20 Questions On Deadline Podcast: Why Anthony Michael Hall Didn’t Take Part In ‘Brat Pack’ Doc; His New Film ‘Trigger Warning’ & ‘Reacher’ Season 3

My guest on 20 Questions this week is Anthony Michael Hall.

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In his latest film, Trigger Warning, which is streaming on Netflix, Hall stars as a gang-boss villain opposite Jessica Alba’s Special Forces commander character as she sets out to investigate her father’s untimely death.

Hall shot to fame in the 1980s as a part of the fabled “Brat Pack,” starring in such films as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science when he was only a teenager. When the term “Brat Pack” appeared in a 1985 New York magazine story by journalist David Blum, with Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson on the issue’s cover, Hall fell under that label’s umbrella with a group that included Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore and Ally Sheedy.

RELATED: ‘Brats’ Review: Andrew McCarthy Reexamines The Brat Pack Legacy – Tribeca Festival

But when McCarthy approached Hall to take part in his Hulu documentary Brats, which examines the impact of that moniker, and includes interviews with Estevez, Lowe, Moore and others, Hall decided to decline.

“I just opted to pass,” he said, “but I have a healthy respect for Andrew. I think he’s carved out a good career for himself. He directs television and he wrote that book a couple of years ago that led to this film. I’m always someone who’s forward thinking and forward looking, and so I’m just busy making new stuff and staying alive and keeping busy. So I thank god for that. But no disrespect to anybody involved.”

For Hall, the ‘Brat Pack’ name wasn’t bothersome. “Look, I think sticks and stones… I mean, words have power and they have meaning, and people posit those meanings on them,” he said. “So for me, it never really mattered. It didn’t bother me at all. I just kept going.”

Hall, who hasn’t yet seen Brats, also pointed out that he wasn’t included in the original magazine article by Blum. “Truthfully, there’s a lot of great journalists in the world,” Hall said, “and sometimes people can be petty, and maybe it was a little bit pejorative in terms of that reference.”

Hall was just 7 years old when he began acting in commercials. A year later, he performed in his first play, and by the time he was 17, he had appeared in a slew of now-iconic ’80s movies. He was also only 17 when he became a cast member of Saturday Night Live, an experience he said was “kind of nerve-wracking at times,” but also “like rock ‘n’ roll theater” and “incredible to be a part of.”

The host of his first ever SNL show? Madonna. And then, that same year, Oprah.

In this episode of the podcast, Hall recalls that rollercoaster ride, how he came to be an actor and what he’s been working on.

Hall will next appear in Season 3 of hit Amazon Prime Video series Reacher, which is based on the book Persuader in Lee Child’s series of novels.

“I play a character named Zachary Beck,” Hall said, “who on the surface is a wholesale rug dealer, but he’s living like the Great Gatsby, so there’s a lot more at play. He’s kind of living the life of Riley as kind of a mobster in a way. So there’s something else that gets revealed. I can’t give away too much of it, but it’s a great season.”

Hall also produced and starred in Class in 2022, an homage to The Breakfast Club, through his production company Manhattan Films. And now he has a new title, Roswell Delirium, that examines whether a young woman is suffering from mental illness or has, in fact, been subjected to an alien abduction. “Roswell is making the festival circuit now,” Hall said. “And we’re in talks with some distributors about getting released.”

To hear the full interview with Anthony Michael Hall, click above, or listen and subscribe on Spotify, iHeart or Apple podcasts.

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