Exclusive Interview with new Jason, Derek Mears!

Throughout the long history of Friday the 13th, there have been many men to put on the makeup and the mask and call themselves Jason Voorhees. Some have embraced the role often show how proud they are to have been Jason. Some dismiss the mask. Regardless of how accepting they are about playing Jason, one thing is for sure, it become a big part of their life whether they want it to or now! Friday the 13th holds a legacy in the hearts of both fans and those involved in making it happen much larger than most horror series. The fans constantly beg for more from the minute the closing credits roll across the screen. So if you’re going to relaunch Friday the 13th, and Jason Voorhees, who better to have behind the iconic mask than a hardcore fan of the series!? That man is Derek Mears!

With that, we present you the exclusive interview with Jason Voorhees 2024 himself, Derek Mears, where fans will learn that if anybody is going to make an effort to make Jason special again,it’s him!

Q: Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you grow up and what did you do growing up?

I grew up in Bakersfield CA. I loved comic books and playing RPG games. I had/have a disorder called alopecia. The definition in a nutshell is my body rejects my hair so it would fall out. I guess you would say I stuck out as the “different” kid at school. I took theater in high school and at the age of 17 I joined a local comedy improv company called Comedy Sportz.

Q: How long have you been a fan of the horror genre? Outside of the Friday the 13th world, what would you say are some of your favorite horror films?

I’ve been a fan of horror since I was a child. I remember looking forward to Sunday afternoons because that’s when Channel 13 would air a weekly creature feature program that I loved.

My fav’s are the F13th series, Evil Dead series, & Aliens.

Q: How did you get your start in the business and how long have you been working in the industry?

Good question. How long has it been? Hmm I think it’s been about 11 or 12 years now. I got hired at Universal Studios Wild,Wild,Wild West live stunt show when I first moved to Los Angeles. I was hired as an actor and I was trained to do stunts for the show. I became friends with the stunt guys from the show and in our free time and they would teach me various stunt skills. Now I bounce between acting and stunts.
My first big feature was The Wild Wild West with Will Smith. …Ya know, technically the first movie I ever did was when I was still living in Bakersfield. I did a movie with Robert Kurtzman called the Demolitionist. I got to rob a bank with Richard Grieco. I remember being crazy nervous. Ha!

Q: What was your first work in the horror genre?

I played a werewolf in the movie Cursed directed by Wes Craven.

Q: How were you approached to play the role of Jason Voorhees?

The short version of they story is the producers were asking different industry professionals who they thought would make a good Jason and my name kept popping up. I was then called in to audition and incredibly enough I got the part.

Q: You were obviously a fan before taking on the role. What was it like to first put on the costume of such an iconic character?

UGH! What a rush. I got this tingly feeling like when I hear the opening of the orchestral music in the beginning of Star Wars. It was very unreal. I kept waiting for some to tell me that it was a joke. It really is an honor to put on the costume of my favorite horror icon that gave me so many nightmares growing up.

Q: How demanding was the makeup chair and how long did it take to apply the entire Jason costume?

Scott Stoddard who designed and applied the new make up was amazing. He got the application time down to about an hour and a half when wearing the hockey mask. When we shot the scenes that reveal what Jason looks like under the mask the application time was around 4 hrs.

Q: The Friday the 13th fans are some of the most passionate horror fans in film history. Naturally there were some concerns when it was announced that the series would be re-launched. But recently, with the trailer hitting and such, some of those preconceived issues have begun to dwindle. Re-launching such a classic series, do you have any concerns or fears?

Yeah. Don’t screw it up was my biggest concern. I am a fan of the series, so I really want this film to be great. This wasn’t just another acting job to me, it’s a passion project. I want it to be good so they will continue to make more F13th movies whether I am included or not.

Q: How well did the cast gel on the set and how did they react when you came out in full Jason gear?

The cast gelled together incredibly well. I have never been so close to a cast before. Everyone genuinely likes each other. I really think that connection is going to come off on camera.

The cast’s reaction was a mixture of excitement and fear when they first saw me in full Voorhees garb.

Q: One ill-conceived notion that a lot of non-Friday fans have about the character of Jason is that anyone can play the role. How far from the truth would you say that statement is and how demanding was it to play this character?

I compare that line of thinking to eating. Food is food right? Steaks, salads, apples, sushi, it’s all food. So I guess it means all food tastes the same, right?

I get asked a lot about what the difference is to me between “regular” acting and acting with a mask. Acting is acting to me. It doesn’t matter if you have a mask on or not. If you are fully committed to your character and to what you are doing in a scene it will translate to film.

How demanding was it? Very. Ha! How’s that for an answer. I think that may have been the worst answer I have ever given in an interview. No, wait I am going to own it. Yes, very. Final answer. No elaboration.

Q: How have your family and friends reacted to your newfound fame as Jason Voorhees?

My friends and family have been very supportive. They all have been very happy for me.

Q: Would you be willing to come back as Jason in a follow up to this movie?

Q: You have done numerous convention appearances since taking this role. It seems that the Friday the 13th fans have already embraced you. How have they been treating you?

All of the Friday fans have been absolutely wonderful. I am amazed how kind and supportive people have been. I love going to conventions and talking Sci-Fi, horror and comic books with everyone. I feel extremely comfortable there.

Q: Are you familiar with any of the other Friday the 13th alumni. If so, have they welcomed you with open arms?

