Hatchet II Interview Week Entry 3: Kane Hodder
Kane Hodder is man known for his ability to kill. After playing the unstoppable Jason Voorhees for four films in the legendary Friday the 13th series, Hodder has moved on to star in a number of successful and influential genre and non-genre films. Back in 2006 he returned to the woods to become the maniacal Victor Crowley in Adam Green’s homage to the slasher film, Hatchet. His large size and ability to tap into the homicidal rage that was the character’s trademark made Crowley an instant icon in fan’s minds.
After exhibiting some real acting chops in the 2010 film BTK, Kane revisited the swamp and put Crowley’s blood-stained overalls on for the unrated and controversial Hatchet II. His dual performance as Crowley’s father, Thomas, was eye-opening due to the fact that Hodder did such a credible and sympathetic job in portraying a man who’d been cursed by siring a madman.
Dark Sky Films is bringing Crowley home by releasing Hatchet II to DVD and Blu-ray. The disc – which is loaded with extras – features the complete unrated cut of the film and became available on February 1, 2011.
Dread Central spoke with Kane about his history of portraying madmen, his acting process, why he does so many horror conventions, and his plans for the future.
Dread Central: You were, of course, in the first Hatchet film. Tell me a little bit about how you met Adam.
Kane Hodder: It was through John Buechler who was instrumental in me becoming Jason. He met with Adam and talked about Hatchet and Adam said to Buechler, “Who do you think should play Victor Crowley?” Buechler said, “I think Kane Hodder.” Adam said, “Well, yeah… great! But I don’t know how to get ahold of him,” and Buechler said, “I do.”
DC: For the role of Crowley’s father, did you have to go through an audition process and a reading, or was it just a given that you would do it?
KH: Actually, once I talked to Adam about playing Victor, I told him that I really wanted to do something outside of makeup where I could show some emotion because nobody had given me that opportunity. As far as I can remember, I think he wrote the part because of what we talked about. I’m not sure if it was in his original idea until we talked, but… either way, there was no auditioning process. He just said, “Yeah, you’ll play Victor’s dad and I’ll let you do a little crying scene,” because I had wanted to do something like that for a long time and couldn’t get the opportunity. So Adam did it and suddenly it opened all kinds of doors for me and that was great.
DC: You did such a great job in BTK. Were you gratified by people’s response to that performance?
KH: Oh, yeah! It was fantastic! Feifer also let me play Ed Gein before BTK. Of course, he got a lot of flack because Ed Gein wasn’t the same size as me and all of that. People had a problem with it, but once they saw the movie, they said, “I guess that was all right.” Ed Gein was a character where, if you know the story, everybody thought it was weird. So I had to play weird the entire movie. Then BTK came along and Feifer said, “Look, I want you to play this guy now.” That was a much more challenging role because in half of the movie I had to be likable because so many people liked the real Dennis Rader. He was a church president and a Boy Scout leader and all of that stuff. It was interesting to play half the movie likable and half the movie murderously violent.
DC: When you got involved doing stunts, was it a kind of thing where you grew up wanting to be a stuntman or was doing stunts a way to get in there with the ultimate goal of being an actor?
KH: I went into the business with the sole intent of being a stuntman. I just loved it and started thinking about it seriously in high school. Then, while I was in college, I went to LA and really pursued it. My intent was to be a working stuntman and a stunt coordinator eventually, never even dreaming that I would be known for anything, really. I just thought I’d be a well-respected stuntman. But how many stuntmen do you know by name? Not many. I just wanted to do it. I loved the idea of doing stunts for a living. I just got lucky when the Jason part came along and, all of a sudden, I was known for something.
As I progressed in stunts, I started playing small parts because they would cast stunt guys in small roles, which makes sense. If a person has to do a stunt, why cast an actor to deliver one line and then have to hire a stuntman to double him for the stunt? Why not just get a stunt guy who can act a little bit? I started playing little minor characters and then thought, “You know, this is a lot of fun to do.” [laughs] I’ve never had any acting class or anything like that in my life. I didn’t really intend on doing that but kind of just progressed to that as I realized I like acting as well. The ideal thing for me now is to have a nice leading acting role with a lot of stunts in it. [laughs]
DC: You brought up doing Jason… I know you had a lot of input into the Jason mythos, the things you thought the character would do and things the character wouldn’t do. Did that same sort of thing carry over onto Hatchet?
KH: Not as much because this was a character that I was originating and it was a character that Adam had in his mind since he was a little kid. So, between the two of us, we decided what kind of actions and mannerisms that Victor would have.
DC: I understand that a lot of people fell ill during Hatchet II’s production schedule.
KH: I didn’t. I was lucky. I was one of the survivors. Considering how rundown and exhausted I got because of working in the makeup and everything, I was surprised I didn’t get sick since so many other people did.
DC: You obviously get along with Adam, and over the years you’ve worked with a lot of directors, but how was he as a director?
KH: I’ve said before that I think Adam is one of the most talented writer/directors, with the experience he had at the time, that I’ve ever worked with. I consider Hatchet his first real movie, and as prepared and good as he was on that, it was incredible. I’ve never experienced that before, someone with that level of ability and knowledge. I know he had done a couple of other things before, but with a real budget, he’s the most talented directors I’ve ever worked with. And an incredible writer as well. Obviously, with Frozen and all those other things.