Jason Lives! He also speaks! Interview with CJ Graham
Last year at Spooky Empire, the premier horror convention in Florida, we got the chance to speak with CJ Graham the man behind the mask of Jason Voorhees in “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives”. We asked about how he got the part, the challenges of playing such an iconic character, and the legacy of Jason and the Friday series as a whole.
OG: How did you get the part of Jason?
CJ: Luck and physicality. While working a nightclub in LA I ended up meeting the people behind the special effects house Reel Effects and they were looking for someone physically intimidating for an upcoming part, which turned out to be Jason.
OG: What was it like wearing the makeup?
CJ: Well when Kane (Hodder) did parts 7 through 10, you could do a lot more with the makeup effects as the MPAA started to get looser over time. More scars, gore, and stuff like that. When I did it I had to do a lot more physically since we could rely on the makeup less.
OG: What was your favorite moment or scene while filming?
CJ: The very first scene. The POV shot of Jason walking was the highlight of the whole film for me. It is very empowering. Anybody who puts on that mask feels instantly empowered and gives you the inner and outer strength to play the character.
OG: What was the hardest scene for you to do?
CJ: The underwater scene. I was 20 feet underwater in an Olympic sized swimming pool for 10 to 20 hours and breathing through a regulator and it was very cold.
OG: What are your thoughts on the legacy of Jason and the Friday franchise as a whole?
CJ: Being a part of something that is so iconic is great. But it is different from something like if you show a picture of somebody like Tom Cruise to someone anywhere in the world they know who he is. They don’t know who CJ Graham is, but they know who Jason is. Being a part of something so iconic known the world over is a great feeling.
A big thank you to CJ for taking the time to speak with us! You can find his latest work in the Friday the 13th fan film entitled “Vengeance” in which CJ plays the role of Elias Voorhees, Jason’s father!