Legendary Entertainment has announced a special screening of Trick ‘r Treat at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 28th. If you can’t make it to that screening, the whole thing – both movie and a short Q&A, will be live-streamed across Facebook on Legendary Entertainment’s profile page. In preparation for this event, we wanted to interview Dylan Baker, who played “Steven” in the now-seminal Halloween cult film.
Q) How did you come to get involved with Trick ‘r Treat? Did you simply audition for it – did your agent bring it to you, etc?
I guess it all comes down to Michael Dougherty. My agent sent over the script and also sent some other info that Michael Dougherty had sent over – some drawing, etc to give me a visual concept on the film. When i read it, I really liked its great sense of play and liked how his characters weaved in and out through the story. I said yes, I would love to talk to Michael Dougherty. I got on the phone with him and from the second he started talking I could tell he was a Halloween nut – he loves holiday and the traditions behind it. I just knew it was going to be magical. I have had fun meeting up with Michael since then at Comic-Con and screenings. Michael really brought his infectious spirit and playfulness to the whole cast.
Q) What was the length of time you were on-set for shooting your scenes?
I was in Toronto for about a month before the new year and then came back after it for about a week or so – so about five weeks over two months.
Q) What do you think your character Steven’s motivations are for doing all the terrible things he does? It almost seems ritualistic for him – doing these things and also clearly being a Father to his son.
I think there’s a bit of doing it by ruse, he is sort of this maniacal killer and then has that funny moment when he realizes the kid is really heavy and has to fight his weight to get him into the house. Luckily my character offered something to Sam. Thankfully I gave him something or Steven could have been in real trouble.
Q) How was it working with Michael Dougherty on set. How would you describe his directing style?
Michael is hilarious. One thing i can tell you is that his impish spirit continues on the set. He would set up elaborate tricks and practical jokes on the cast – actress Leslie Bibb especially. Every time she would head back to her trailer, Michael would have some gag poised to scare her It was always fun to see what he would try to pull on Leslie next. I also really enjoyed hanging out with Brian Cox and thought that there was a sense of fun written into the script and Michael’s directing style was an extension of that.
Q) At any point during your work on the film, did you know that it would have such a resonance with fans of the holiday and take on this cult film status it has?
I have to say that over the last five years or so when I do get recognized on the street, often it is because of trick r treat. Three fourths of the time it is because someone knows what happens to my character in the film and they always talk about it.
Q) How long after the film was finished did you get to actually see it in completed form?
I think the first time i saw it was a screening at the Lincoln Center in New York. It was a little after I had it was done and Michael just started showing it and bringing it to conventions and stuff. I remember seeing it with a group of people and we thought it was the funniest thing we ever seen. People were screaming and laughing and having so much fun. At Comic-Con, a lot of the people had seen it and some hadn’t but were voicing their desire to. You really got that sense that the horror film community was dying to see the film. Legendary is so smart to do this screening and hopefully, they make it a yearly thing.
Q) Did you get to keep any mementos from the film?
Actually, I was very excited to present my little Sam doll to my manager. She still keeps it in her office and this time of year the other people will open a drawer or cabinet and be surprised to see Sam lurking. They are constantly surprising each other with him. Sam has that power in her office.
Q) If there is a sequel to the film, would you want them to find some way for them to bring your character back in some way? If so, would you like to see him as a normal human being or a ghost or zombie, maybe a werewolf, etc?
I think that the great thing about a sequel is that you can play on that sense of time travel and especially with the film is that you can loop it through the story. Maybe Steven passed his rituals on to his son or maybe we can see the origins of them and how he celebrated Halloween each year. Maybe we could see what his nightly rounds were during the film. It’s funny that with one of my first movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Every Thanksgiving, families watch that and see what they go through to get home and I hope to see that happen with Trick ‘r Treat during Halloween.
Q) Lastly, do you find yourself breaking any of the halloween night rules set out in the film and, if so, which ones?
After being a part of this film, do you really think i would do that (laughs)? I don’t mess with Halloween!
Q) What else are you working on?
Well, I have a sweet little Christmas movie coming out called Anchorman 2 with Will Ferrell and Steve Carell and Paul Rudd – all these sweet little elves delivering gifts to the children (laughs). I play the guy that gives Will Ferrell his next job and takes him on that journey – it was a total gas.
I directed a film called 23 Blast – it’s a family friendly sports themed original film. It’s about a boy named Travis Freeman who plays football, contracts a blindness-causing disease, and then continues playing football on his varsity team. It just premiered at the Heartland Film Festival and we had the real family it’s based on come out for the last couple days. The audience stood and and applauded when they saw them. The film celebrates Travis’ courage and is a very inspirational, warm hearted film. So far, we are talking to distributors right now – two or three offers are on the table.
I wanted to say thank you to Dylan Baker and Legendary Entertainment for making this interview possible!