Warrington Gillette, the man behind the mask (or I guess really the sack) in Friday the 13th Part 2 was the first Jason to register a kill for the enormously successful franchise. He left acting behind, and well before Jason took Manhattan this Jason took Wall Street. After a successful run on Wall Street he is back on the scene enjoying meeting his fans and working on developing his own new horror film, Bloody Social. I sat down with him for lunch on the beautiful beach of Santa Monica to see what Jason number two has been up to.
Sean Clark: When did you first realize that you had this huge fan following?
Warrington Gillette: When Tony Timpone of Fangoria magazine contacted me to participate in the Chiller Theater / Fangoria Convention that was held at the Meadowlands back in January.
SC: How shocked were you that there were all of these fans who wanted to meet you? You had no clue?
WG: No clue. I had no clue. I brought my son with me to the Meadowlands in New Jersey and there were just people lined up to not only get your autograph but to pay you for your autograph. I originally said that I didn’t want to take their money and I’d sign, but there were people who wanted pictures, they wanted this and that. People told me that when they saw my name on the guest list that they flew in just to meet me. I couldn’t believe it. I went for three days and I was overwhelmed that I had fans. It made me feel good. (Laughs)
SC: So how does it feel to have your own doll coming out from Sideshow Toys, a mask from Bump in the Night Productions, t-shirts…
WG: I’m shocked. I can’t believe it. But you know it has taught me a lesson that people go back to basics and they really appreciate the reality of a horror film made in the eighties that had some basic scare elements to it that the new ones of don’t have. There are people viewing it today for the very first time and they are becoming fans. Then they e-mail and tell you that it was the best role of Jason of all of them which then compels them to get the mask and buy the doll etc.
SC: How did you get involved with Chuck and Bump in the Night Productions to do the mask?
WG: They contacted me and then met me at the Chiller Convention. I was very happy to do it. So now we have a website that is up and the fans can buy all this different stuff.
SC: Were you able to keep anything from the film, any props or mementos that you held on to?
WG: The only thing that I managed to keep throughout the years was the original script. I had a house in Malibu at the time and we had a fire and it burnt up some of the original clothing, the original dentures they made. The only thing I was able to keep was the script and some original pictures, slides from Paramount.
SC: What was your involvement with the DVD box set?
WG: They filmed us at a set back in January where they did an interview. Then I did another interview at the San Diego Comic-Con that they did for ‘E’ Entertainment, so other than that I’ve had nothing to do with the DVDs.
SC: They didn’t ask you to participate in any audio commentary?
WG: No they did not.
SC: Have you seen all of the Friday the 13th films?
WG: (Laughs) No I have not. You know the fact that I wasn’t used for part three and part four, part five and so on. I got mad and didn’t watch them. (Laughs)
SC: So you’ve never seen any past part two?
WG: I’ve started to now because of all of the excitement and all of the events and stuff. Now I got to go back and watch them all.
SC: So your waiting for the DVD box set too then I guess?
WG: (Laughs) Yeah right.
SC: So I assume you don’t have much of an opinion of the other actors who have played the role of Jason then?
WG: No, but now that I have gotten to know them all now I really have to go watch them all. It really hasn’t been my thing you know this type of slasher craze…
SC: Well are you a horror fan at all?
WG: Well I am kind of now because I am a part of the business, a part of this big successful franchise.
SC: Did you know how successful the franchise had become beyond the picture you made?
WG: I knew as it was evolving through out the years. Every time another movie would come out I just couldn’t believe it. Part four, part five, part six, part seven…there is no end to this. There’s no stopping this series. Then with Freddy vs. Jason now they are matching horror icons against each other and they are doing the same thing in the sci-fi world with Alien vs. Predator. It’s unbelievable.
SC: Do you have a favorite horror film?
WG: I guess my favorite was the one I was involved in because it became a part of my life. But growing up as a kid I was scared to death of The Fly, the original Vincent Price one. I was also scared of all of the Alfred Hitchcock movies like Psycho.
SC: So what do you know about this Jason reality show that Ari Lehman has been talking about? Do you know anything about that?
WG: I don’t know but he did tell me a little bit about the idea and it sounded pretty crazy. All of the actors who played Jason living together in a house in Malibu and systematically going out on the beach and killing people. (Laughs)
SC: You know I think it would be interesting if it were real. I said this to Ari as well that instead of making it a scripted set-up that if you put all of the actors that played Jason in the same house and forced them to live together that could be pretty interesting. (Laughs)
WG: (Laughs) Oh Lord! You know I think anything is possible. It’s an idea. I mean you have Paris Hilton and the other girl milking cows and now there is this other show with her mother teaching people how to be a socialite in New York. I certainly think a house full of Jason’s is more interesting than campy Hilton showing you how to be a socialite.
