Interview: Debi Sue Voorhees (Tina, ‘A New Beginning’)

A few weeks ago our visitors had the opportunity to submit questions that could be included in an interview with the beautiful Debi Sue Voorhees. Her character in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning has always been one of the favorites of the fans of the series. Even though the reasons behind her character’s popularity may not exactly have to do with the character arc given to her, Debi still finds the attention given to her role endearing after all of these years.

Below, Debi discusses her experiences having to deal with her history in Friday the 13th and how that affected her professional life. She also talks about her passion for literature and her new film, which she is directing! Make sure to check out her Facebook account as well as the Facebook and Twitter account for her new film at the end of the interview. Big thanks go to Skarymoviez  for conducting the interview, our visitors for submitting questions and Debi Sue Voorhees for taking the time to answer all of our questions!


1. Let’s go back to the beginning a bit. Tell us how you got started in the business. What made you want to choose a career in acting?

Simply put, I had dreams of being famous, walking down Hollywood Boulevard and seeing my star and hand prints.   

2. You appeared in quite a few episodes of Dallas. That must have been quite a great experience working with all of those celebrities. What was it like working on the series?

Working on the Dallas film set was a blast. Not only did I perform in 7 episodes I also worked as a stand in behind the scenes. Larry Hagman used to sing: DebiSue, I love you… to the tune of Peggy Sue when I walked on set. This was my first glimpse into Hollywood.

3. After Dallas you appeared in Friday The 13th part 5: A New Beginning. What was the audition process like?

I came back to read two or three times. Danny Steinnman wanted me to play the role, but the producer, who hadn’t seen me yet, had chosen someone else. The two went back-and-forth until Danny won.

4. I remember reading about how you were up against John Robert Dixon’s girlfriend for the role of Tina and that there was some conflict between you and her because of the nudity and the sex scene. What do you think you did differently than her to win your role?

Basically, I understood that when Tina told her beau “Fuck you” she was flirting, not angry.

5. Being that you share the last name of the infamous killer Jason Voorhees, do you think that helped you secure your role in the franchise?

It certainly helped me get the interview. That was one of the first things the casting agent mentioned when I came in. “We knew the second we saw that name we had to audition you.”

6. Was there any chemistry between you and John Robert Dixon who played Eddie? He was really good looking and appealing. Since you were shown in all your glory, should John had been shown in all of his? After all, fair is fair!

No chemistry at all, but I don’t know how anyone can feel chemistry on the set. So much is going on, cuts and retakes, move this arm, tilt your head this way. Far too restrictive for chemistry; besides we kissed so much my lips and jaw hurt. I didn’t want to kiss anyone for two weeks.

7. Do you regret all of the nudity you did for your role, or even the role in general now that you look back on it?

Regrets aren’t healthy. I have had some tough times because of that decision, such as being judged unfairly and not being allowed to teach (one of my passions) in high school. I taught British Literature, English, grammar, and journalism in high school for four years. Two school boards exiled me because of it. At one school, some boys got a hold of the tit shots from the film and text messaged them around the school. This was three weeks before my seniors graduated and I wasn’t allowed to stay through the end or sit with my students and fellow teachers at graduation. I still went to graduation and sat in the stands with the public. When the public was allowed to go down to congratulate the kids, I held my head high and tried to find as many of my seniors as possible to congratulate them. That was hurtful, but after only four years I have so many students who have let me know I have made a difference for them. I have so many e-mails and letters that warm my heart. Several of my kids signed a petition on my behalf, wrote letters, and spoke with the principal on my behalf–even several months after there was no hope of my returning. One of my boys gave me a huge hug at graduation and told me how sorry he was. “You have no idea how guilty I feel. You’ve taught me so much and helped me so much.” That meant the world to me. I do not regret the times in my life that have made me who I am. So many live a life of “quiet desperation.” My life has been anything but that. I’ve gone from working as an actress to writing as a journalist for 16 years (last 11 years at the Dallas Morning News) as well as writing fictional screenplays and my novel Memoirs of a Hit Man, to experiencing the joy and pain of teaching teenagers, to coming full-circle back to the film business. So, absolutely, no regrets.

