Tamara Glynn has lived the ultimate horror fan’s dream. From watching an icon of terror on the big screen to being hacked to pieces by the same monster, Tamara is a beloved fixture in the HALLOWEEN universe. And make no mistake, she is just as in love with the fans who still celebrate her memorable demise in a barn compliments of Michael Myers some twenty-five years ago.
Glynn has been one of the busiest women in the industry, having seen her 2013 schedule jam-packed all the way through the Christmas holiday only a few months into the year. Whether she is showing the love to her rabid fan base from all over the world or getting herself ready to host a film festival in her home state of Arkansas, Tamara loves what she does and loves the people who celebrate the blood and guts.
This year, she will have the opportunity to trek around the country promoting the HALLOWEEN franchise in all its glory and she is looking forward to every second of it.
Recently, I was lucky enough to catch up with the energetic and wonderful Ms. Glynn for a nice long chat.
MANGLED MATTERS: Growing up, were you a big horror movie fan? If so, what were some of your favorite movies?
TAMARA GLYNN: I was. In fact, the first horror film I saw in the theatres was the original HALLOWEEN. Right out of the gate, as a child, I always had a love for horror movies. My friends would think I was honestly freaky. (laughs)
I’ve always been drawn to horror, strange news stories, all kinds of crazy.
MM: With respect to Friday and Freddy, Each installment in the Halloween franchise has a very stand-alone storyline, with H5 being a blast. What thoughts were going through your head when you first got the role of Samantha?
TG: For me, I just stopped and was frozen. In amazement… “Wait a minute, this isn’t really happening!”
What an honor to have been a fan of the original and then to be able to be a part of the most amazing franchise ever! That is just, I mean, oh my God! (laughs) Talk about a dream come true!
When I found out I had booked Part 5, I was honored and thought it was cool as anything, it even have the opportunity to audition, let alone book it.
MM: What makes the HALLOWEEN franchise so special, in your mind and to the millions of fans all over the world who hail Michael as the ultimate horror boogie man?
TG: I have a great amount of respect for all horror franchises. At the end of the day, in the big picture, we are all family. But the HALLOWEEN series, as opposed to FRIDAY THE 13TH and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, with all due respect, it’s the way, the class of the franchise. It’s a very clean franchise. From the way Michael executes the kills to the writing. People are guaranteed to get the most bang for the buck. The films are so well executed, with so many dynamics and elements coming into play. The films don’t go over the top or for these super massive, bloody gory kills. Everything is precious. Michael executes his target and then it’s on to the next victim. (laughs) It’s as much what you don’t see as what you do see that really makes these films work.
Let’s take a moment to really give respect to the writers of the franchise. It’s just nice that they have been able to keep it fresh. They haven’t looked for the easy way out- the really bloody, gory kills. Kudos to them. I have a huge, huge amount of respect for that.
Then, of course, there’s all of the other dynamics throughout the series. The lighting, the simplicity of it all. Keeping it real. It’s just nice to know that the fan base it out there for this caliber of work in the genre.
The beauty of all of this, the success of HALLOWEEN, is that John Carpenter and Mr. Moustapha Akkad really paved the way for this genre in so many ways. I’m not dissing any of the other franchises, but I appreciate, myself coming from a fan’s standpoint, where they have driven this incredible beast. It’s beautiful.
MM: We are nearing the 25th anniversary of H5, how time flies! What were some of the most memorable moments/stories from on set?
TG: I will share something with you that I haven’t shared with many interviews. Originally, it was not in the script for me to die as I did. Samantha (Tamara’s character in the film) is just a quiet girl, not as boisterous as Tina is in the film. Samantha was more on the conservative side.
I actually went to Dominique (Othenin-Girard, director) because the kill would have been executed different if the script’s way were the way we were going to go. I said, “Can we finally see that Samantha has some strength?” She is a bold character and I suggested she come back and tackle Michael (Myers).
The whole game in the barn of “is it Michael or isn’t it?” with Spitz (Samantha’s boyfriend in the film) really rattled the nerves. So by the time it was really Michael trying to kill her, she was ready to tangle a little.
I don’t even remember off the top of my head what the original kill was supposed to be!
At least the cat survived…
MM: What caused you to step back from the acting scene in the first place after your career seemed to just be taking off?
TG: I moved from LA back to Arkansas due to my grandfather’s health. Family has always and will always come first for me. That’s the primary reason. Then, after a very unfortunate series of events, I ended up staying in Arkansas a bit longer than I ever expected. One family issue led to another and I was more focused and concerned with what was going on with that than any film projects that may have come up. I was dedicated and committed to seeing my family through some health challenges. I certainly don’t regret any of my decisions, but it’s also great to be back meeting fans and loving the horror world!
MM: Who or what brought you back into the bloody limelight recently?
TG: I am very honored and humbled to have met Justin Beahm. The reason being, after all of these years, last August 27th, Justin and I connected and I will never forget the day. I swear to you, as much exposure as he’s given me, to be able to reach all the fans that I just love and adore so much, all of these amazing opportunities… Bumping into Justin on Facebook was a miracle.
Once Justin and I started emailing back and forth, he linked my Facebook page on the Fangoria Feed page and… I thought I would get maybe two friend requests. It was a barn scene from twenty years ago! Nobody gives a crap, not a big deal! (laughs) I kid you not, I had nearly 1,000 friend requests in a three or four-hour period! My computer almost crashed!
I started crying. I was sitting there, in tears, my heart was just so overwhelmed and full. I was so appreciative and still am. I’ve never in my life felt that sort of appreciation. I will never, ever forget that.
In this part of the country, horror has never really been a huge thing. The genre has really come up the ladder over the years and it’s nice to see so many people broadening their perspective on the genre around here.
