BD: So when you got the role, did you go back to Kane Hodder or some of the other Jasons to kind of get a sense of what to do and what NOT to do, or did you just sort of start from scratch?
Derek Mears: I did... I’m familiar with the entire series, I’m a fan. I knew a lot of the movies. My favorites were always 2, 3, and 4. My ultimate favorite is 4. So I went back and watched those and tried to pick apart what I liked about them, and it was that they were all based in reality. I didn’t really go on from there.
BD: For the most part that’s probably a good idea...
Derek Mears: (laughs) Yeah...
BD: Though I do like 6 a lot.
Derek Mears: Oh totally. CJ Graham in 6 is great. But I really wanted to do my own thing, do what the script was telling me and let that be my blueprint for the character. But then at the very end, sort of like icing on the cake, after a couple of takes I would do things that were like little homages to some of the other actors, as a tribute to them, because they were all great, and I am honored to be among them. So little things here and there; I go through a window like in 2, and there’s a part where I do a little cock of the head like Ted White did [in 4]. And it was great, because other guys in the crew were big fans of the films, so after one of those little nods I’d go and ask “did you get that?” and they’d be like “Yeah! That was totally from the one...” you know, whatever movie.
BD: Most of the movies, if not all, I can’t quite recall for sure, find a way to get the mask off so we can see Jason’s face. Are we going to get that in this one? They dump you in latex?
Derek Mears: We did shoot one, I don’t know if they are going to use it or not. But it was shot. Scott Stoddard did the makeup of the character in general, and also did the reveal underneath. He’s also a huge fan, probably bigger than I am, so he was like “This is a mixture of 2 and 3...” or this and that. But it’s a hard thing to do, to take a mixture of something old and create something new out of it. And try hard to move forward, because you want the series to move forward and give the fans something new. And he’s great, I am a firm believer that I’m only 50% of the equation; the other 50% is Scott and his team. I like to say that I’m the lucky guy who gets to fly the jet fighter, but I have no idea how to make one, or the physics of what is happening. So they make the machine, and I just fly it!
BD: How long is the process? You arrive on set as Derek, how long until you are Jason?
Derek Mears: The makeup takes about an hour and a half, with the hockey mask. The sack was even quicker. The full makeup, if we end up using it, was about four hours, three or four hours. It’s funny, Danielle Panabaker took two hours to get her makeup on, and I was like “OK I’m playing Jason with all these prosthetics, and yet it takes me a half hour less to get all made up?” She’s a great girl.
BD: What kind of stunts and acrobatics do you get to do in this one? Jason never really moved fast, but we see in the trailer that you’re lunging and running around...
Derek Mears: My background is stunts, my profession is a balance between acting and stunts. I have a passion for fighting, as a hobby. For fun, I don’t want to hurt anyone! It’s a sport. It helps out a lot for the character because it’s really extremely physical, and you’re seeing Jason do things he’s never done before, which makes it exciting and really intense. The fights and.... well I don’t want to give anything away, spoil any surprises.
BD: Oh I’m used to that... one of the girls wouldn’t even tell me whether or not Jason kills people in the movie.
Derek Mears: (laughs) That is great! It’s so hard to keep a secret. It’s something you really like, and you’re proud of it, and people ask about it but you can’t tell them anything. It’s like “I can’t tell you yet, just hold on! Wait, wait, wait!” It’s tough, it’s really tough.
BD: Well this is the first REAL Friday the 13th movie to be made since all of these horror sites have been around.... a lot of us started these sites because we loved the horror movies that were coming out when we were growing up, which were primarily Friday the 13th sequels. So it’s like a unique level of interest on our part; as fans, we are using our access to you guys not just for news but to sate our personal appetites as well, you know, “There’s a new Jason movie!!!”
Derek Mears: Yeah, I understand. I cruise all of the sites too, as a fan. And I feel such a responsibility to the fans. I feel like I got picked out of the fans, and they said “You’re the guy who has to represent”, and then it’s like I am leaving the other fans behind as I go off to battle. “See you guys, hope I can win this one for us!” Big responsibility. But fun though, it’s an honor.
BD: So what’s next for you?
Derek Mears: I got a couple offers but nothing’s signed yet. The actor’s strike is kind of stalling a lot of projects. And I don’t want to jinx anything.
BD: Horror stuff though, right? Our type of stuff?
Derek Mears: (laughs) Possibly!