THE JASON FILES pt.2 – Warrington Gillette

When Ari Lehman made an appearance at the end of Friday the 13th, little did anyone know that his character would one day become an iconic figure of popular culture. Whilst the killer had been revealed as Mrs. Voorhees, a respectable, middle-aged woman, the focus of the subsequent sequels would shift to her son, Jason, who had supposedly died over twenty years earlier but was somehow still roaming the forests around Crystal Lake. Friday the 13th Part 2 would face many obstacles during production, the first being the lack of plausibility with having Jason taking over as the killer and continuing his mother’s gruesome work. Regardless, it would be Part 2 that would introduce Jason Voorhees as the killer, although just who would portray the role would become one of the most controversial aspects of the movie. Director Steve Miner had intended on Part 2 to be a reunion of sorts, inviting back many of the cast and crew who had worked on the first film.

For the role of Jason, Miner approached Taso N. Stavrakis, who had doubled as the killer on numerous occasions during the shooting of Friday the 13th and had assisted special effects artist Tom Savini on creating the various gruesome set pieces. Although he would later come to regret his decision, Stavrakis declined the part and Miner was forced to search for a suitable actor to play the role. As well as their previous working relationship, one of the key reasons that Miner had approached Stavrakis was due to his experience as a stuntman, with the character of Jason receiving more screen time than the killer of Friday the 13th and the role involving the use of weapons and several dangerous stunts that a normal actor would not be able to handle. Twenty year old Warrington Gillette had relocated from Maryland to New York to pursue an acting career and was a student at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Following an unsuccessful attempt to be accepted into the acclaimed Actors Studio, Gillette auditioned for the role of Paul Holt, the male lead in Friday the 13th Part 2.

Eventually losing out on the part to John Furey, who had built up his résumé on such television shows as Logan’s Run and The Waltons, Gillette was offered the role of Jason on the understanding that he could perform his own stunts. Special make-up effects artist Carl Fullerton, who had joined the project after Savini had refused to take part in a sequel, based his initial designs for Jason on what he considered the young, deformed boy from the first movie would have grown into. Undergoing a long and unpleasant application of prosthetics and fake dentures that would take approximately seven hours, Gillette was transformed into a hideous interpretation of Savini’s original design, although Jason’s features would remain obscured behind a sack for the majority of the movie. Gillette soon found that performing under heavy make-up would prove problematic and became angry and frustrated at not being able to follow directions.

During Jason’s key scene, in which he was to burst through a window and grab the heroine, Ginny Field, it soon became clear that Gillette was incapable of performing the required stunts. To achieve the effect, stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney designed a rig with a harness that would swing the actor through the glass, whilst Gillette would stand on a raised platform behind the window from which he would jump. But each time he tried to launch himself through the window he was unable to break through the fake glass and the crew were forced to set up the scene again for another take. Soon it became clear that Gillette would be unable to perform what was required and so Miner reluctantly was forced to recast the role. Due to industry politics, however, Gillette would remain listed as Jason on the credits, despite only appearing briefly at the end of the movie. The following year, Gillettte became a member of the Screen Actors Guild and, more recently, has attended horror conventions in support of his role in Friday the 13th Part 2.

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About the Author

Christian Sellers

Christian Sellers is a film critic for various horror magazines, he owns and runs horror site Dr. Gore's and music site and is the author of The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead. Email:

11 Responses to “ THE JASON FILES pt.2 – Warrington Gillette ”

  1. It’s funny how Ari Lehman and Warrington Gillette boast proudly of their “roles” as Jason, when they had very little screen time, and most people don’t even know who they are.

  2. According to Steve Dash (sackhead Jason). Gillete was appearing at conventions taking credit for playing Jason the entire movie. And until Peter Bracke was doing interviews for the Crystal Lake Memories book, Dash had no knowledge. Gillette should be happy with His scene. Its the jump scare of the film, and He has as much screentime as Ari Lehman did in part 1.

  3. This is true, Steve Dash was Jason throughout the movie, with the exception of the prologue and the unmasked scene. And I heard about Warrington Gillette signing pictures of Jason in his sack, despite it being Steve.

  4. Insightful article Christian Sellers but my only complaint about it. Is you didn’t mention how for over 20 years Gillette basicly fucked Dash over. Claiming he played Jason when Steve Dash did most of the work.

    I’m still baffled why they couldn’t just scrap the small bit Gillette did. And have Dash do over that since he was doing most of the film anyway.It’s funny how in the crystal lake to manhattan box dvd set,and his name was Jason doc. Warrington Gillette is acting all proud of the slim work he did.

    Was the reason why it didn’t work because Gillette timed it wrong,was it built wrong.Or was Gillette too scared to run through fake glass? I tell ya if I was 20 back in 1980 during the filming. I’d be dying to show off how bad ass I was. Attach me to a harness and i’ll run through any fake wall you ask me to.

  5. Heheh. Yep. I still laugh when I read about this. What a bunhead this guy is. Did he think no one would find out??? An absolute dunder-head. You would think once the conventions started for the films that the people in them would at least be honest with the fans. And wouldn’t ya know it? Thanks Warrington Gillette for giving us Friday fans our own “caught our favorite music star lip-syncing moment”. This guy SHOULD be ashamed. He couldn’t even smash through sugar-glass! I have actually been pushed through a real glass window, and aside from a few cuts I was fine. What a putz. Hats off to Steve Dash for standing up for himself, and taking credit where it was being denied. This whole incident kinda messed Part 2 up for me now. Every time I see the final scene I burst out laughing. I don’t think that was what they were going for… Just one Jason fans opinion.

  6. I have no negative opinion on the matter. He’s Jason Unmasked at the very least and the concept of him or Steve Dash turning a kid away for an auto because that technically wasn’t them is a little disheartening. Alot of people aren’t hardcore fans that look behind the curtain, they’re just normal peeps that go off the credits. Steve being screwed out of credit is where the real blame should aim. It’s not like Warrington ever answered questions about scenes he wasn’t in – heck, pre-internet has anyone ever asked him about the rest of the movie? Fangoria and other media naturally zeroed in on his scene as that’s the only time you “really” see Jason. There was a common thought that when the mask was on, it literally could have been anyone. Since the rise of the net though, we want to know everything, which is fair, but I don’t think what Warrington did was wrong – but that’s just my personal viewpoint.

  7. I didn’t want to drag the guy’s name through the dirt as the focus of the article was on his involvement in the movie, so it was intentional on my part to not mention Warrington signing pictures at events. There will be a separate article on Steve Dash so he will get his dues as well. Fans have already made their mind up on who did what on Part 2 so I’m not going to badmouth him.

  8. Friday 2 rules. I doubt that the above poster is truly Mr. Gillette, especially since he spelled the last name wrong, but if it is, don’t worry my friend. You and Steve Dash were great in the film. I would love to see a pic of all the Jason’s together!

  9. I sat near him at the “His Name Was Jason” DVD event in Burbank, CA two years ago and frankly I found him to be kinda a pompous jerk!!! He was complaining that no fans were buying his photos but the event was advertised as being for the fans with a free autograph if they bought the DVD at the store. Maybe he didn’t know that but still I didn’t get a good first impression. All the other Jasons’ (except Dash) were there btw and were awesome guys, esp Kane Hodder!!!

  10. I don’t think Warrington Gillette ever gets a fair shake of recognition for his role as Jason. The scene where Gillette plays Jason is the most memorable scene of the entire film, people!!!

  11. His name should off been removed from the titles! And the BRAVER guy should be named!!

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