Ant-Man and the Wasp and upcoming Halloween star Judy Greer calls the horror franchise revival a “multi-generational, female empowered movie” that will again star Jamie Lee Curtis as the original did 40 years prior.
“One of the things I responded to immediately when I read the script was the character of Laurie Strode being the star of the movie,” Greer told HalloweenMovies.
“I was just really happy because sometimes with a situation like this it’s like a cameo, and what I thought was so badass about what the screenwriters did was making it a multi-generational, female empowered movie, and Jamie Lee Curtis’s character is again the star.”
Franchise newcomer Greer stars as Karen, daughter of Laurie Strode (Curtis), who grew obsessed with masked killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney) after narrowly surviving her first — and only — encounter with the escaped murderer on Halloween night in 1978.
Karen’s relationship with Laurie is a strained one: the matriarch of the family has long been a reclusive, social leper with a “militaristic mindset,” and Laurie’s traumatization at the hands of Michael Myers destroyed her relationship with only daughter Karen.
“My relationship with my mom is very estranged, and we would be estranged completely if she didn’t constantly try to reach out, and by reaching out I mean, check up on us to make sure that we’re always safe,” Greer said of the re-imagined Laurie Strode.
In Halloween, “she feels like a real watchdog over me and my daughter, so I try then to protect my daughter from [who] I think is this crazy woman who raised me.”
Greer said the actresses crafted a backstory for the Strode clan, most of which might not play out on screen.
“In rehearsal we came up with a ton of backstory. Even though this stuff might not come up in what you see on the screen, it’s really helpful for us to try and figure out where this all came from, and we decided that Laurie was really tough on me,” Greer said.
“She just has never been able to let go of that horrifying night and brought it into all of her relationships, and because I’m pretty much the only relationship that she really has, it just all got focused on me towards the end, as people started to drop out of her life and she retreated from society. So it was a really rough childhood for me, and eventually at a young age I was removed from the house so I could have a better and more normal life. Again, this is stuff that we’ve mostly come up with in our own backstory.”
Added series newcomer And Matichak — who plays Karen’s daughter, Allyson, Laurie’s high school-aged granddaughter — October 31 has “always been a weird time of the year [for the Strode women] and it’s always been a time of reverence, specifically our family.”
“If you can imagine Haddonfield forty years later, Michael Myers has become a myth and a legend. I mean it happened, but [the town has become] so desensitized. I’m sure that there are Michael Myers masks that kids wear on Halloween – probably not in Haddonfield – but in towns over, so I feel like we’ve been the butt of a lot of conversation,” Matichak said.
“Friends at school come up and are like, ‘Yeah, your grandma was murdered,’ and I’m like, ‘No, she survived,’ and they say, ‘All her friends were killed, right?’ It’s horrible, but it’s definitely not lost on our family, and it definitely dictates the way we live our lives.”
Allyson fares better with Laurie, saying she’s “been kind of caught in between [Laurie and Karen] since I’ve been a kid and like any kid, you do want a relationship with everyone in your family,” Matichak said. “And if Laurie’s making an effort, which she has been since [Allyson] was born, then yeah. I’ve always wanted to have some sort of peace.”
“What’s nice about her,” added Greer of her onscreen daughter, “is that seeing Allyson at this age, she’s her own woman, and she can reach out to her grandma whenever she wants. If we were finding her at eleven or twelve that’s something [else], but now she has access to phones and can say, ‘Screw you, mom. I want to talk to my grandma. I want to have her at this event. I want to have a relationship with her.’ So I like that.”
40 years on, Greer called this iteration of Laurie “a very intense character as we find her forty years later.”
“That event really shaped her life and drove her to be the woman she is now,” Matichak added, “and I think it’s pretty in line if you imagine a tragedy like this happening. I could take a lot away from [Curtis’ performance] in the first one, and I feel like Allyson is kind of a spawn of Laurie at seventeen as well. I think she sees a lot of herself in me, and that’s part of the reason why she and I are trying to have a relationship.”
Of joining the iconic slasher franchise, Greer said, “Well, it’s very flattering, with a legacy like this and all of these strong female characters. I think we can all agree that now is the time for strong women to come out and fight, and Laurie being a badass has only grown in our telling of the story.”
Greer revealed Karen is a therapist, “so she’s educated in what a sociopath is, and I think for her, coming from that background and that education she’s like, ‘Well, [Michael Myers is] this or that disorder, [and] in that facility he’s not getting out, he’s being treated,’” Greer said. “I think my mom’s idea of Michael Myers and the actual Michael Myers in my [character’s] mind [are different].”
Because Michael Myers has been imprisoned for 40 years — in this timeline, he was recaptured after he was shot down by Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence) — “we feel pretty safe and pretty good about ourselves,” Greer said.
“We took care of that problem a long time ago, so we are much desensitized to this one horrific night. As far as how it speaks to the greater desensitization that’s happening [in real life], my hope is that this movie kicks so much ass that it will scare the sh— out of everyone, even the most hardened souls.”
Curtis previously opened up on the relationships between the Strode women, chalking up her strained relationship with Karen as another casualty of her encounter with Michael Myers and saying Laurie fares better with Allyson because of her history as a babysitter.
“The Laurie we’re going to meet is fifty-nine years old but also is in a weird way seventeen, so I think she actually responded much better to her granddaughter than to her own daughter,” Curtis said.1comments
“I think with her own daughter she was dysfunctional in the raising of her, because of this obsession of safety, but because her granddaughter wasn’t raised by her, she can connect to the granddaughter. I mean you know and I know, what did Laurie give to her own daughter when she found out she was going to have a child? A car seat. Laurie is going to buy the safety item.”
Greer can next be seen in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and the Wasp, out July 6. Halloween opens October 19.