Examination : Who is Jason Voorhees?


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By : Doc AKA The Sadistic Surgeon

 

Happy Friday the 13th! In celebration, we figured we’d tell you a little bit about the actors that defined one of the most known slasher villains in this iconic 1980 film and it’s many sequels named after this unlucky holiday. We’re talking about Jason Voorhees.

Friday the 13th was originally directed by Sean Cunningham, and written by Victor Miller. The film has become a household name in horror, being originally inspired by the Jasonfsuccess of horror franchise Halloween.  Eventually spawning over ten sequels, the film’s infamous super-slasher Jason  has been everywhere from New York City to outer space.  Being such a well traveled character, it takes a lot of talent to ensure Jason doesn’t get tired. Here’s a look at some of the people behind the mask.

 

Actor : Ari Lehman

Acted in : Friday the 13th (1980)

Ari Lehman is known for his portrayal of a young, deformed Jason Voorhees in the original film. However film is not first and foremost on Lehman’s career list – it’s actually music. In fact he got inspired to play the part of Jason as a result of his successful horror rock act, First Jason!

Actor : Warrington Gillette

Acted in : Friday the 13th Part 2

Gillette took over the role of the now adult Jason after being unsure about the part. However, stunt director Cliff Cudney brought in stunt man Steve Daskawisz as a body double. When Daskawisz was asked to return for part three however, he declined because he had already accepted a role on Guiding Light.

Actor: Richard Brooker

Acted in : Friday the 13th Part 3

Director Steve Miner wanted a bigger more athletic Jason for part three, so he turned to the six foot three former British trapeze artist Richard Brooker. Brooker felt that the way into the movie business was to play a psychopathic movie killer, and he was also the first man to don the hockey mask that has become synonymous with the Jason character. Appearing in a number of small films after his Jason experience,  Brooker would later become a director, adding to his filmography the television science show Bill Nye the Science Guy. He passed away due to a heart attack on April 8th 2013.

Actor : Ted White

Acted in Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter

White initially only tried out for the part of Jason for the money, being hired by director Warren Zito, who wanted someone more athletic for the part of Jason. He then found himself involved with the psychology of the character, doing things as not speaking to the other actors for lengths of time. However, his experience was not pleasant, JasonVoorhees'and when asked, he declined to return.

Actor : C.J Graham

Acted in : Friday the 13th – Jason Lives

Nightclub manager C.J Graham was well liked on set – performing all his own stunts, and really getting into the part of Jason. He said that getting cast for the role was like putting a baseball uniform on, and finding yourself pitching the 9th inning of a super-important ball game. He was respected because he never complained throughout the series – not even when they lit him on fire.

Actor : Kane Hodder

Acted in : Friday the 13th – First Blood through Jason X

Kane Hodder is probably the most well known actor behind the Jason mask. He worked with director John Carl Buechler on a film called Prison before being considered for the role.  Having the longest running tenure as the Jason character, Hodder was originally hesitated over because of his limited size, until executives scheduled a test screening, and they saw his natural affinity for the role – even going so far as to scare a couple innocent civilians while  walking back to his trailer during a shoot. Hodder brought a refreshing “agileness” to the Jason character that hadn’t been done before in other sequels, and Cunningham fought to keep him on throughout the rest of the series, but was overruled after Jason X.

Actor : Ken Kirzinger

Acted in : Jason Takes Manhattan (body double), Freddy vs Jason

At six feet five, director Ronny Yu and New Line executives believed that Canadian actor Kirzinger’s slower more deliberate movements would be more appropriate for Jason, so his role as a body double for Hodder helped land him the role in Freddy Vs Jason. Plus his height was also an advantage, as the director wanted a towering figure to go up against the five foot nine Robert Englund.

Actor : Derek Mears

Acted in : Friday the 13th – The Remake

Mears drew some concern at first when it came down to playing the part of Jason. Mainly because he was too friendly. However, at audition, his argument was that playing Jason is something like Greek mask work. You put the mask on, and you’re that character. During the scene, the mask and actor are intertwined, and different versions come out depending on the nuances the scene calls for.

 

Happy Friday the 13th! Make sure you Chh Chh Chh when you Ah Ah Ah!

 

 


2 Comments

  1. CapnJustice September 15, 2013 8:56 pm  Reply

    Not seen Friday the 13th – First Blood. Does he fight John Rambo in this movie?

  2. doc September 15, 2013 9:04 pm  Reply

    Not that I’m aware of .. That’s a good idea though. Who do you think would win?

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