The 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th was the last time that iconic slasher Jason Voorhees was seen on the big screen. And the man who portrayed him, Derek Mears, has now shared a BTS image from his time as the Camp Crystal Lake Killer.
The still’s taken from the end of the movie after Jason’s seemingly killed by siblings Clay and Whitney, with the search for the latter forming the bulk of the film’s plot when the horror icon kidnaps her due to her resembling his mother when she was younger. They dump his body into the lake where it sinks to the bottom, a rather fetchingly lit shot of which can be seen in the image below. Mears clarifies that despite appearances he isn’t actually smiling, but that the side of his mouth had been wired open to fully apply the makeup.
As fans will know, Mears started in the industry as a stuntman and bit part actor, typically portraying anonymous thugs and minor antagonists due to his imposing size and intimidating appearance suiting him to villainous roles. Friday the 13th was a breakthrough performance for him, though, leading to larger parts such as in Predators, where he portrayed the classic iteration of the alien trophy hunter, or more recently as the eponymous star of the unfairly cancelled horror series Swamp Thing.
As he’s often unrecognizable under heavy layers of makeup playing various monsters, the performances instead require him to portray characters physically, something he’s demonstrated a talent for with the likes of the anti-Santa Krampus in a Christmas episode of stoic fantasy action show Grimm or the demon lord Moloch (among others) in bonkers fantasy horror series Sleepy Hollow.
Mears is still contracted to bring Jason to life at least one more time, so if the legal mire that’s prevented any Friday the 13th movies being made for over a decade is finally resolved, then there’s a good chance that he’ll be the one to once again wield the machete and pick off unsuspecting campers.