The new 'Halloween' flick features a frighteningly inspired performance from James Jude Courtney, who leaned on an old friend/real-life murderer to pick up tips on playing the legendary villain behind the mask.
The "Halloween Kills" star joined us Tuesday on "TMZ Live" to reveal part of his process to portray Michael Myers -- something James has done more than anyone else -- and it was downright chilling.
He told us he prepped for one of his very first killer roles by living in a psych ward with paranoid schizophrenics who had killed people ... but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Later in his career, James says he lived with a guy who had done hard time for murders -- he'd been a hitman -- but apparently wanted to moonlight as an acting coach.
James told us his killer roommate actually critiqued one of his movies, and told him how to make his character more believable, more realistic. That sounds great for James' acting career, but there's still the matter of actually LIVING under the same roof as a cold-blooded killer!!!
You gotta see James' explanation for how it benefitted him beyond acting. To each his own, but damn!!!