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Behind the mask, Michael Myers is a pretty nice guy

For the thousandth time: His name is not Michael. It's Tony.

But Tony Moran knows some fans will never get it straight.

He is famous for his few minutes as the unmasked Michael Myers in the final scenes of 1978's horror cult classic Halloween. One of six actors who played the psycho killer, he is the only one whose face fans got to see.

This weekend, Moran, 51, will meet fans at the Tampa Bay Tattoofest by day, party in Ybor by night and promote Beg, his upcoming '80s-style slasher movie, all while a couple of Tampa filmmakers follow him for a documentary.

Tbt* caught up with Moran over the phone Wednesday night while he headed to a friend's house in Orange County, Calif.

When I dropped your name in the newsroom today, my colleagues jumped a little. "Michael Myers?" they said. "I'd be scared!" Well, I'm not scared. But should I be?

(laughs) No. You know, in the horror genre cult world, all of the fans have a favorite movie they're obsessed with. Obsessed. Meaning they watch it once a week. So by the time they meet me, I'm a hero to them, you know? When they finally get to the point where they're looking at me face to face, they're scared out of their wits.

The theme song from Halloween: scariest theme song ever. I mean, does it make you want to sleep with all the lights on, or is that just me?

(laughs) No, you're right! It is so chilling, in its simplicity, that music. I don't know what happened to John Carpenter before he composed it, but he must have had a rush of nirvana. He had everything right on the mark. You heard it on my ring tone, right? Picked it myself. (laughs)

This weekend, you sign autographs at Tattoofest. Do you have tattoos?

No ... but I'm about ready to get one, of my three children. What do they call that, a mid-life crisis? (laughs) I don't think it's that at all. I adore my kids and I know all these tattoo guys. And they'll do it for free, I think.

Beg will be your first time on screen since Halloween II. Rumor has it you stopped acting because you didn't like it. Is that true?

No, I really loved to act. I kept acting until I was in my thirties, and then I went underground. On purpose. I grew up in the industry and just got tired of it and said, see ya later.

Then what did you do?

Oh, my God, I did a lot of stuff! I taught tennis for seven, eight years, I was in the mortgage industry for seven, eight years. I did construction. And the great thing is that nobody knew who I was because of the mask in the movie. It was easy for me to transition into — I don't know what you call it, the normal world?

The mask — what happened to it?

I don't even know. ... Back then, who knew about this movie? I thought, a week at the drive-in, and that would be about it. I didn't even go to the premiere. I never even thought about taking the mask.

Tattoofest

Tattoofest runs Friday through Sunday at the the Doubletree Tampa Hotel Westshore Airport, 4500 W Cypress St., Tampa. Admission is $45 for the weeend, $35 for Saturday and Sunday and $20 for one day. Tony Moran is scheduled to appear from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday. Also scheduled to appear: Michael Berryman from the original The Hills Have Eyes, and Kane Hodder, one of the Jasons from the Friday the 13th series. tattoofest.com.

Behind the mask, Michael Myers is a pretty nice guy 03/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:02pm]
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