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Dagon's
Conversation with

Christopher Duran,

"Micheal Myers"

from

Dagon
What do think is the hardest gag you had do for Halloween H2O?

Duran
I’ll tell you what, the balcony fall.  In the sense of high falls and stuff, it was tight, because it was a tight kind of a door way, with an actual railing that I had to clear, so I had to keep from bumping my head, keep from hitting the sides, and twist myself out and I had to get over the railing and I had to do it all with limited vision.

Dagon
Because you were wearing the mask, and you have to actually land on the mat.

Duran
Yeah, without getting overly inverted. I pretty much got upside down but I held it and went in how I wanted, so I ended up nicely, but that was tough. The van was also very tough, coming through the windshield.

Dagon
I was going to ask about that, because I noticed that it was done in three cuts. It wasn’t all one take.

Duran
Oh, it definetly was, we just had a lot of cameras on it. That was tough because hitting that mark, coming in and sliding to a stop and spitting me through the windshield. What we did was the simplest down and dirty way. We came at it about 40mph and hit the breaks on the mark.

Dagon
Did you use an air ramp or a trampoline or anything? Or did you just go running through there?

Duran
We used the speed of the car. We built a little platform inside to keep me clear of the dash board. I basically laid on the platform and aimed myself and we drove in about 40mph and hit the breaks on the mark. I kept going.

Dagon
Were you hired for the stunts? Were they looking for a stunt man?

Duran
From what I understand, they were looking for just actors and decided they didn’t like anybody. They used stunt guys before, so they decided to look at some of us and I ended up getting it and the whole deal.

Dagon
I noticed on the first one when he ripped the mask off, he suddenly got smaller.

Duran
In the first one I think there were three different guys. Like on "Scream 2" and we had nine different people doing stuff. That was to throw you off, I think.

Dagon
What did you do in "Scream 2"?

Duran
In "Scream 2" I was the guy for one scene. It was when I through the girl off the balcony, that was a definite stunt piece. That was just a day.

Dagon
Did I read somewhere correctly, that you never saw any of the Halloween movies?

Duran
That is correct. It is still correct. I didn’t want to second guess myself of those things. The first one, I said I might go see it, but we talked about how we want to do things and we’ll see how it goes when we film. And what basically happened was that it went pretty well.  They were trying to match the closet scene in the very begining were she’s dreaming. So I saw a snippet.  I didn’t want to look at this whole thing and try to mimic the whole deal.  I was perfectly willing to go look at it, if we were off the mark in some way, but nobody ever complained.

Dagon
It seemed to me that you might have watched them all, because gate and the type of attitude. I don’t know…The way you walked and the way you held his knife.

Duran
We talked about all that. The one thing one thing that we tried to specifically match was the little head tilt bit. I was told about that, so we did it.

Dagon
Now were you disappointed at all that the mask was never ripped off.

Duran
No, See I have two different jobs basically, if I’m doing an acting part, I have to do the part and do everything normally. When I’m doing the stunt part, I have to remember half the time, if I’m doubling someone, you have to hide your face. That’s part of the job, not being recognized, and trying to match the guy…

Dagon
I was just curious, I don’t want to give away the ending or anything, but at the end when there was that moment between you and Jaime Lee Curtis(who, by the way, kicked ass in this movie), I was just expecting the Darth Vader type thing, I wanted to see your face and the expression. Have her bond with her little brother.

Duran
I think that was kind of the idea to get you to that point, and then she kind of goes NO!

Dagon
Right, I was just expecting to have the face ripped off and I just thought it would sell it more as the softer side, before she takes the head off. You say you weren’t disappointed at all by that. There was never any talk of that?

Duran
There had been talk of things going back and forth, I think that was a big debate, whether or not you should see the face ever, and if so how? What the impact would be? Or lose? I think they wanted to just play it straight up, to keep the Michael Meyers character as Michael Meyers.

Dagon
Because I thought they were trying to change him a little by making him reach out to her, like "Please Help Me"

Duran
Oh, absolutely, you had to have that moment there, but I think if you take the mask off you cross the line and in such a way that you might loose the impact of that character. I think that everything was tossed around, and I don’t think any final decision was made until towards the end.