8. At the time, the movie was called “Repetition”. Would you have done the film if you had known it was a sequel to another Friday The 13th?

Actually, I knew it was a Friday the 13th sequel. So, of course, yes I would have.

9. Did you see any of the previous Friday The 13th films?

I’m just too big of a chicken to watch scary movies.

10. Is there anything that you would have changed? More importantly, would you do the same role today if given the chance?

I can’t change the past, so speculating different choices smacks too close to regret.  So, no changes.

11. It was said that Danny Steinnman had shot your sex scene with John in a very graphic way. Most of it had ended up on the cutting room floor. Were you aware of Danny’s background in the porn industry during the production? Do you have any resentment for Danny shooting the scene so long and with such a gratuitous amount of sex?

Rumors are a funny thing. Rarely, do they speak of truth. No the sex scene with John was not shot in a graphic way. It was all make-believe. Danny is a fabulous man—always kind, considerate and always careful that I was covered as well as possible. No I didn’t know about his background in the porn industry, but that would not have changed my thoughts about him. I’ve been judged too much for my past to judge others for their past. In fact, I hope to be able to tell him that I’m directing my first film. I know he’ll be proud of me. He always saw me as more than boobs and legs.

12. Set up your death scene for us. What was the makeup process like for you? Was there anything else shot for your death that didn’t make the final cut or any other scenes that you did that also didn’t make it into the finished product?

All my scenes made it to the final cut. The makeup took forever. The hardest part was when I could no longer see and had to be lead around on set. The fake blood burned my eyes.

13. It must seem strange watching yourself die on screen. What’s it like to see yourself get butchered in such a successful horror movie franchise?

It really didn’t bother me–probably because I was there during the whole process, but my mom took to bed for three days. It traumatized her.
 
14. What was the atmosphere like behind the scenes? Any wild and crazy stories?

We just had a lot of silly moments joking about the “dead” walking around and standing in the lunch line or laughing at the dead chatting with Jason.

15. In the Crystal Lake Memories book by Peter Bracke, Dominick Brascia (Joey) mentions that at first you and he unfortunately had quite a bit of personality conflicts. John Shepard was of course mostly all “Method Acting” throughout the whole shoot and you apparently came to his aide one day when Dominick was being particular obnoxious to him, demanding that he talk and simply “get over that”. He does go on to mention that “from that point on, she was much cooler to me”. What was the particular basis of that on set argument, if you care to divulge that particular information, and are there any hard feelings there that you can remember?

Honestly, I don’t remember that. But we all forget most of the thousands of moments we’ve lived. I just remember that everyone was fun to hang out with on set. I’m not surprised I stood up for John; giving others a hard time isn’t necessary. I liked Dominick, though. He was cool. 


16. Do you keep in contact with any of the other cast members today?

I didn’t know where anyone was until a couple years ago when I attended my first Horror convention. Now I do keep up with a couple cast members on Face book. It was really nice to see them. Everyone has grown into neat individuals.

17. You mention that you were at one point a Playboy Bunny. What was that experience like for you? Did you get to meet Hugh Hefner during this time?

Life in the bunny suit was certainly different. We walked into the club as the girl next door and when we donned the tail and ears we became celebrities. Yes, I met Hugh and went to his L.A. mansion. It was a fantasy that if filmed wouldn’t seem real.

18. After a while, you decided to give up the acting career. What was it that finally made you walk away from it?

Honestly, my biggest desire was to go to college and get my education. I graduated at the top of my class with a journalism degree. That’s an accomplishment that I’m very proud of.

19. Do you think you’d ever give acting a shot again, especially in the horror genre?

I leave all possibilities open. Hey I’ve had my throat slashed, my eyes gouged out, and chest stabbed. I figure I have six more lives to kill.

