Special Friday the 13th Interview: New Discussion With Adrienne King!

adriennelobbySteve De Roover of www.moviepulp.be / www.dvdinfo.be is back with an all new interview with original Final Girl, Adrienne King. Steve discusses her new part in the movie Walking Distance, her involvement in the two Friday the 13th movies, her good and bad memories of shooting her scenes on those two movies and what made her come back to acting after 28 years. Many thanks go out to Steve for his willingness to share these new interviews with fridaythe13thfilms.com and the many fans that visit our website!


Let me first congratulate you on your part in Walking Distance. I and a lot of fans are really looking forward to finally seeing you on the screen again! But how did you get started in the business of movies in the first place?
Believe it-or-not, I started acting in commercials at the tender age of 6 months old. So I laughingly respond now: it’s not like I had a lot to say about it back then! I must have enjoyed it though because I kept on working as a child model and actress on and off throughout my school years. Of course, by the tender age of 8, I was incredibly clear on what I was doing & that I was indeed enjoying it & wanted to do and learn more! I studied with some wonderful teachers as a child and gained incredible experience performing in New York City. I even landed the role of Melinda in INHERIT the WIND for the Hallmark Hall of Fame series & worked with some extraordinary actors: Ed Begley, Melvyn Douglas, Dianne Baker, Murray Hamilton…. Directed & produced by George Schaeffer: a full summer of rehearsals & taping with the best of the best in the 60’s. I was hooked for life after doing that riveting play within a television show.
How did you get involved in the first Friday the 13th?
I auditioned with every other young actor and actress in New York in the summer of 1979. Ask Sean Cunningham, the director/producer & he’ll tell you that they saw everyone! I was signed to a commercial agent at the time but you really needed (still do) a theatrical agent to get an audition with the movie’s casting directors. In this case it was the legendary Barry Moss & Julie Hughes.
I’ve always been a firm believer that if you can’t get in through the front door then try the back one & if that doesn’t work, then try the side window; and in this case a very good friend of mine, Bill Love, had a boss, who’s good friend’s girlfriend, Pat, worked in the same office as Barry Moss! We were all over the possibility of making my audition happen. It’s all about tenacity & networking! So, I got to audition for Barry, which led to an audition with Sean Cunningham which led to call-back after call-back and reading with several different potential cast members and then a screen test! I’m pretty sure I nailed it with my scream!  And the rest is history!! Incredibly, I was to become the heroine, Alice, the sole survivor of Friday the 13th!
Next year the world-famous horror franchise will celebrate its 30th anniversary. What is in your humble opinion the enduring appeal of Friday The 13th?
I think a lot of it has to do with the believability of F13 cast as “regular kids”; we were “the teenagers next door”…everyone can find someone there to relate to and the actors, well, we truly did a lot of personal work on our own back-stories because there was very little on the page itself. We developed our characters and therefore the audience cares what’s happening to them.
Friday the 13th & I  (astonishingly) have three (3) going on four (4) generations of fans now & I’ve asked a lot of my young fans; especially the ones I’m surprised are so into the original F13 because they’ve grown up with the latest technology, video games & CGI & I can’t imagine how they connect with our little movie. But they sure do & they’ll most often reply because “it’s real!” I think that says it all, doesn’t it!
Of course, Mr. Savini’s special effects seal the deal.
Betsy Palmer left me a phone message 2 weeks ago from a convention she was attending, saying “They made me watch the movie & I can’t believe how really good it was! And you, Adrienne, were wonderful and oh, my, how fabulous was our fight on the beach?…” She went on and on; astonished at how solid the movie was and how it held up & about “our” chemistry on film and the calibre of acting!
That was incredibly special to me because that’s the first time Betsy’s watched Friday the 13th on the big screen in ages and realized that it was something to be proud of. I am so happy she’s finally embracing our Friday the 13th!
You look to me a big supporter of the Jason-series. Can you explain us why?
I’m more a big supporter of the Jason-series fans than the series itself. I like 1-4 the best and then they sort of lost me. I’m eager to rejoin the ranks, though.
Were at the time of shooting the first one aware that the movie would become such a classic in the genre?
We all had this “dig-in deep & work hard” independent attitude that this movie was something special right from the beginning. There was an amazing amount of energy & talent which permeated throughout the entire cast & crew. No egos; no money, night shoots… low-budget; everyone’s there for the right reason: the passion of making a movie and it translated onto our film in this case.
You were the first (and still my all-time favourite) ‘final girl’ of the franchise. You are also one of the only actresses that appeared in two Friday The 13th instalments. How does it feel to be an important part in horror movie history? And how did you get involved in the sequel?
Thank you very much, Steve! It’s been an interesting ride… I’m getting to enjoy it now.
Well, Alice was the sole survivor… so after Friday the 13th opened May 13, 1980 as an immediate blockbuster Paramount got busy on the sequel right away.
Why did they kill off your character in the first fifteen minutes? Was this always the case or had it anything to do with the tragic happenings of your stalker?
So here’s the coolest thing…. Alice isn’t dead after all! 
The producers decided to leave it open-ended for many reasons, including my personal scenario, but it was decided that Jason was to become the villain.
Unfortunately, my stalker emerged soon after the release of F13 and slowly escalated over the next year and continued into 1982! Stalking wasn’t taken seriously by the authorities until after poor Rebecca Schaeffer’s death some years later.
It was a tough time for me so “open-ended” sounded good which means Alice could still come back! There are some clues in the top 15 minutes of Part 2 that point to it all being Alice’s “dream within a dream”. We should do a top 10 list of why Alice is still alive!
For that same tragic reason your promising career was cut-short. You are a very strong woman and get through these harsh events through your paintings. How do you look back on all these events?
