What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than by catching up with the first ever Jason Voorhees from the 1980 slasher classic. Ari Lehman may have only had a few seconds of screen time, but they were the most important seeing that they established our image of the masked killer for the rest of the series. Let’s be honest. The scene where Jason comes out of the water and grabs Adrienne King was more startling and shocking than any of the actual butcherings Mrs. Voorhees committed in the film.
I had the opportunity of interviewing Ari about whether he would be up to the challenge of playing Jason again and what he would want in a sequel if that were to happen. It’s a fun bit of wishful thinking from a fan that sees Mr. Lehman as the child actor who gave us our first and most frightening appearance of the Jason Voorhees before he donned his trademark hockey mask. He also shared his optimistic opinion of where the next installment in the franchise is heading with Director David Bruckner at the helm.
If you had the opportunity to play Jason Voorhees again in a new “Friday the 13th” movie, would you?
Of course, being an adventurous character actor, I would be willing to take on the challenge. However I am probably not the right height, being 5' 9", unless they developed special boots! Also, I am not the right age to play Young Jason anymore. Crazy Ralph is a better choice for me. The film I was in the protagonist was brilliantly played by Betsy Palmer. Perhaps there are other members of the Voorhees family that I could play, too. Maybe Jason's Father?
Why would you want to be involved in a sequel?
The fans of "Friday the 13th" are very dedicated and devoted to the original intent of the series. It's crucial that the next installment reaches them and takes them back to Camp Crystal Lake. I received a thoughtful letter from David Bruckner, the director of the next "Friday the 13th," and what he wrote made it clear that his production will honor the legacy of the original 1980 Feature. I feel that we are all in for another Jason Voorhees thrill ride in 2016, so get ready campers!
What would you want the story to revolve around?
It's time to reveal how and why Young Jason went from a vulnerable little boy to become an indestructible monster. The character of Pamela Voorhees needs to be explored a bit more I feel. Many times fans ask me how Jason's complete transformation took place. I think that before we go forward again we need to get a deeper insight into what drives Jason Voorhees to kill. I am optimistic that the fans have something really great to look forward to. Many Thanks from Camp Crystal Lake and remember... JASON NEVER DIES!
Ari Lehman continues to be involved in the world of “Friday the 13th” off the silver screen. He sings and plays keyboard for a metal band named First Jason whose lyrics both pay tribute to the slasher franchise and branch out from there. They currently have two albums out entitled “First Jason” and “Heed My Warning.” For more information on concerts and music, go to www.firstjason.com.