20. You also went back to school to become a journalist and a writer. Do you find yourself more creative freedom to write, or does acting allow you to express yourself more?

Writing is by far my most creative medium. I have a passion for words. Sit me in a room with paper, pen, a dictionary and I’m content. The other day I was heading to a test shoot for my film Billy Shakespeare that I’m directing and I stopped in this completely out of the way antique shop. It had an encyclopedia-size British Oxford Dictionary set—probably 12 large books in the volume. I was drooling. I sooooo wanted to sit down and just play in the books. I have some great books on word origins and such but that has to be the “granddaddy” of them all. Ultimately, I am a big nerd.

21. Most recently you completed your first novel, Memoirs Of A Hit Man and composed a comic memoir titled Diary of a Mad School Teacher. Tell us a little about these projects and how they came to fruition.

I have put Diary of a Mad School Teacher down to direct my film, Billy Shakespeare. Currently, it’s not complete. I started writing “Diary” to tell about my bizarre experiences teaching. Nothing like teaching misplaced modifiers while your tits are being texted messaged around the class. Yes, I kept my cool. Still teaching high school can rival anything I’ve seen on Hollywood Boulevard such as being accused of being a Satanist and having preachers speak out against me for teaching the classic epic poem Dante’s Inferno, which speaks out for the separation of church and state—hundreds of years before that ideal came to fruition in the U.S. 
The fictional assassin in Memoirs of a Hit Man is a composite character created from three former assassins I have interviewed as a journalist. The story is about one man’s search for his soul and redemption, as well as one man’s connection to his displayed son and grandson—not so much a shoot ‘em up mystery. 

22. In the last 4 years you have taught English, journalism, grammar and punctuation to high school students in Texas and New Mexico. Do any of your students recognize you from your acting days? If so, how do you handle it when they bring up your role in Friday The 13th part 5?

Oh, yes. It became a huge scandal in both towns. I was the girl with the Scarlett Letter. Two school boards kicked me out because of a film that happened almost 30 years ago. It goes back to judging others without really knowing them.

23. You’ve also recently completed your screenplay for Billy Shakespeare. Give us some background on the story and how it came about.

If Shakespeare were alive I’d be his groupy. While studying his works, I fell so in love with his language that I knew I wanted to write something where I could play with his language and the language of the Elizabethan era. Before long I created Billy, a modern reimaging of what the Bard would be like in modern times. For the script I have woven historical facts and events from his plays to create the modern Billy Shakespeare. This comedy of errors asks: What if Shakespeare never lived in the 1600s? What if he were here today in Hollywood peddling his screenplays?

24. Aside from writing the screenplay and producing it, what roles will you be taking on for this movie? Will we be seeing any cameos from you?

I’m directing the film as well. Yes, I do plan on making two cameo appearances. I plan on disguising myself and seeing which of my fans can find me. Sorta like Where’s Waldo?

25. It’s slated for a release date of January 7th, 2011. You must be working very hard to get everything finished in time. What’s the process like for you as a writer and producer versus being an actress in film?

My favorite role right now is working as the film’s director. As a director I get to make all the final creative decisions. I get to work with artists of all types: set designers, cinematographers, make-up artists, actors, etc… It’s like having a playground filled with friends who want to play my favorite game and want to play by my rules. Yep! Pretty cool. Only my friends/crew/cast want to help me create my comic vision.

26. Any final thoughts or words of wisdom to the fans out there reading this?

Everyone gets beat up in this world. Trust me. No exceptions. No, that pretty girl doesn’t have it made; nor does that rich guy. All get knocked around. The strongest do not hit back with force but stand up against the enemy by simply refusing to allow the enemy’s behavior to control your emotions. Staying positive in a sea of venom isn’t always possible, but find your way back to that place as soon as possible. Anger eats away at the one who is angry, not at the enemy.

I’d like to thank you very much for taking the time to answer the questions. It is a real honor to hear from you! We wish you the best of success in your current and future endeavors! 


