Introduction to Doug Tait
Welcome to Action Reloaded It’s awesome to have you
Thanks man, I appreciate it.
So, you’ve got an amazing filmography. What Initially drew you to the world of movies?
When I was a kid, I just loved performing but I was also an athlete. I focused on sports and basketball. When I was about 14 years old, I saw Frankenstein at Universal Studios in Hollywood and the actor was making people laugh and scaring people, and I was like I am going to do that when I turn 16.I knew I had the height, so as soon as I turned 16, I got a job at Universal Studios playing Frankenstein. That was my side job for many years while I was pursuing acting. I played The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, I did the Harry and The Hendersons show. It was an awesome training ground. I got to perform and meet people from all over the world.
That’s amazing. Was Universal your stepping stone into the industry?
Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t really my stepping stone because being in a theme park is not going to get you roles in TV or film. It was more of a place to perform and entertain. It was fun for many years, until it got old.
Your credits through your career in the industry are amazing. You’ve got a whole resume! They include actor, director, producer, and writer. What is your preferred out of all of them to take on?
Well, acting is where the passion is the strongest. I directed my first feature and that was an amazing experience and probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my career, but yet so rewarding. My wife, Isabel Cueva, produced it and starred in. It was a great learning experience from start to finish. It is such a feat to make and finish an Independent film, that I have new found respect for Indie filmmakers. I definitely want to direct more, but as of now acting is my main passion.
Your credentials are outstanding! So is your genre credits you’ve been in action, thriller, comedy etc, what attracts you to a script?
I don’t get tons of scripts sent to me but when I do, I get excited by the role and the team behind it. If it’s a good role, with a good director, then I am in. I love doing comedy, but I don’t get cast in it a lot. It’s nice to have a choice to pick from different scripts but a lot of times we don’t get to pick and choose.
Joining The Conjuring Universe
A big movie franchise you joined was set in The Conjuring universe, Annabelle Comes Home..
It was absolutely amazing for me. I was such a fan of James Wan and the director Gary Dauberman. I think James is one of the best directors of horror out there right now, he truly has his own style. The team at Atomic monster are awesome to work with.
Your role was the werewolf, how did you prepare for your role?
Well, funny story is they had already filmed the movie with a puppeteered Werewolf head. So the film was being edited and they felt they needed to see more of the werewolf and his body. The amazing Fractured Fx took the puppet head they built, and retrofit it on me and built a full fur suit. This was a reshoot of the film. I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I spent several hours moving in the suit.
There’s always talk of spin-offs when it comes to The Conjuring Universe. Was The Wolfman ever spoken of?
Yes, when I was on set they were talking about a possible spin-off of the werewolf. They were also talking about the demon character and another one. It would have been cool, but it never went through.
Does your resume reflect the films you liked growing up?
Somewhat, I definitely like that I got to be a part of the Halloween franchise in a very small way in Halloween Kills, I was a huge Halloween/Michael Myers fan. I liked Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and got to work on Freddy Vs Jason. I also loved Indiana Jones, and Back to The Future. I like dramas and comedies and I don’t do as much of them. I would like work on different genres, but certainly yes, I loved horror films as a kid so it’s cool to get to work on them now.
Becoming Jason and meeting the legendary, Robert Englund
Speaking of horror, you got to play Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason, which Is a pretty cool achievement.
Yeah, I didn’t do the whole movie but I ended the movie as Jason, it’s one of the most iconic shots in the film to be a part of. I also got to work with Robert Englund and I was such a fan of Freddy Krueger. I have so many pictures as a kid in the Freddy makeup. Getting to work with him was probably The most exciting thing about it. He was telling me how they were trying to make Freddy vs. Jason for 10 years. So if it would have been made ten years earlier I would have been like 12 years old and I wouldn’t have done it. So the fact that it happened when it happened is’ just so cool.
What was it like wearing the hockey mask and being Jason for a few days?
