When any character endures in pop culture for an extended period of time, it’s a given that they’ll be played by multiple actors. By now, we just expect for the torch to be passed at some point when it comes to the likes of, say, Batman or James Bond. Regardless, it’s only natural that moviegoers favor certain performers over others.
Of course, the horror genre isn’t immune to this at all. While some icons such as Freddy Krueger have been portrayed by one or two actors for the wealth of their respective series’ runs, we also have the likes of Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, both of whom have been embodied by a different person in nearly every entry into their own particular franchises.
In the case of Friday the 13th, many would argue that one man rose above the rest of the pack – and he didn’t even come in until the seventh film. I am, of course, talking about Kane Hodder, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing this past weekend at Astronomicon.
Knowing that Hodder is the man who first springs to mind when I and many others think of Jason, I naturally had to open by asking how it’s made him feel to be oftentimes regarded as the definitive Jason, and here’s how he responded:
“I think it’s only natural that people consider me ‘more Jason’ because I did four films and everybody else did one, so that works in my favor. But a lot of people just enjoyed how I played the character, I guess. Of course, that’s nice to hear because I put everything I could into playing the character, so for people to respond that I’m their favorite or whatever they want to say is gratifying because I really wanted to do the best job I could.”
Like he said, being able to stick around for four flicks was no doubt instrumental in courting favoritism from the fans, but when you really think about it, it can actually be difficult to leave your mark in what is essentially a silent role. That seemingly factored into Hodder’s performance, though, as he continued to say:
“When I got the part the first time, I went back and watched all the previous movies again so that I could see maybe what little things guys did that I liked, things that maybe I didn’t like that someone else did, to basically create my own version. Like I said, fortunately, people have responded to it very well.”
Indeed they have – and I quickly realized that it’s not just his onscreen presence that’s won over people. Aside from having a very positive experience with him myself, I witnessed firsthand how great of a rapport he’s created with the Friday the 13th fanbase. Really, he had to have made the day for many in attendance and I encourage you to say “hello” should he ever visit a convention in your locale.