John Carpenter Wanted To Quit Hollywood After Working With Chevy Chase

January 14, 2023 / Posted by:

In the latest episode of I Hate Chevy!, a veteran of Hollywood has also declared his undying disdain for the difficult actor. Writer-director and horror pioneer John Carpenter sat down with Variety to reminisce about his storied career, from directing Halloween to making music. He’s proud of almost everything he’s done, but there’s one thing he regrets: working with Chevy Chase. Stand in line, John. I think it’s safe to say that every working actor regrets having been exposed to Chevy.

For the uninitiated, John Carpenter is responsible for legit classic and cult classic films such as Halloween, The Thing, and They Live. Although he hasn’t made a movie in 13 years, he’s ascended to “untouchable cool director guy” status, so he can kick back and keep playing with his band for the rest of his life. In honor of his 75th birthday, John did a quick recap with Variety, giving insight into what it was like making Escape from New York (the Kurt Russell movie where he’s a hot guy with an eye patch and not a hot Santa):

Great crew, great cast. Everything about that part went really well. The great thing about this stuff early on was I really did have final cut on all these movies and no one was judging me, or bugging me, or saying strange stuff. That’s what made it so smooth.

Working with Sam Neil:

Sam is a terrific actor. I love working with him. He’s very similar in working style to Kurt Russell, so he comes prepared.

Directing a fun movie like Christine:

“Christine” was the movie right after “The Thing.” It wasn’t right after, but it was the movie I made when I needed a job and “Christine” came along. I love my cast in that movie. Keith Gordon was fabulous, and Alexandra Paul was… I believe she’d been a model, and she’s just a terrific actress. And the great character actor Harry Dean Stanton was on that. Harry Dean is quite a character, I really loved him. But it was a fun movie to make and easy — nothing tough about it. And it did OK, you know, it opened alright. So people were kind, which is nice.

It was all positive and good-humored until they got to Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Despite having worked over a span of 30 years on some of cinema’s creepiest films, Carpenter discovered that the greatest horror of all was actually Chevy Chase!

It gave me a chance to make a quasi-serious movie. But Chevy Chase, Sam Neill — who I love and had a longtime friendship with — and Warner Bros. … I worked for them, and it was pleasant. No, it wasn’t pleasant at all. I’m lying to you. It was a horror show. I really wanted to quit the business after that movie. God, I don’t want to talk about why, but let’s just say there were personalities on that film … he shall not be named who needs to be killed. No, no, no, that’s terrible. He needs to be set on fire. No, no, no. Anyway, it’s all fine. I survived it.

If Carpenter knew what was ahead in his career, he probably would’ve swapped Michael Myer’s infamous William Shatner mask for a Chevy one. Considering all the ghouls that operate in the movie business, it’s pretty damning that Carpenter’s worst experience was with Fletch (though not that surprising). When a horror legend’s solution is to kill it with fire, you know you’re dealing with pure evil!

Pic: INSTARImages

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