OFFICIAL DEBORAH VOORHEES FACEBOOK GROUP:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.html?gid=145543725469927&ref=ts

OFFICIAL BILLY SHAKESPEARE TWITTER ACCOUNT:

http://twitter.com/ShakespeareFilm

OFFICIAL BILLY SHAKESPEARE FACEBOOK GROUP:

 http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.html?gid=138653299491637&ref=ts

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20 Responses to “ Interview: Debi Sue Voorhees (Tina, ‘A New Beginning’) ”

  1. Interview: Debi Sue Voorhees (Tina, 'A New Beginning')…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Cool interview! To bad some students would do that to her! I would have loved to have been in her class as a student. Keep moving forward Debi Sue!!

  3. Great interview! She seems like a really great person. So sorry the role affected her future, as in her teaching position. That just sucks!

  4. Very cool interview, and well worth the full month and a half wait from that tmie ago until today. And very cool one of my queations–about what Mr. Brascia said in the CLMs book–was asked and answered! You are too cool, Ms. Voorhees! (for some reason though, since I so associate that surname with the Jason character its still SO playfully strange to call a real life person that, sort of like Myers or Kruger; please don’t ask me why *lol*)

    And I agree it’s terrible what the students in both the states of west Texas and New Mexico complained that she was breifly in a small/supporting role in a lower budget even for it’s time exploitation/Slasher film with some modest nudity. I feel we need to stop judging others in our often purtanical society and try to be a little more open-minded. In the CLMs book, Jerry Pavlon became a teacher as well in upstate New York, and he mentions that his students went on the internet and “hit the jackpot” but because he didn’t have a more exploitative death sequence or nudity required, he didn’t have a rouch time at all and no real controversary came from it. I’m sorry but we all need to start being more open-minded in our society. She never should have been fired from her then job(s), and I’m now going to look more into that online. I’m sorry, but it’s just not right.

    Reguardless with that little mini run-on rant aside, a big thanks once again to Ms. Voorhees for answering hte myrid of questions we all asked. Very cool that one of mine got asked & answered, once again. I tried my best to be original. Stay cool Ms. Voorhees! ;)

  5. did she really say tit shot?

  6. Great Interview. Debi Sue is one of my favorite actresses from the friday the 13th films.She sounds like a very creative and talented lady. Sorry she had so much trouble at her teaching position, to bad she was judged based on the film but it seems there are alot of closed minded people in the world and I don’t see where that will ever change.
    Keep your chin up Ms.Voorhees. All my best to you (:

  7. Yes, I really said tit shot. Dan didn’t edit my responses at all. Thanks for your thoughtful questions. For years I had always tried to respond to letters from my fans. That is until the last four years. I have felt the need to hide because of working in the public school system. I loved working with teens and I didn’t want to get fired. It feels good to not have to hide any more. I’m still working at trying to put up my website for the film I have written and am directing, Billy Shakespeare. I could use some help Dan (hint, hint). Dan has been awesome. For his publicity work for me he has earned film credit. If you know anyone interested in investing in Billy Shakespeare send them my way. All investors receive film credit as a producer. We only have 30 shares left. $2000 equals a share. You can reach me at [email protected].

    And thanks again for your kindness. It’s always nice to be around those who do not judge. The truth is my life has been a fabulous adventure. I’m 49 now and have no intention on stopping that adventure. We’re going to take the film and its musical score band on the road like an old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll show. It should be a blast. Hopefully, we’ll get through your town, too.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Deborah! You did a great job answering the questions. It’s always nice to get real answers instead of just yes, no, and small snippets of information. Good luck with your film, and please keep us updated if you want to stop by again.

    Take Care!

  9. Hey, Deborah. I found a site where you can build websites relatively easily. It’s what I’m using for my business site. I’ll see what I can do for ya! ;)

  10. It’s really stupid how they fire Debi Sue from the school that she worked at, just because she was nude in a movie. It’s called a job and nobody should judge her for that.

