Jason talks Friday the 13th

Posted by: PuppetMaster

We go toe to toe with JASON and talk murder and mayhem in Friday the 13th.. the remake! At Comic Con we had a chance to talk to Derek Mears aka Jason in the upcoming Friday the 13th movie. Now alot of you die hard horror fans are likely shaking your heads still asking .. why? Why do we need a remake of Friday the 13th? The quick answer is we dont but thats not to say we cant have a fun and bloody new take on one of our genre favorites. Take Halloween as case and point. Rob Zombies take was gruesome, exciting and entertaining. Although not the same studio we can hope for the same for the Friday the 13th remake. Derek is a huge fan of the franchise and to say he is excited to take on the role of the mask wearing killer is an understatement;

Like I said before I think this is the closest thing to becoming a rock star or feeling like a rock star. It's so surreal being a fan growing up and running around with a hockey mask for halloween and then having the industry come in and say 'hey man why dont you represent and come play him for real'. So its really a great great honor.

This movie the key component that they hit on which frankly everyone seems to do when they do a remake is the fact they are trying to pay hommage while still doing their own thing and trying not to offend fans. Derek is a fan and know the films but he needed to take himself away from that and approach the film as an actor and not a fan in order to be open to doing things a new way;

The script itself is really the blue print. I have known the character before as a fan but you kinda have to put that to the side and approach the script with what they have and pretend I dont know who Jason is and what he is about. You build your foundation of your character from that. His motivation, where he comes from, why does he do what he does.

Then at the end its like baking a cake. Thats the base of your cake and then the frosting on top I have actually different takes where I add hommages to different actors.

Head tilt like Ted White in Part 4, in Part 2 where he comes through the window, so there is great respect for the guys who played the character before me because I am a fan. Its so wierd I am still kinda detached from this new Jason because you talk about Jason and I am like.. oh thats me. I keep thinking of the guys I have seen before.

One thing that came out and did cause some concern is it seems they have made some changes to Jason. Although we can confirm he looks pretty much the same from a general appearance the writers of the remake wanted to make things a bit different and develop the character more. They likely once again took their cues from Rob Zombie and how he did Halloween; Derek says;

The way that Mark and Damien have written the script there is alot more levels to him where hes more of a full fleshed character and not just a guy in a mask running around and killing people. I always explain it as a key to a piano. There is one side where the child thats hurt and tormented and you can empathize with what hes going through but then to switch that adn put it on a negative light you go to the other end where he becomes aggressively intense and angry and he takes that torment out. You have that energy thats built up and you see it released.

I am really excited about it. I was really happy when I first read the script. In general I was a fan of Friday the 13th. This is actually a really intelligent script and it also doesnt down play to the fans. Its intelligent and there are parts where you go 'oh hes setting somebody up", and "that makes sense". There is alot more depth to your regular stereotypical slasher.

Derek is describing a movie that is not so much about jumping out of the bushes and going BOO but more about messing with the audience with more indepth and perhaps psychological kills. The less you show and the more you develop each scenario the more you end up with the JAWS effect and end up scaring the crap out of fans. The cliche jump out of the dark, or the girl in the dark hallway is over done. I take Dereks answer to this question to imply the writers are looking to do more then just the run of the mill Prom Night'esque scares.

Since the first films were about Jason the killer and not so much about any sort of character depth having a large and intimidating character was key to his legend and the fear factor. When Jason steps out with his machete his sheer size alone is enough to make his presense known and make clear to audiences... bad things are going to happen. In this take however its not so much about size and since they are doing a 'more fleshed out character' the filmmakers were not concerned with Derek's. size;

They wanted for this Jason to be more functional. They were not worried about him being big and bulky. When I checked, should I put size on they told me they wanted him to be functional. So I did alot of functional training. My actual background is martial arts.

From the entire conversation we can take two things from it. First that Derek is very excited to be playing the role and is not just taking it as a body roll. He is much more then just a stunt man behind a mask. Hes an actor. The second thing to take from this is that this is not going to be the traditional Jason that we are used to and that may or may not be a good thing depending on how you look at things. Thanks to Derek for taking some time to talk to us and of course to Warner Brothers for allowing us time with him to talk about the film. The film will be hitting screens on February 13th, 2009. Thats Friday the 13th!


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