I met C.J Graham and Kane Hodder at a convention last year. They were both really cool and welcoming. I was really excited to meet them.

Q: You have joined a good sized line of awesome guys who have strapped on the mask. Other than yourself, who is your favorite actor to wear the iconic hockey mask?

I like all of them, but my favorite would be Ted White.

Q: With that said, which entry into the series other than the 2024 film is your favorite?

Part 4.

Q: You’ve also done a lot of work in the television industry. What shows have you appeared on and what have been your favorite television jobs?

I shot an episode of Masters of Horror in Canada called Pro-Life, directed by John Carpenter. I played a demon called The Father. It was an honor to be able to work with Carpenter. I enjoyed sitting around talking to him about his work and video games. I nerded out big time.

Q: When you aren’t on the set butchering campers, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Any hobbies?

Ha! In my free time I like to read comic books, watch movies, play video games, and train MMA.

Q: Other than the upcoming Friday the 13th, what projects do you currently have brewing in and out of the horror genre?

Nothing I can officially talk about yet.

I did though, just read all of the TPB’s of the comic book Hack/Slash; and man, let me tell you, I am hooked. I hear they are going to make it into a feature film over at Rouge Pictures. Hmmm?

Q: Here’s your chance. Tell the fans of Friday the 13th anything you want to tell them. What can they expect from a Jason Voorhees with Derek Mears behind the mask? Anything else you would like to say to anyone who may read this interview?

Hello everyone. First, I want to say it is a privilege to be able to don the hockey mask of Jason Voorhees. I never thought while growing up watching the F13th series that one day I would be a part of it. It still to this day doesn’t seem real that I am in the position that I am in.
I want to sincerely thank you guys for all of your positive comments and support. Come February, Jason Voorhees will be returning to the big screen. With his return you will see everything you loved about the original series updated in a new and intensely terrifying way. Being a fan myself, I feel in a way, that I am representing you in the film. I hope I do you guys proud.

About the Author

Tony Carroll

Huge horror fan. Mainly the slasher sub genre. Die Hard Friday the 13th fan. I'm not like a lot of viewers. I love the entire series. Yeah, there are things about some films that I don't like. But I can honestly say that I don't hate a single Friday flick. I love to write and to bring info to people. So this site and my love for that go hand in hand. You will also find me over at my site Feel free to drop me a line at

17 Responses to “ Exclusive Interview with new Jason, Derek Mears! ”

  1. loved it. great interview. thanks!

  2. Great interview, fine sounding gentleman, and I so cannot wait to see the finished film on the 13th of February and to hopefully meet this fine gentleman one day at a genre convention.

    Thank you for this fabuous interview, Friday :D

  3. I love the way Derek simply embraces playing this role. That’s who really makes Jason come alive, is someone who actually loves the character of Jason. Good for him! This movie looks to be very fullfilling for us Friday fans! I think it will simply KICK ASS!!!!!!!!

  4. Very nice interview. I’ve talked to Derek a couple of times through myspace, the guy is very friendly and he is very passionate about playing the role of Jason Voorhees. He will not disappoint us. This is one Friday the 13th movie that is worth seeing over and over again, from what we seen of the movie already I can tell this is going to be the best horror movie of 2024.

  5. That’s ill as hell, My favourite parts are also 2,3,4 & 7. I got a good feeling his performance will be insane & have the chicks screamin they panties off in the theatre :)

    I’m so amped to see this with my chick too cuz I know after we get blitzed off some purple haze & go see the film im gonna go home wit her & make another full length feature ;)

  6. ya he’s goona do really good as jason i mean have you seen the previews and other vids he looks awesome i hope if this movie does really good that they will make a game that is just as good or better this WILL be the best MOVIE of 2024 without a doubt.

  7. Man, A videogame featuring all the killers like Jason, Michael, Freddy, Leatherface, Chucky, Leprechaun, Pinhead, Chatterer & others is long overdue. That reminds me, all horror fans should check this out, it still not complete but ive been practicing the demo with Michael for a while now & Leatherface is such a prick when you fight him, damn him & his friggin’ bear traps. I can’t wait till they add Jason so I can smack the shit outta him, anyways, check it:

  8. that was a nice little treat

  9. Sounds like a cool guy.
    I would be open for him to return in the sequel as Jason.

  10. Darek Mears looks an excellent actor !

  11. At first with this movie being remade, I was a little unsure, but now that I’ve read this, I’ve most def embraced the guy. It’s good to know that someone who’s adored the series is getting the part. I wish him the best of luck. =] *gives thumbs up*

  12. Tony, do you think he has as much love for this character as Kane Hodder? It looks as though he does and as Ken and John mentioned above, he has a passion for the role. He should be awesome

  13. Darly didn’t believe me them some few years back. Yes! Them some few years. But I see when I close my eyes then smile. But anyway guys I need a job. I’m great with make new music. Plus I think I was apart of this new and better look a Jason. Feb 13 th 2024. Shit I want be in the next one.

  14. i mean a game where you are jason i think it would be way better than trying to kill jason even though that would be really fun 2

  15. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Quick witted and great sense of humor. Glad to see this guy ended up suceeding.

  16. I just got home from watching the movie. AWESOME! I always pull for Jason so some of the other movie-goers probably think that I am a wacko. There’s just something about Jason though that makes me want him to win. There was a part at the end that made me kind of nervous for him but as always, Jason comes through. LOVED IT. Great job Derek!


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