Anthony Michael Hall: John Hughes comedies were 'inappropriate to a degree' (exclusive)

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Anthony Michael Hall says some elements of his films with John Hughes have aged poorly. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Anthony Michael Hall says some elements of his films with John Hughes have aged poorly. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Anthony Michael Hall has conceded that some of the elements of the John Hughes comedies he appeared in "might be deemed inappropriate to a degree" through modern eyes.

Hall was a key member of the Hughes talent roster during the 1980s, showing up in films including The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles.

The director's work has been reappraised in some quarters following the advent of the Me Too movement, with star Molly Ringwald penning an article for the New Yorker in which she criticised some sexually inappropriate scenes in his movies.

Read more: Ally Sheedy says The Breakfast Club would be different today

Ringwald said this month that she struggles to show the films to her 12-year-old daughter, who is "the most woke individual that you've ever met".

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment UK to promote his work in Halloween Kills, Hall conceded that "by today's standards some of the things might be deemed inappropriate to a degree".

Watch: Molly Ringwald looks back at early movies

Hall often played nerd-like roles in Hughes comedies and said he credits his career success to the chances he was given as part of the Brat Pack.

He said: "My heart has always been open to [these films] because, without John Hughes, I wouldn't be sitting here. He gave me everything as a kid. 

"We were like brothers and those films gave me a career and put me on the map. So I'm very grateful for the experiences."

Read more: Anthony Michael Hall reveals Michael Myers freaked him out for real

Hall said Hughes's improvisational style encouraged him to embrace ideas and opportunities at the beginning of his career, deepening characters beyond the original script.

'The Breakfast Club' helped launch the careers of the 1980s 'Brat Pack' of stars. (Universal Pictures)
'The Breakfast Club' helped launch the careers of the 1980s 'Brat Pack' of stars, including Anthony Michael Hall in the centre. (Universal Pictures)

"We would shoot it as it was scripted — the two-or-three-page scene — and do two or three takes, then we would digress and really play," he said. 

"That was one thing John was great about. So he really empowered us as a generation of actors to try things, to come with ideas and he represents a really great director."

Read more: David Gordon Green to tackle Exorcist project

Hall plays the older version of Tommy Doyle — the child babysat by Laurie Strode in the original Halloween — in Halloween Kills, which sees director David Gordon Green return to the fold after helming the 2018 franchise reboot.

According to Hall, Green "shares a lot of the same traits" as Hughes in the way he empowers actors "to take chances".

David Gordon Green and Anthony Michael Hall talk through a scene on the set of 'Halloween Kills'. (Ryan Green/Universal Pictures)
David Gordon Green and Anthony Michael Hall talk through a scene on the set of 'Halloween Kills'. (Ryan Green/Universal Pictures)

He added: "I think when you have that kind of leadership mentality and you're so easy-going, it just makes it a pleasure. It did with Hughes and it was very similar working with David.

"He's just such a cool person and what you see is a real intelligence at work because he can draw great ideas from anyone. 

"It could be the grip, it could be the caterer. Working with that kind of humility and intelligence is really impressive. I see it as another level of talent."

Halloween Kills is due to be released into UK cinemas from 15 October, with sequel Halloween Ends arriving next year.

Watch: Trailer for Halloween Kills, starring Anthony Michael Hall

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