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By David Grove | January 9, 2004

For the first time since 1986’s “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives,” there’s a new Jason stalking the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake and Kane Hodder, the man who’d been playing Jason since 1988’s “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood,” is none too happy about it (“I’m really pissed off about the whole thing,” says Hodder adding, “they never gave me a good reason why.”). It’s kind of ironic that the man replacing Hodder, longtime Vancouver-area actor-stuntman Ken Kirzinger, had worked with Hodder on 1989’s “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.” Kirzinger was the stunt-co-coordinator on that film in which he also had a small role as an unlucky New York cook who gets tossed through a window by Jason. Kirzinger hopes that Hodder doesn’t have any hard feelings about the fact that he, not Hodder, is donning Jason’s hockey mask in Freddy Vs. Jason. “Kane and I were friends and I’m sure he’s not that angry with me,” says Kirzinger who, at six-foot-five, 240 lbs. is certainly the biggest Jason in the history of the series. “The producers wanted someone new to play Jason and I just took advantage of an opportunity.”

Freddy Vs. Jason is just one of over fifty-plus films the veteran actor-stuntman has worked on over the past twenty years, but none have gotten as much publicity as this one, meaning that Kirzinger is now a celebrity – a newly-minted member of pop culture and all of those obsessive Friday the 13th websites that raise people like Kirzinger, and Hodder, to the stuff of legends. Kirzinger’s very cautious about his newfound celebrity. “I’ve been around long enough to have seen lots of young actors crash and burn so I’m not taking it seriously,” says Kirzinger. “You know, I remember when Ken Wahl did “Wiseguy” in Vancouver and he was like The Sexiest Man Alive and all of that stuff. I know what happens when you get a big head. It all depends on whether or not I play Jason more than once. Kane kind of made a career of playing Jason – I’ve only done it once. So far.”

Get the interview in part two of KEN KIRZINGER: THE NEW JASON>>>

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