Derek Mears Interview - Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th
When Derek Mears put the Jason mask on he just got completely
You're done posing I think. Or you can pose throughout the interview.
Derek Mears: "That's one thing I'm worried about. I was like, 'Be myself,' like being a giant goofball. I'd be like, 'That's the guy who's playing Jason? He's totally not scary now.' 'No, it's called acting. I can switch over. I'll switch over to killing people later!'"
How quickly can you switch?
Derek Mears: "Pretty quick. I have a lot of daddy issues so I can switch over pretty quick."
Any mommy issues?
Derek Mears: "Not so much. In the character, yes. You switch it, you replace mommy issues to daddy issues – and I'm ready to fight."
How much did you delve into that part of the character?
Derek Mears: "A lot, actually. That's what I'm really excited about because it wasn't that difficult myself because the writers have written an amazing script. Mark [Swift] and Damian [Shannon] have really added an intensity and an integrity to the character where you understand where the character comes from and you understand his vulnerability and his inner torment, which I really liked."
And donning that mask for the first time, what did that feel like?
Derek Mears: "Oh my gosh. Funny story, I actually went into the shop when they were still having the masks made before we had done anything. No shooting or anything else like that. And Scott Stoddard, the makeup effects creator of Jason, which is amazing, was like, 'You're here now. Why don't we try the mask on?' I go, 'Okay,' and he opened this giant case and he had like five masks in there. He pulled it out and it was almost like the scene from Excalibur. You heard like the [high-pitched choir]. Everyone in the shop who were making different parts of the film – making dead bodies, you know, slit throats – just stopped, looked over, stopped what they were doing and just kind of stood there and watched. I put the mask on and just got completely tingly. The way I can describe it as a child watching – or still as an adult – when Star Wars the opening [score] comes on and you start to see the scrolling letters. That's what it felt like and it was amazing."
How much extra weight did you feel bringing a franchise back to life like this because everybody knows this character and now you're him?
Derek Mears: "It was crazy. I mean, being a fan myself… I mean, with other projects I scrutinize myself. 'Who's going to be the who? What? The new James Bond? Well I like Sean Connery. Let's see what this guy does. I don't know.' So it's wild switching to the other side and seeing exactly what that is like. 'Oh my gosh, now I'm the one who's going to be in the spotlight…' But a lot of responsibility, especially to the fans who I consider my peers. I really want to do a good job and make sure it's good for them, because hopefully they like what I like."