Dagon
You know I’m a bit of a stunt man too, I’ve done a couple of body burns for videos and I breathe fire, I do sword swallowing and what not. I was just curious to know what is the most dangerous thing you’ve done? I know it’s always got to be calculated risks and your not a dare devil.

Duran
You know that’s always so funny because it’s such a hard question to answer, when people ask it, because what I consider a dangerous thing, what someone else considers crazy, are so vastly different.

Dagon
What have you done burns in?

Duran
I’ve done my share of burns, I did a lot of the "Maniac Cop" movies, huge sequences with fire, explosions on fire, I get blown up on boats and go flying through the air. I was on fire and went 50 feet through the side of a house, for a movie called "Uncle Sam", I’ve done lots of fires over the years.

Dagon
Yeah, fire fire’s is one of my favorite things myself. Have you ever got hurt very bad?

Duran
No, I’ve been very fortunate , you get the usual little  scrapes and bruises and stuff.

Dagon
What do think about Michael Meyers character that makes him so scary to people….I used to own a trick shop and we sold the hell out of the Michael Meyers masks, and it’s basically a plain white mask. But there's something about the mask, when you put it on, you could really creep people out?

Duran
I never thought about it much,  I think what makes this guy scary is that he is human. When you have something fantastic in the sense that it is way out there , weird mandible things, strange hair, it’s over the top and everyone kind of goes, o.k. Yeah, it’s a mask. It’s fantasy, where this kind of hovers on that border line…. I think you identify with the fact that this could be a crazy person, and this could really happen, someone could be nuts. The bogeyman.

Dagon
You know the other thing that kind of makes that scary, at least in the first one and H20…What was the body count in H2O? Three or four? It’s more of a psychological thriller, it’s more like an Alfred Hichcock thing.

Duran
I think that brings you back into the reality of the whole thing, you can identify with the possibility of it. When you have a war movie, and your running around and the good guy is shooting two hundred people, and he never gets winged, your kind of going "what ever" and it loses the impact.  So if I go and slash her throat in the beginning, and then turn around and stab somebody...  like if I killed them in the bathroom, and then kill somebody in town, it loses it’s impact. The whole idea is that it’s a possible kill, and yes, some people get away.

Dagon
It’s scarier to find a dead body then it is.....

Duran
Well, in a sense it’s scarier to leave that up to everyone else’s imagination, it will lead you all the way there, and then nothing. You have to show enough kills, like the nurse in the beginning or like when I kill Jodie on the dumb waiter, you got to see that to a degree so you can kind of go "Wow, this is bad."

Dagon
And then show how it effects the other person.

Duran
Show the after math, you don’t need to show what happened because everyone is perfectly willing to fill that one in on their own.

Dagon
Do you show up in full Michael Meyers costume for the haunted houses?

Duran
No, because it’s more of a celebrity appearance. I did the thing for the big time, so I think it would be anti climactic, if you will.

Dagon
I’m just curious, I know your not going to these events as Michael Meyers, but if you wanted to, could you? or is it something that the studio owns the rights too?

Duran
I could certainly dress up or do what ever I want with that, but I’m not going to. Even if they wanted to put a restriction on me, which they haven’t, the mask is out there in public domain and there’s nothing they could say if I put one on and ran around.

Dagon
I heard you've appeared in quite a few movies. I would just like to rattle a couple off to see what you did in them, like "Armageddon".

Duran
I doubled the cosmonaut in the scene where the space station blows up. They are all scrambling to get off of it, and things are going wrong.

Dagon
Now, how about "Star Trek Generations?"

Duran
One of the classic things that I always wanted to do. When it was crashing on the planet, I was on the bridge through the whole thing. It was one of those chaotic bits where everyone’s going over railings other guys are flipping over . It’s one of those things where they are shaking the camera.

Dagon
How about Demolition Man?

Duran
Demolition Man I did a couple things, I’m in a some of the stunt scenes in that ,but I played a small role. When Wesley Snipes first gets his gun in the museum I was one of the museum android guards, he came around the corner and says "Can I help you ..." before I finish my line he blows us away.

Dagon
How about Rapid Fire?