SC: Are you happy that your portrayal of Jason had his own unique look or would you have rather worn the famous hockey mask too?
WG: No, I’m happy that I did something different.
SC: You like the sack?
WG: I like the sack and I liked the fact that he had this distorted mongoloid face.
SC: That sort of inbred hillbilly look?
WG: Yeah I was pretty unique as apposed to just another Jason in a hockey mask.
SC: Also all of the other Jason’s had the same sort of uniform wardrobe where yours had the overalls.
WG: It was a unique style and the first Jason that killed people.
SC: Would you ever like to play the character again if given the opportunity?
WG: Sure, but hopefully he’ll have some lines though.(Laughs)
SC: Were you ever contacted to reprise your role for part three or did you not even know it was being made?
WG: I didn’t even know it was being made. I was going on with my career and getting parts in other stuff and they went on. But you know I understand because that character got bigger, meaner and stronger. If you put me next to Kane Hodder I think he’s more suited for the part.
SC: Were you surprised when you heard they were making another film and it was in 3-D?
WG: Yeah, unbelievable. I have to say that the first one that I did see. I had a date and she asked me if I wanted to go see Friday the 13th. The first one was very scary when he came out of the water.
SC: Some people have said that your stunt double Steve Daskawisz played Jason in some significant scenes. What scenes did he actually perform?
WG: I can’t remember. I know there was some special effects work that Carl Fullerton and Steve Miner said that they wanted to do. They didn’t pay to have me on the set so I wasn’t there to see that.
SC: When was the last time you actually saw the movie?
WG: About a few years ago.
SC: Do you notice scenes with Jason that you did not perform?
SC: Were there many? I guess what I am getting at is what scenes didn’t you perform?
WG: Some of the kill scenes to my knowledge were performed by Steve Miner and Carl Fullerton. They didn’t want the expense of having me on set. Like the scene impaling the couple on the bed.
SC: Because you don’t really see who is doing that.
WG: Exactly you only really see someone’s hands doing that and they didn’t want to have to pay to have me on the set to do that. So I’m not sure whose hands those were and there were a couple of other scenes like that too. I was always under the assumption that it was the special effects people doing that.
SC: Well I know you had said that you performed the stunt of going through the window to attack Amy Steel correct?
WG: Yeah that was my big stunt.
SC: So that was all you?
WG: Oh hell yeah. That was my major stunt of the whole movie. The first time I tried to go through it didn’t break. They were supposed to score the boards so when you hit it you had to be on the outside coming in. They built this platform out there and you took a few steps and hit in. Now keep in mind with one eye covered up you really loose your depth perception so it’s hard to know how close you are and when to jump, when to break. So then I hit it and it didn’t break.
SC: Did you get injured?
WG: Not really but I was bleeding from the fake glass cutting me.
SC: Did they let you see Amy before you shot the scene coming through the window for the big reveal of Jason’s face?
SC: So when you came through was the first time she had seen it?
WG: Yeah. She may have caught a glimpse of me in the make-up chair since it was an eight-hour make-up job.
SC: So what are you up to now?
WG: Well I am working on a film called Bloody Social. The idea came about when I was doing the Fangoria convention. I had been thinking about it before but not on any serious level. The fans started asking me if I was working on any new films so I began developing this horror thriller based in Palm Beach Florida. My father had an unexpected death on the thirteenth, of all days, of May 2002. After observing all of the events following the death it appears that his wife, my stepmother, may have killed him. So then we started developing a concept that was based on these true-life events. The character of Jason was taking revenge for the death of his mother. Well now in real life one of the actors who played Jason is taking revenge for the death of his father. We developed this into a treatment and the script is currently being written. We have studio interest in this project and I believe the fans that have been so excited by the idea can help turn this into a new successful horror franchise.
SC: You have a website for this correct?
WG: Yes it is BloodySocial.com. We have also given the fans an opportunity to be directly involved with the project. They can be in the film and all they have to do is become a member of the Bloody Social club. I think it’s very exciting that the fans can help Jason get revenge and own a piece of the film. I think that’s incredible. I have also spoken to several other genre actors & actresses who want to be involved with the project and I think the fans will absolutely flip when they see who we have lined up for this film. I’m hoping that it could be a major hit that will be something meaningful for the fans. And I’m hoping that can serve as a catalyst to get me back in the business after my ten-year stint terrorizing Wall Street. (Laughs) But now I’m back!