  11. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Johnny Williams and Johnny Williams, Jason Parker. Jason Parker said: Interview: Debi Sue Voorhees (Tina, ‘A New Beginning’) http://fridaythe13thfilms.com/blog/interview-debi-sue-voorhees-tina-a-new-beginning/ [...]

  12. Once again a very big and special thanks for dropping by and even giving out your e-mail address, Ms. Voorhees. That is very kind & considerate of you, and I agree: It’s beyond wrong that you were fired from two jobs consecutively right in a row just because you were in an R-rated movie made right here in the same country where many of us live & work, and because the sub-genre of the movie does often indeed have certain requirements, several close-minded others saw fit to terminate you from your good that you take much more greater pleasure in then they probably ever chould. Proves our country isn’t so great as many might come to think it is and that were not as free to do whatever we want in this society. Just somethin’ to think about.

    That is okay. I am a firm believer in traditional psychic Karma, and those who are truely rotten for many years–just as those who fired you–will one day come to realise, with all due respect to use a certain phrase in front of a nice lady such as yourself, that Karma is a Real Bitch once she comes back to ya three-fold. So just they wait it out a few more years, and will see how happy THEY end up in life for being so purtanical and passing judgment when they’re probably no saints themselves outside of they’re rofessional lives and behind closed doors. Plus, we all watch R-rated entertainment and art. So it’s so silly when all is said & done.

    But also I wanted to ask: Is there a possible mailing list or something we can e-mail for a chain link letter to let us know once your books shall be ready to pre-order on Amazon and the like? By the way: as someone who is only 27 and with several novel and script ideas and looking to stop my current profession to fellow a dream, I have several questions about becoming a stay-at-home Author. As was wondering if it is okay to e-mail them on out to you? A big thanks once again in advance, Ms. Voorhees. :)

  13. God I love Her nude scene, one of the best in the franchise.

  14. Probably the best places to follow me will be on my facebook, either my personal or my film facebook account. Type in Billy Shakespeare the group movie. that should get you to the spot. Also I am just now building a website for the film through Go Daddy. It should be running fairly soon. billyshakespearethemovie.com and billyshakespearethemovie.net.

    See you in the movies.

  15. Big thanks for replying to my latest e-mail, Ms. Voorhees. ;) You are beyond a sweet & down to Earth person.

    I just typed in billyshakespearethemovie.com and I shall bookmark it for future up-dates as I am always very interesting with both original movies these days as well as with any past Friday alumni make any more films. The whole premise of the film sounds just too cool to pass up, so I’ll be there on the first day in a theater whenever I can make it. :)

    @JB Demented

    Very amusing & interesting responce. Sort of straight to the point and unique (to say the least), isn’t it? ;) *lol*

  16. hey deb.
    if they remade friday the 13th part V,
    who would you like to see play your part??

  17. Greatest breasts I’ve ever seen in my life and I’ve been watching porn daily since age 4.

  18. check out 102.3 in Lincoln County NM at 10 a.m. mountain time. i’ll be talking on Jamie Estes’ business show about Billy Shakespeare and how this project is the beginning of a “boot-strap” film industry in Lincoln County to improve the area’s economic growth.

    To help finance the film I’m selling limited edition Billy Shakespeare posters with autographs from the lead cast members for $50 (only 200 will be sold). This will go toward feeding the crew/cast and paying for small expenses. Lastly, if anyone wants to become a producer on the film, shares start as little as $2000 and have ample opportunity for profits. Only 44 total will be sold and I only have 30 left. Sorry that this is such a sales pitch, but I thought it would be nice to involve my fans. Take care and thanks for your sweet notes.

  19. I would so go on a date with that chick. She is so hot and awesome!

  20. Hi guys. Please help me out. The film I wrote and directed, Billy Shakespeare, has just moved into post production (editing, which takes about 3 times as long as filming). Please help us raise funds by asking all your friends to join our Facebook website. We’re at Billy Shakespeare the movie group.

    Deborah Voorhees

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