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 Post subject: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:52 am 
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Tom Morga was asked at a convention in London last year the following question:
Having played 3 of the most iconic figures in horror franchises in recent years - Jason, Michael Myers and Leatherface, how did you approach each of these roles and what was the differences between them?

His answer was: I just put on a different mask.

I was quite shocked by this remarkably honest and candid response, and I've been wondering ever since whether we give too much credit or place too much emphasis on the actors who've played Jason over the years? How much of each on screen portrayal of our favourite camp counsellor slaughterer is really down to the actor / stunt man and how much is really determined first and foremost by the director?

P.S. I was also lucky enough to meet Kane Hodder last year at a horror film festival in London but somehow I forgot to ask him that same question whilst he towered over me fixing those terrifying eyes on me! (He was very friendly really).


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:26 am 
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I know the role of Jason was played alot differently in the remake!

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:42 am 
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Yes I agree with you Kane. The role of Jason was played alot differently in the remake.

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:02 am 
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Some actors are just more menacing than others. That's why I was disappointed with Ken Kirzingers portrayal of Jason. He's just not as menacing as Kane Hodder. Perhaps that has more to do with Jason's hokey costume and make-up (the worst in the franchise; even worse than Jason's appearance in "Jason Goes To Hell", which is where his appearance hit rock bottom for most fans) and Ronny Yu's awful direction.


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Yes the Jason costume in Freddy vs Jason is the worst Jason costume in out of all the Jason movies.

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:44 pm 
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The only thing I didn't like about the costume in FVJ, was that since they were portraying Jason from the original series, they should have followed the previous films costumes. And the same thing goes for Jason X too! Now the remake was acceptable because it is an entirely different film. The only thing they needed to get right was the mask.

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:33 pm 
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And my only real complaint about his appearance in "Freddy vs. Jason" is that it looked so corny compared to the rest. "The New Blood" had a smaller budget than "Freddy vs. Jason" and yet they were able to create a more realistic depiction of Jason. I gotta say, even though I prefer the human Jason, the undead Jason in "The New Blood" is the definitive Jason for me. But that's a whole other discussion.

The costume in "Freddy vs. Jason" looks like they ran clothes through the sewer and cut them up with a Stanley knife. I also didn't like the way he's depicted. Jason THE CHILD is supposed to be sympathetic. Jason THE SERIAL KILLER is not. I'm sure Kirzinger would have been able to pull it off fairly well if it weren't for Ronny Yu's awful direction.

Most people wonder why Hodder is a fan favorite and I can't for the life of me come up with a reasonable answer. He's just very menacing. I don't know why. He just IS.


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Well how ever hard it is too play him Hooder is still the best out there!!


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:11 am 
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I imagine it must be very physically demanding, considering how often Jason gets run over, set on fire, and shoved into various deadly appliances in addition to punching through walls and jumping through windows. Speaking of windows, I love that shot of Jason crawling through the window in Part 3. It was so deliberate and intimidating!

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:55 am 
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Derek Mears certainly had his work cut out for him, as well as Kane Hodder!

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:21 am 
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derek mears, kane, Cj, and Ted, I think all brought alot of energy and aggression to the jason character! props to all 4 of those guys.

Physically, the character is not as easy as people might seem...kane, had alot of stunts he had to do on the new blood, he brought alot to the table and to the character and he deserves all the recognition regardless if he is or is not your favorite jason. Kane at one point, became very vocal about jasons physical movements to the directors, to me thats very ballsy to do.... i dont think we give these stuntman too much credit, i dont think some of them get the credit they deserve to be honest. Sure, jason doesn't talk, but he does deal with alot of damage, roof collapsing in part 7, brings to mind, that kane was just in that suit and mask, and dealt with it, he said that stunt was one of the more riskiest stunts, because of the weight of the roof.. he said if it wasn't for that mask, his face would of been smashed in... same with the scene he jumps through the window, he said he was a half an inch under the board, if he would of hit it, he would of been knocked the hell out... not to knock any of the other guys who played him, i think CJ, Kane, White, and Mears, brought alot of physicality to the role that I know, I personally could never do. These stuntmen sometimes put their lives in danger to get some of these moments caught on film... i dont think some of the fans really understand the stunt aspect to the role and how difficult it can be, especially to the body...I know i wouldnt try to do half the stunts these guys do!.


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:25 am 
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You forgot to mention Steve Dash, he took a few stitches for his trouble in the role!

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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:24 pm 
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opps i forgot, I like steve dash's jason, part 2 i think had some of the creepiest atmosphere out of the whole series, thats right i forgot about that, when i wrote my rant... he did take a beating on set that is for sure!


