Why is that actors in these types of movies, however effective they are, they just seem to vanish? You never see them again.
People in the industry don’t take films like this seriously. It’s treated like the circus, you have to drag the guys from the studio into the theater. Kevin Bacon went on to be a big star of course, but in order to break out from those films, you have to be very strong, you have to be an amazing talent. Look at other big independent films. You never see them again. Why? If you’re casting the role of a girl, who are you going to try and get, Julia Roberts or the girl from a Friday the 13th movie. That’s how it works. Look at the actors from Blair Witch.
What kind of actors were you looking for in the film?
They had to be able to read dialogue, that’s why so many of the actors in Friday came from soap backgrounds, you knew they could handle dialogue. They also had to be good looking, like out of a soda commercial.
I guess in some ways, you became trapped too? Roger Ebert once interviewed you and he described you as this nice man who felt completely trapped inside this monster you created. Is that how you feel?
After the movie was a hit, I thought, well, this is it, this is like my sample reel that I can show everybody and they’ll let me direct big movies with big stars, but I guess I was painted with the same brush as the actors. I got typecasted too. So you end up taking the pictures they offer you. One of my next films, “Spring Break,” that was a big hit, it was one of the most profitable films that Columbia Pictures had ever had at that point, but it was in the sex comedy genre, so you know, it wasn’t real work. People don’t take it seriously.
You seemed to promise that you would never come back to the Friday series, but of course, you produced “Jason Goes to Hell” in 1994 and the upcoming Jason X. Is it like the mafia? You can never leave?
Well, they still make money and I’m very excited about Jason X. Some of the other films I produced didn’t do well at the box office, even though I liked them, so you go back to the formula that works, and what people will agree to let you make.
Back when you made Friday in 1979, was there any notion of a sequel, any idea that this thing would reach the point it has? Like the ending in “Friday the 13th” when the monster jumps out of the lake?
No. There was no thought of a sequel. The ending when the monster Jason jumps out of the lake, that wasn’t planned, it was something we all thought up because we thought it would shock people. It was almost treated as a dream sequence back then. I had no idea there would ever be more Friday the 13th movies.
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