Interview by Carol Wright | Photographer: Kevin McIntyre
We got to chat with up-and-coming actor Tristian Eggerling about playing the younger version of Lonnie Elam in Halloween Kills and his advice for aspiring actors.
Did a certain movie or television show inspire you to start acting?
When I was younger, I was most inspired by a book series called Spy School by Stuart Gibbs and the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. These two series influenced my style of storytelling which motivated me to learn to animate for my own personal projects. But, I was inspired to start acting specifically from my brother Gabe. I thought it was so cool to watch him get scripts and break down a character, and then rebuild new ideas for the character.
What did you do to step into Lonnie’s shoes in Halloween Kills?
First, I watched clips from the original 1978 Halloween to understand Lonnie’s backstory. Next, I read the entire script (minus the last few pages because those were not released for privacy) to understand what Adult Lonnie’s actions were, so I could set up his motivations in the flashback scenes. I will say that everything came together on set while shooting the scenes with the improv back and forth with the director David Gordon Green. It was incredible to pull energy from our talks and his direction.
Were you able to work with Robert Longstreet on the character?
I did get to spend some time talking with Robert Longstreet and Dylan Arnold about family dynamics. They are both so talented and it was cool to hang out on set and talk about our older and younger versions…and our offspring of course!
If you can share – do you have a favorite scene you filmed?
I think I can share without too much of a spoiler. There was a moment when young Lonnie came face to face with The Shape. DDG was feeding me wild lines and this scene really shows how a known bully truly isn’t courageous at all. Lonnie just breaks down. I think it’s important to know where weakness comes from whether I’m acting or in real life.
How does it feel to be a part of the Halloween legacy?
It still hasn’t completely sunk in yet. When I first arrived on set they were shooting the park scene, and I remember meeting everyone for the first time. Ever since then, I have been treated like family. There are some jobs you shoot and then move on to the next but this franchise immerses in Halloween culture and once you are a part of it, you are always included. The fans are also amazing! They have a real excitement for details, and knowledge of all things Halloween.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
My best advice would be to think of an acting career as a marathon. Actually, it was my manager’s advice to me but it’s important to share. It’s too easy to get down when you don’t book a role you felt was perfect for you, and it’s too easy to wish for the next job right away when you love what you do. I find happiness when I enjoy the entire process of classes, coaching, auditions, and yes bookings, and leave the thoughts of sprinting for the soccer field while I wait for the next opportunity on set. Celebrating a great audition is just as important as celebrating a new job.
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