MM: Care to spill the beans on the film festival you are hosting and co-director of later this year?
TG: My business partner, Bill Volland, and myself just sitting around and started talking. We really wanted to do a horror fest last year at the theatre, but looking back at all the opportunities coming up now, Bill and I agreed, “Ok, this is the year we have to get it done!”
It is called the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival and I am co-director and the proud hostess! It’s going to be such a breath of fresh air for me to be able to bring the elite of the elite in the genre to a state that is not as familiar with everything the horror world has to offer! To be able to introduce people to so many amazing, talented and well-respected directors and people- for the public to be able to just witness that we are respectful people, we do have morals and values. My own personal moral and value system is very deep, believe you me. It will be so great to share that with everyone here in Arkansas.
Beyond screening films, we also will have workshops. So many talented people in special effects are working in horror these days and since before I even started watching horror films, it just overwhelms me. So we will have technical AP panels where the panels will help educate fans and young directors. We will discuss the transition from film to digital, as well. I’m so excited about the technological change going on so fast. It’s so inspiring, especially to see so many female filmmakers out there these days! It is going to be awesome.
My partner from New Mexico, Gene Savee, will be bringing in lenses that are going to open up a lot of eyes.
Everybody is bringing their game to the table. I’m so focused on filmmakers. I will feel this fest is a huge success if one person comes in and learns something, one thing- a trick of the trade, whatever it is. If he or she takes away one piece of knowledge and can utilize it into their next project to make it better, that’s success to me.
This is an international film festival. What’s really cool about this is we’ve had submissions coming in from all over- amazing films from Norway, Belgium, India, Iran.. it’s crazy!
I asked Justin (Beahm) if he would attend and he was an emphatic yes. To have Justin, being a senior editor of Fangoria and just such an expert in horror, I can’t think of anyone in the industry who has a stronger grasp on the genre than Justin.
I’m just so excited for everything. It’s like the planets all lined up just right. I have been praying to the man upstairs that everything would work out and it’s really shaping up to be something really, really special.
I reached out to Steven C. Miller, as well, so he’s involved. Jeff Burr (director of LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3) also accepted an invitation.
September 26-29! Hot Springs, Arkansas… be there! I feel like I’m doing it the right way with this festival.
MM: Having worked on the Freddy’s Nightmares television series and come face to face with Michael, who do you got in a good old-fashioned melee?
TG: Oh, I plead the fifth! (laughs) Just to keep everyone happy, I’m really trying to be proactive.
I have my opinion, but like religion and politics, with horror, I don’t really feel like you have to express them publicly. (laughs)
I don’t want anyone to think I have less respect for anything or any other franchise. I love all of them and we are all one big family.
MM: What advice would you offer an aspiring actress?
TG: Passion, baby, passion! You’ve gotta have tenacity. Go for your dream. I don’t care what your job title is- whatever you want to be, go for it. Have fun and live the dream! Believe in yourself!
MM: You are seeing first hand the love and support of the horror community. There isn’t another collection of friends out there quite like horror fanatics. We get a bad rep with the stereotypes sometimes, but we are one hell of a family!
TG: I did my first convention ever this past March, at HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati. What a fun time we had! It was amazing. Just overwhelming. It was very heart warming. I’ve never in my life been so overwhelmed with the fans and their love. Put that on record. I mean it. It was the largest HorrorHound ever! Kudos to Shawn Clark and Nathan Hanneman for putting it all together.
I had one little girl approach my table completely dressed in the Jamie clown costume that Danielle (Harris) wore in 4 and 5. Talk about tugging at your heart strings!
I would also like to do a super, super shout out to my super fan, Sarah Church. We had been friends online for a while and she was excited that I was going to appear at HorrorHound. She started to walk up to my table and tears just spilled down her face. I almost couldn’t talk. It was the most amazing emotion- of the most incredible moments I’ve ever experienced. She’s such a beautiful girl, so special and so dear to my heart. So special, in fact, that she is going to be one of my personal guests at the film festival! I am so honored to have her coming, even though I’m going to make her work her butt off helping me! (laughs)
So many fans are reaching out and wanting to be volunteers with the festival, I just love it.
MM: There is a lot of buzz about a Youtube channel dedicated solely to the Halloween franchise. Can you tell us a little about that?
TG: The Halloween Network on Youtube is just awesome. I would love to see a ton of fans get on board with that. It’s just so much fun. Check it out!
MM: Do you have any other big news regarding any Halloween-related awesomeness going on these days?
TG: Justin Beahm’s book is coming out! Halloween: The Complete Authorized History By Justin Beahm.
It is going to make a great gift for any horror fan- full of never before seen photos, one of which I’ve sent in. Justin is aiming for next fall, 2014, release.
Just keep your eyes and ears peeled because there is a lot of stuff going on and many more announcements will be made in the future with HALLOWEEN!
MM: Are you going to participate in the big 35 YEARS OF TERROR celebration this November in California?
TG: 2013 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the franchise! Oh yeah, baby! I just got goosebumps! (laughs)
I will be attending. Everyone watch out- there is going to be a lot more info in the coming days ahead!
Everyone needs to be on high alert!
We are going to have fun, fun, fun!
MM: Any last words?
TG: Please, just believe in yourself. Your inner passion is such a beautiful driving force. In addition to love, passion can move mountains. It really can. Dreams can come true. Just get in there and educate yourself, work hard and everything else will pretty much fall into place.
It was quite a treat to speak with one of the nicest ladies in the horror game and I wish nothing but the best for Tamara as she continues forward with her career as well as the film festival she is hosting! Here’s hoping a trip from Illinois to Arkansas is in the cards for me later this year!