Well, it definitely turned me upside down for awhile.
Fortunately, I had been blessed with two passions: my acting and my art. I had a degree in fine arts from FIT in New York & I sought refuge in my paintings. They turned dark & layered & deeper… I probably did, too. My art became my therapy. I have some of these paintings on my website. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Well, that’s the truth but it took some time.
I had an awesome career in voice-overs & looping (see my credits on my website: www.adrienneking.com) and attended the 1984 summer session at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London studying Shakespeare which probably wouldn’t have happened without this “turn of events”.
Bottom line: We’re all survivors in one way or another. And I’m so thrilled to share with you that I am, indeed, a happy camper!
Do you have some memorable stories about shooting the two Fridays?
On of my favourite memories was while the crew was setting up for the “camp counselors playing on the beach” I was sketching them from up in the lifeguard’s chair looking down on Kevin Bacon & Harry Crosby doing push-ups; pumping up for the next scene. Everyone was so happy to be there and be part of something that we were all sensing was very special. It was one of those freeze-frame moments: sunny and warm and I remember it like it was yesterday! I hope to find that sketchbook someday.
As far as Part 2 goes; it was done in one torturously long night which happened to be the last night of shooting for the entire film so the crew wanted to go home desperately. One of my least favorite memories has to be when the props-man forgot to check the “retractable” ice-pick before the scene and needless to say: it did not retract: “OW!!!”
How was it like to work with directors Sean Cunningham and Steve Miner, FX-wizard Tom Savini and your esteemed fellow cast members?
Sean was like an older brother to me; a brilliant director who knew what he wanted and did whatever he had to in order to make it happen! He encouraged his actors & knew when to leave us to our own devices. He’s the reason that Friday the 13th still holds up! We did the final canoe scene on 3 different occasions with 3 different camera set-ups over the course of the 7 weeks… the last time it was 28 degrees Fahrenheit… but he got the shot that remains engraved in each & every F13 fan for eternity!! We’re still friends to this day.
(I had limited interaction with Steve.)
The rest of the cast was amazing, especially Harry Crosby.. so charming & talented.. he’d play the guitar for us during takes AND of course, I adore Betsy… she’s finally forgiven me for her decapitation! Now she’s asked to check out my infamous limited edition Friday the 13th poster!(www.officalfridaythe13th.com with Sean Cunningham’s original “13” notes that I found in a dusty F13 box when we moved five years ago)  We refer to our final fight scene on the beach as the “Ballet of the Machete”. I’ll be sending that poster out to her soon as a belated birthday present. Betsy is proud to admit to turning 84 this past November 1st!
Tom Savini allowed me to witness his magic in his on-site studio at the camp. To this day I can’t watch a horror film without scrutinizing the special effects thanks to Tom. I saw him recently at Boston’s Rock’n’Shock convention! He’s still a blast!
There’s a 30th Anniversary Convention supposed to take place in Texas this summer: August 13th  2024…. I heard that they’re trying to get everyone from the cast/crew to appear; hope they’re able it pull it off. That would be fun to reconnect after all this time!
There’s also a show in Germany that’s trying to get a Friday the 13th reunion put together. It would be amazing to meet my European fans.
At the top of the interview I already mentioned your first acting part in 28 years in the horror flick Walking Distance. Can you shed some light on this new movie?
I’d love to! First of all, I never would’ve been interested in coming back on-screen if it hadn’t been for the encouragement from my fans. So I want thank all of you for resurrecting me from the dead. I am now officially one of the “GRATEFUL UNDEAD”.
I read so many scripts over the course of 2 years before I found something original & brilliant in the horror/sci-fi arena. I knew that my fans would never forgive me unless I came back in something phenomenal and worthwhile. WALKING DISTANCE is an independent and mind-blowing; I’ll always be a strong supporter for the indie; where passion and art prevail.
My role was originally written for a man, Lou Strack and when the writer/director Mel House offered me such a strong challenging role I asked him if he was going to change anything. He said “Just her name. You can handle the rest!” How could I say “no” after that referendum. So I’m Louise Strack and I’m back!! 
WALKING DISTANCE is about a walled community where nothing is as it seems. Everything is within walking distance. Bizarre things are happening though.  People are disappearing… strange illnesses, disfigured human spectres in the shadows. The story focuses on several people & how their lives gradually unravel as the layers of reality are slowly peeled back to reveal the dark truth that lies beneath.
The movie’s in post production. We have a great cast including Reggie Bannister (PHANTASM) and Katie Featherston from PARANORMAL ACTIVITY just happens to be one of our young co-stars so it’s very possible we may get a theatrical release! Check out the trailers on www.walkingdistancemovie.com
I’m looking forward to that one. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions and I wish you all the success in the future!
My pleasure, Steve. 
See you back at camp!

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8 Responses to “ Special Friday the 13th Interview: New Discussion With Adrienne King! ”

  1. No problem Jason and it’s my pleasure.

    Happy Friday the 13th everybody!!

    Best regards,

  2. A german F13-reunion? Okay, from time to time there are conventions over here with some F13 akumni´s (CJ Graham, Steve Dash and Ken Kirzinger where over here as far as I know). But a massive F13 reunion? That would be awesome!

  3. Curious to see if Alice could be brought back.

  4. Adrienne King herself just contacted me about a title change of Walking Distance in the foreign territories to Experimental Activity.

    Do you guys see the resemblance to Paramount’s hit Paranormal Activity?

    I do like the American title more…

  5. If it’ll be in germany is more probable that I could go there from italy….

  6. OK ALICE DIED!!!!!!!! she did in the shack there is a body with a ice pick in a skull thats alice!!!

  7. I agree ginnyfield. She was rotting with an ice pick in her temple. Alice is not coming back without a really big meal and a whole lot of plastic surgery!

  8. Interesting.

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