Betsy Palmer in ‘Friday the 13th’-Courtesy of Paramount
1428: Yeah I think a lot of people sometime don’t think about the level of empathy the original (Friday the 13th) has. From why Pamela is killing, to Jason being a mongoloid, empathy is a big part of why the film works.
AL: Exactly, it’s like a reverse ‘Psycho’ in a lot of ways. Where in Hitchcock’s film, it’s the son imagining the mom being there when she’s not. In ‘Friday the 13th’, it’s the mother imagining her son being there. But then, when they added on the ending, it’s no longer the reverse. It’s like two movies in one!
1428: So we have time for one more question and this is the one I’ve been looking forward to asking you the most. So when ‘Friday the 13th’ basically took over popular culture in the ’80s, I imagine you assumed your everyday life after the film came out. Can you talk about being know as Jason and what that may have done to your social life?
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AL: Well during that time, horror wasn’t mainstream and accepted. I mean nowhere near how it is today. ‘The Exorcist’ had come out and there were actually a lot of people who were dead set against horror. I didn’t really tell anybody, so nobody really knew. In fact, it wasn’t until Part III (3D) that people started to pick up on the fact that I was young Jason. That’s when I’d hear “Ch..ch..ch” all the time in school. I’d say “What..what are you doing?”and they’d say “What? Are you not little Jason Voorhees?” Then I’d say “Well yeah, that was me.” and they would say “Alright then. Ch…ch…ch.”
1428: Haha that’s amazing. So they were accepting of it? Because kids can be mean. And something like being in a huge horror film may make some kids be kind of an ass to you.
AL: Naw, they weren’t jealous. I mean some would kind of tease me, but mostly they thought it was really cool. I did say I was Jason in the film to a little girl, and I was hoping she would think it cool, but she said “You were the little boy!? Ewwwwww” But now it’s kinda cool.
1428: So now we’ve ended our conversation, I just wanted to know If there is anything you’re doing now that you’d like fans to know about? I know you’re a working musician now.
AL: Yeah, totally. First Jason, which you can visit at FirstJason.com, has a recently released album out. It’s called ‘To Be A Monster’ and will be released this coming May. You can find it on Spotify and also find us Facebook, as well as Twitter.
1428: Sounds awesome man. Take care.
I don’t know about you, but that was killer! While the first part of our interview with Ari Lehman is freaking fantastic, the second part is even better. With great information on one of the most beloved horror franchises in existence, Friday the 13th, we had a blast. We hope you had one too.
If you enjoyed our interview with “First Jason” Ari Lehman, make sure you check out his amazing band and their newest album, ‘To Be A Monster.’ As for the site, we continue to give you some of the best horror coverage on the net. As our staff expands, expect even more content and fresher voices at your one stop shop for everything spooky, 1428 Elm!
So, how much did you enjoy our interview with Friday the 13th legend Ari Lehman?