James Jude Courtney
James Jude Courtney
James Jude Herbkersman
January 31, 1957
|Alma mater||University of South Carolina|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
James Jude Courtney (née Herbkersman; born January 31, 1957) is an American actor, stunt double, and stunt performer. He is best known for playing serial killer Michael Myers in the 2018 film Halloween. He also played Der Kindestod in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Killed by Death".
Life and career
Courtney, born James Jude Herbkersman in Portland, Ohio, was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, as the eldest of seven brothers. From an early age, Courtney was determined to become an actor and made short films from fifth grade through college. He majored in journalism at the University of South Carolina in 1981 and subsequently moved to California to pursue acting. There, he started working at Universal Studios Hollywood as a tour guide before he was cast as Conan in the park's Conan the Barbarian live show. Courtney applied his martial arts skills to the role, which demanded high falls and sword fights; he sustained multiple injuries during performances. At Universal Studios, Courtney met actor Brian Thompson and stunt coordinator Alex Daniels, who helped him to branch out as a stunt performer. He also pursued acting studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was coached by Stella Adler.
Courtney made his film acting debut in The Freeway Maniac (1989) and continued acting through 2002. In 1997, he gained wider recognition in the role Der Kindestod in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Killed by Death".
Courtney played Michael Myers in David Gordon Green's horror film Halloween, the 2018 sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 film of the same name. Green explained to Courtney his vision for Myers' mannerisms, an amalgamation of the performance of Nick Castle, 1978 Myers actor, and the addition of a feline style of movement. Courtney tailored his portrayal to those specifications by observing the movement of his cat: "I think cats are the most perfect hunting machines on the planet. And the beauty of it is we don't judge a cat for what a cat does. So I sort of carried that movement and the non-judgmental approach to the way I moved as The Shape, which I learned from my cat Parcival." Courtney used Carpenter and Castle's work on the original film to inform how the forty years that transpired between the events of the films would affect the character. The December 2017 announcement of Castle's participation in the film was widely reported as his retaking the role of Myers, with Courtney only doing additional work as the character. However, in a 2018 interview, Courtney stated that Castle's screentime was minimal and that the great majority of the work under the mask was done by Courtney, which led to the question of whether Castle's return had been misrepresented by the production. Honoring his portrayal of Michael Myers, October 19, the film's United States opening day, was officially proclaimed James Jude Courtney Day in Warren County, Kentucky, by Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. In January 2019, Courtney was nominated for Best Actor at the 2019 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards alongside Castle for his work in Halloween.
Courtney is set to return to the role for its two upcoming sequels, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, thus earning him the accolade of being the actor to portray Myers the most amount of times.
|Title||Year||TV or Film||Role||Notes|
|Tour of Duty||1987–1990||TV||stunts|
|The Freeway Maniac||1989||Film||Arthur||Credited as James Courtney|
|Knots Landing||1989||TV||Peter Christopher / R. Peter Christopher||3 episodes|
|We're Talking Serious Money||1991||Film||Biker #2|
|'PHIL THE SPAT FROM CAMBORNE||1992||Film||Boxer|
|[[CLOWN WRAPPING PAPER AKA KITCH '||1992||TV||Peter Byrne||1 episode|
|The Hit List||1993||Film||Final Hitman|
|Danger Theatre||1993||TV||Man in Bar||1 episode|
|Philadelphia Experiment II||1993||Film||Vortex Technician|
|Firearm||1993||Short film||Alec Swan a.k.a. Firearm|
|...And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him||1994||Film||Carpenter|
|When a Man Loves a Woman||1994||Film||Earl|
|Girl in the Cadillac||1995||Film||Stunts|
|Access Denied||1996||Film||Bill Robinson|
|Babylon 5||1994–1996||TV||Narn #1 / Gyor||2 episodes; stunts|
|The Killing Grounds||1997||Film||Craig|
|The Nurse||1997||Film||Mr. Roberts||Stunt coordinator|
|Devil in the Flesh||1997||TV film||Mr. Roberts|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer||1998||TV||Der Kindestod||1 episode; stunts|
|Soccer Dog: The Movie||1999||Film||Mafia Goon|
|Level 9||2000–2001||TV||Stunts; stunt driver|
|The Gray in Between||2002||Film||Huge Goon|
|Halloween||2018||Film||Michael Myers / The Shape|
- "James Jude Herbkersman". MooseRoots. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Arzt, Matt. "[Interview] Meet James Jude Courtney, Your New Michael Myers in 'Halloween' 2018". Halloween Daily News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Ablon, Matthew (November 1, 2018). "USC alum is the man behind the Michael Myers mask". Fox Carolina. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Swietek, Wes (October 4, 2018). "'Halloween' homecoming: New Michael Myers will be here on film's opening weekend". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Friedman, Rebekah (November 6, 2018). "A killer career". SC.edu. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Squires, John (June 8, 2018). "[Set Visit] 'Halloween' Star James Jude Courtney on Why You Should Be Terrified of His Michael Myers". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Abrams, Simon (October 11, 2018). "Michael Myers, Unmasked". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Tracy, Kathleen (2014). The Girl's Got Bite: The Original Unauthorized Guide to Buffy's World – 30. "Killed by Death". St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-31298-886-9.
- Jones, Steven (2000). The Essential Monster Movie Guide: A Century of Creature Features on Film, TV, and Video. Billboard Books. p. 67. ISBN 978-0823079360.
- Clarke, F. S. (2000). Cinefantastique, Vol 31-32. p. 31.
- Dressler, Jacob. "Original Shape Actor Playing Michael Myers In Upcoming Halloween Movie". ScreenGeek.net. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Keene, Allison (December 20, 2017). "The 'Halloween' Reboot Will Bring Back the Original Michael Myers Actor". Collider. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Evanson, Landon (September 24, 2018). "Big Game James: A 'Halloween' Interview With James Jude Courtney". Horror Geek Life. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- DiLauro, Rob (November 6, 2018). "Exclusive Interview: James Jude Courtney Talks Halloween And Playing Michael Myers". We Got This Covered. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Golianopoulos, Thomas (October 22, 2018). "Michael Myers Is a Terrifying Acting Challenge, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Verhoeven, Beatrice (December 20, 2017). "Original Michael Myers Actor to Return to 'Halloween' Franchise". TheWrap. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Millican, Joshua (March 28, 2018). "Nick Castle is NOT Michael Myers in Blumhouse's "Halloween"? Cameo Only". Horror Freak News. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Medina, Ana (October 19, 2018). "Michael Myers actor speaks on preparing for Halloween role". WBKO. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Orange, B. Alan (January 22, 2019). "Fangoria Resurrects the Chainsaw Awards Celebrating the Horror Movies Oscar Missed". MovieWeb. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Rife, Katie (January 22, 2019). "Screw the Oscars, let's see who got nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Sprague, Mike (July 26, 2019). "NICK CASTLE RETURNING FOR HALLOWEEN KILLS & HALLOWEEN ENDS!". JoBlo.com. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
- Morse, Chris (September 11, 2019). "James Jude Courtney Teases Return as Michael Myers in Upcoming Halloween Sequels". DeadEntertainment.com. Retrieved September 18, 2019.