It was pretty amazing. We shot at a place called Hansen Dam, which nobody on here would have heard of, but it’s a place I fished at growing up with my grandpa. It’s a small man-made lake way off the beaten path. Most people in. L.A. dont know abou it, but the fact that I was there as a kid and now here I am as a Jason Voorhees with Robert Englund. It was pretty surreal.
How did they do that scene? Was it just a prosthetic head? With Robert Englund do the voice-over of the laugh?
No, this is how they did it. So I shot at the lake coming out of the water holding a fake Freddy severed head. Then we did a day in a studio sound stage where Robert was sitting on a slider with green screen clothes on. I held his head and walked towards camera as the slider moved with me and he winked into the camera. So they just superimposed the fake head to him to do that shot.
A lot more trickery than you’d believe.
I know, totally!
Becoming the Boogeyman – Taking Shape
Let’s talk about Halloween. You were a part of Halloween Kills, but before that you were rumored to play the part of Michael (The Shape) in Halloween Returns?
Yes, Sean Clark, who’s my agent for conventions puts together these reunions every five years, a Halloween convention with everybody. So he knows Malek Akkad and the people from the Halloween franchise. He knew that they were looking for a Myers for Halloween Returns, written by Marcus Dunstan and he was going to direct it and also his writing partner. Sean, put my name and I had a great meeting and I acted out a scene where Myers is on death row. You can read the script online. I don’t know what happened after that. I don’t know all the details. For whatever reason it fell apart and they shelved it and decided not to do it. I was like, “This was my chance and now it’s never never going to happen”.
When was this due to be released?
Well, this was 2015. This was the movie before, the last 3 David Gordon Green Halloween films. So, I didn’t obviously do it because the movie didn’t go. Then four years later, Chris Nelson put my name in to play The Shape in the flashbacks in Halloween Kills. It flashes back to 1978, which I thought was just brilliant. I auditioned for it, but the stunt coordinator Airon Armstrong ended up playing him in the flashback. He called me to be James Jude Courtney’s stunt double. James is an amazing Michael Myers; he crushes that role. He’s so good, I watched him on set. He gets the crap kicked out of him in Kills and keeps on going. James is a stud.
Did you do the whole SUV sequence at the park?
I didn’t do the whole thing. I did bits and pieces in it. James did all the hero mask shots. James would have done everything, but they did not want him to get hurt jumping off the SUV. I hurt my ankle in the scene because I landed on the dolly track.
So being a part of Halloween kills which was surreal, what was it, like learning that They were going to bring Loomis back into the fold without CGI?
I didn’t even know about that when I was shooting because they didn’t give me the script and tell me everything. So, I found out that later when I saw the film, I thought it was amazing to see Dr. Loomis because to me he’s one of the most iconic characters in the original Halloween. Loomis builds the fear that you have of Michael Myers. Donalds Pleasance’s acting in that role was amazing. Do you know the story of the guy that played Dr. Loomis in Kills?
I believe he was like a prop guy?
He was the set construction foreman Tom Jones jr. Awesome guy, never acted before and then here he is playing this legendary iconic character that Donald Pleasence created. It was my favorite scene in the film.
Did you get the opportunity to meet John Carpenter?
No, I did not meet John, but I did meet Tom Jones at a convention, he’s a great guy. I would love to meet Carpenter, the guy’s a legend.
I’ve heard that James Jude Courtney said that after Halloween Ends, that’s him done as Michael Myers. So, if they were to go on and do another movie and the opportunity came, would you step in as Michael -?
OHH, yes, I still have hopes for that!
You’ve got a horror movie coming out soon. I believe it is called Angel Baby..
Yeah, it’s thriller / horror film. My wife and I are currently looking for distribution. It was a really incredible experience working on this. Like I said, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my career. I learned so much and I want to direct more.
It also starred your wife, you got to have the final say for once! laughs
laughing Yeah, yeah- right she got the final say!
Its been great talking to you Doug, best of luck with Angel Baby!
Thank you so much buddy! Great chatting!