Duran
Rapid Fire, I doubled one of the FBI guys that are holding Brandon in the apartment in Chicago, and then he realizes that we’re not who we say we are and so we start the whole battle with him kind of getting out of there just running through the apartment fighting and getting beat up by him.

Dagon
And what was it like working with Brandon, was he the driving force in the fight scenes?

Duran
No, not necessarily. I mean the director had certain things he wanted see; Brandon had his suggestions, Jeffry Manon who was the coordinator, he’s got an extensive martial arts background as well and I’ve done tons and tons of stuff, martial arts wise, and between us we figured stuff out. It wasn’t like with Brandon said, "this is how I want it."

Dagon
Yeah, it wouldn’t be like I imagine it would be with Bruce Lee. He wasn’t like: "I want this camera angle for this shot ..."

Duran
No, the director directed it.

Dagon
And right along those lines, The Crow?

Duran
In the Crow I was part of the large shoot out at the long conference table.

Dagon
So what do you think about his death and how that happened?

Duran
You know you hear different versions of that stuff and when I was there, there was thirty of us shooting guns, every day, every scene. I mean we had all of us shooting side by side and we pulled it all off safely. Part of the thing we had to do, well, we had 30 of us and we got to aim off of the side of him.

Dagon
I don't know if most people realize you need to do that even with blanks.

Duran
Yeah, absolutely because you never know when piece of the wadding was coming out of the blanks would fly out in your eye or something. We had to kind of get our distance down so he wasn’t going to get impacted, and you got to aim off to the side. Plus we all have to worry about each other and the shell ejection's because were surrounding the table were side by side shooting. We have to figure it all of that out and we did it and we shot 2 or 3 days firing the weapons to cover all of that and to pull it all off without a hitch. I don’t know what changed after I went home. It happened after the week I was home.

Dagon
Wow that’s intense.

Duran
We tested everything out ahead of time, and went through every persons problems around the table and adjusted everybody. Then every time you do the scene, everyone holds their guns down and they have five guys coming around and collect them all and reload and bring them back to you and go hot with the whole thing. I mean by the numbers ...

Dagon
There’s no reason to have real bullets there, I mean...

Duran
No there should never be real bullets around, you know if anyone’s got real bullets around, they’ve got them in their car from something else they’re doing but ...

Dagon
I don’t know it just makes me want to cry when I think about it.

Duran
Absolutely, it was a horrible thing. I don’t know exactly...you hear different stories about exactly what happened.

Dagon
Are you a method actor? Or are you more deliberate, I mean do you get caught up in the emotion?

Duran
No, I think I’m much more deliberate than that. There's some technical considerations as you go, as when I jump the two kids in the woods. When I drop down and grab her by the hair, I have really limited vision, I had tricky footing to drop in, tricky timing, I had to make a U turn to land where I was suppose too land.

Dagon
So it didn’t effect you playing a maniac killer, it’s more like a part of a game, you take the clothes off and you go home and it was fun.

Duran
I’m absolutely able to separate my work self from my work. What I’ve learned over the years is how to focus in for what I’m trying to achieve in that moment and then you do it and you walk away. This was definitely an acting part that had stunts that I was involved in, it wasn’t just a stunt thing. People fixate on the fact that, "Oh you’re a stunt man." And they forget that this was an acting job. People tend to fixate on these things and even if they do they don’t realize what’s involved half the time. They have no idea. I know stunt guys who can out-act actors and technically have every little bit of knowledge down, we can hit marks and timing we’ve done it a thousand times ..

Dagon
Whether its a stunt or not ...

Duran
Exactly. We always do play parts too and sometimes the concentration that it takes to do both, to stay in character and do something is alot more than what the actors have to do. I know so many actors love to go around and say "Hey, I do my own stunts" and in this particular case I was the actor and I did them, because I was qualified to do them. That was nice for a change. When you are playing parts and you are doing stuff you make yourself look good as a professional, but, in a sense if you are doubling somebody, you are making them look good. It was nice to make me look good.

Dagon
Even though you are wearing a mask.

Duran
Right, but selling out and making me look good, instead of selling out and making someone else look good is a nice swap.


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