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:05 pm 
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I think it is important for Jason to both be childlike and monstrous. He's supposed to be pathos and aggressive. I think that's one of the things not touched on as much during Friday the 13Th Parts 3 through 10.

Part 1 worked so well because the audience felt afraid of, sorry for, and creeped out by Pamela. Much of the audience was creeped out because they felt sorry and empathized with the character that was the killer.

That is why it worked so well casting Jason the same way in Part 2.

But, for some reason, they kind of threw all that out the window in Parts 3 through 10 concerning Jason himself. We had other pathos characters, Tommy, Tina, Rennie.

But Jason's pathos was left to back story. It was referenced in the prologues, not much in the films. Four touches on it at the end with Tommy imitating Jason. Five doesn't try. We're sorry for Jason's grave being dug up at the beginning; but not really sorry for Jason because of his past. Part 6 doesn't really try. Part 7 was going to have a young Jason holding his Mother head, but that was taken out and turned into Jason stabbing Tina's Mother instead. Part 8 separates Jason into two personalities; but I think doesn't work as well myself. Nine doesn't really try. Ten doesn't really try.

It was not really until Freddy VS Jason that they really incorporate Jason's story back into Jason. Without that story, he's no different than Michael Myers in Halloween. He's just some guy, in a mask, stabbing people for no reason. We, the fans, know the reason because we watched the other films.

Can we honestly say that if we brought someone new into the franchise at Friday the 13Th Part 6 that they would have any clue as to why Jason is stabbing people? That's the problem.

I am glad the writers of Parts 11 and 12 actually characterized the character of Jason; rather than simply having him be a 'faceless Grim Reaper' type of character that Part 6 and 7 allowed him to become. I think it works better when people know his history and feel sorry for him. That's one of the reasons I still am not really a big fan of the first Halloween. The villain has no emotion, no motivation. It doesn't matter that he's stabbing people, because there is no reason why. Many people found that artistic. Personally, I found it lazy story telling.

Some guy, for no reason, picks up a knife and stabs his sister. So what? We can't feel sorry for him, he has no tragic back story. We can't empathize with him, because he has no motive. We can't really depict him well artistically, he has no motive, back story, and he's in a clown mask...

How they got so many movies out of Halloween is amazing to me considering the villain gave them nothing to work with. He's not visually interesting, nor does his character have any real story or characterization. It's really hard for me to even call a character without characterization a character. It seems offensive to the very concept of 'character.'

That's why I was concerned seeing Jason becoming just as blasé as Michael. The writers for Freddy VS Jason and Friday 2009 actually brought Jason back to Jason. But the problem was, Jason had not been Jason for about twenty one years. So, a lot of fans that became fans from Parts 3 through 10 felt a bit odd seeing a six foot tall child, crying over his mother, and stabbing people. But, that is the character of Jason and always had been.

Fans got into the habit of seeing Jason as a 'mindless' killing machine. But that's not Jason, that's Michael. Jason just sort of became Michael.

I hope they keep Jason's story integrated with Jason as I think it separates Jason from Michael and the other horror villains. It makes Jason unique. It made Jason stand out in the days when some could argue that horror itself became cliche. And now, in the days of violent video games and online porn, people are no longer flocking to Friday the 13Ths only to see people get stabbed and boned. Jason's characterization, and the nostalgia of the iconic hockey mask, are really the key selling points that Jason and the Friday the 13Th franchise has to go with. It can't just coast on violence and sex anymore like some could argue it did some in the 80s.


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 Post subject: Re: How hard can it be to play Jason?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:00 am 
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I think just like any role it is a combination of the stuntman and the director.
The director tells them what to do and it's their job to bring it to life.
Some director's have a very specific view (Ronnie Yu) and the stuntman has to do the best he can to match that.
Some directors give them more freedom.
But in the end it's the director's ass in the hot seat if the character doesn't come off right.
I love White's performance and think its the best to date, but how much direction did Zito give him? And how much of the anger was because White didn't like the role particularly and didn't like Zito much?
Kane was lucky that he was able to have some freedom with the role, but as much as he disagreed with some of the movements I'm sure there was direction given to Kane and he followed it.
Then again with stuff like Jason X where the director wanted Jason to dive out of the way of the bullets and Kane said "Jason wouldn't do that" I guess we're pretty lucky that Kane was the guy in the mask to give at least a little consistency. Although Jason X was so bad would it have even mattered if Jason dove out of the way? Personally I don't think so.
Kane's performance in that one was pretty bland. Same with part 8.
Mears was a great addition to the list of those who have gotten to play the role.
His performance was very energetic and a breath of fresh air into the character.
But again, the director directed and the performer tried to bring it to life.
No one just shows up and does what they want unless they are Marlon Brando.


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