your first roles in a feature film. Can you talk a bit about your experience working on that? If I’m not mistaken, I had read that (Brian) De Palma actually extended the role of Norma for you after you had already begun working on it.PJ Soles:
He did! Norma wasn’t even really in the script that much, but because of what I did in that scene early on where we were playing volleyball, he decided to keep me around pretty much any time you saw Nancy Allen in the movie after that, which was great (laughs). And I just loved that red baseball hat and how nasty she was. Again, with Carrie, the reason that fans still care about that character and that film is because of ssy Spacek’s performance and how Brian managed to peel away all the ‘fat’ and deliver a story that still endures. It’s still heartbreaking and relevant even after almost 40 years now. ssy and Piper (Laurie) were the heart of Carrie.Daily Dead:
The last movie I wanted to ask about is Rock ‘n’ Roll High School just because I spent so much time with that movie as a kid- I grew up wanting to be Riff. How much fun did you guys have making that film?PJ Soles:
It was so much fun. I knew going into Rock ‘n’ Roll High School that this was going to be my last teenage role so I just put everything into my performance. And I had to because Riff was pretty much in every scene in the movie so I always had to keep that energy up.
I remember the first day that we shot Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and that was the day that I shot my scene with The Ramones in the bedroom; talk about intimidating. So I show up on set and bacally get undressed and start filming with The Ramones. That’s just something you never forget. One thing I’ll also never forget was that there was this brief moment where I saw Johnny looking over at Joey while we were shooting and Joey actually smiled. And anyone who knew him knew that Joey never smiled so that was a really cool thing to experience- I made Joey Ramone smile (laughs)."“Anchor Bay Entertainment and Trancas International proudly announce the September 24th release of the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray™ release of Halloween. For this very special release, Anchor Bay and Trancas went back to the vaults to present this legendary terror clasc as never before, including creating an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by the film’s original cinematographer, Academy-Award® nominee Dean Cundey (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Apollo 13, the Back to the Future trilogy), a new 7.1 audio mix (as well as the original mono audio), a brand-new feature length audio commentary by writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis, an all-new bonus feature with Ms. Curtis, as well as selected legacy bonus features from previous ABE releases. Available in a collectible limited-edition book-style package (available only for the first printing) with 20 pages featuring archival photos, an essay by Halloween historian Stef Hutchinson and specially commisoned cover art by Jay Shaw”
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