Interview: Spencer Stump (Young Jason, Freddy vs Jason)

I conducted this interview with Spencer over a year ago as the 2009 Friday the 13th film madness was winding down. For those that do not know, Spencer portrayed young Jason for most of the filming of Freddy vs Jason. Using some of Spencer's answers to his original interview, I formulated a number of questions that aimed to find out more pertinent and interesting information about his experiences filming Freddy vs Jason. Please read the interview below and I hope visitors to the website gain some unknown knowledge from the dual of the horror titans!

Spencer Stump Interview

(F13TH FRANCHISE) Blake or Brenna from had interviewed you previously, about a year after Freddy versus Jason was released in theaters. At that time you had mentioned that during the casting process of Freddy versus Jason you were initially rejected due to your height, but then the next day you were hired. Do you know why they had a change of heart and decided that you were the boy they were looking for?

(SPENCER STUMP) First of it was Blake ( I believe) who conducted the first interview. Admittedly I’m a bit embarrased by my short answers and irrelevant ramblings, but hey… What can you expect from a 13 year old. Now that I’m 19 I hope to give you something I little more interesting.

My first audition was an interesting one. I waited for quite a while, and no one else was in the waiting room that was my age. I’m still convinced I was the only person who audition for this role (Hah!). The woman who went in before me was actually Odessa Munroe, who got the part of Heather (fondly remembered as the naked girl who went for a swim). The casting director and her had a little confusion when Odessa was told she was supposed to be in a bath robe (I guess for an easy reveal). Odessa apologized and said her agent hadn’t told her of that. I guess she did a great job in the audition room, cause she got the part. I went in after and was given my instructions. She said she would yell at me a bit, calling me names, and when she said ‘monster’ I was supposed to run off. Well I remembered what my acting coach had said. “Be in the moment” Well I got so in to reacting to the names she was calling me, I didn’t even hear her say ‘monster’. She had to say it like 5 times, then clear her throat until I noticed. I thought I screwed it up and wasn’t expecting a callback. Well, I got a callback! For the callback, I waited for at least two hours in the waiting room. Eventually I got called in. I was a little peeved I had been waiting so long (because I forgot my gameboy at home. Thats all that mattered). When I got in the room, they looked at me for a minute, and said – “To tall”. Well being a little cheeky bugger like I was (or still am) I said “Isn’t Jason like 8 feet tall? Wouldn’t he have been a tall kid?” The people in the room nodded their head and agreed with me. The next day I got the part! So I guess being cheeky in life gets you far (Spencer’s Parental Advice)

(F13TH FRANCHISE) What was it like working for such an established Director in Ronny Yu.

(SPENCER STUMP) Freddy Vs. Jason is still my only film experience, so I can’t compare him to any other directors. I am more experience in stage, and the direction is very different. But what I can say is that he was a very great guy. Very positive and extremely helpful. He understood I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I remember when we were filming the scene where I was getting pushed into the lake, and I did the first take and he called me over. He showed me the playback and showed me what I was doing wrong. He said that I was “expecting it”, I looked like I was ‘ready’ to get pushed in. For him to talk to me like that was great, and after that I got it (I think! Hah). And when it came time to do the voice over, I was given a call. Ronny said that he wanted me to do it, rather than bring someone else in. And I remember when he was talking to the voice over guy, he was saying “See, I told you we should bring him back”, or something like that. It was a great compliment.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) How was it to work with a screen legend in Robert England? Is there any fun stories while shooting with him?

(SPENCER STUMP) I remember saying that he was the kind of guy you wanted as your Dad. Really funny, really great. Really nice. The funniest thing I can remember was when we were filming the scene when he was pushing me under water. The props department had lost the plastic version of his claws, and so he had to use the actual metal ones they used for close ups. I got really nervous, cause they were extremely sharp. We filmed the majority of the drowning scene, and then the stunt double came in. England ended up taking a chunk out of my double’s prosthetics, and the whole makeup had to be re-done. On a side note, my stunt double was about 40 years old. And I totally thought he was lying to me. I said “You’re way to short to be 40“. Well turns out he was. I felt really bad. But Robert was definitely a great guy from what I remember.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) You had mentioned in our previous interview that your make-up sessions consisted of 5 hours to apply the makeup and 1 hour to remove it. Also, you stated that your underwater shoots were hard, because you had dreams of drowning at the time and also dentures that were part of your make-up kept falling out. Which was the more difficult part of role, going through the long make-up application sessions or being submerged in water for so long?

(SPENCER STUMP) Its not really that they either of them were a negative experience. My call time in Vancouver was at some ridiculous time like 4am or something. Which is about an hour and a half drive from where I lived at the time. So I would basically fall asleep in the make up chair. The makeup artist would be airbrushing my face, and I would be dead asleep. My Mom told me few times I would feel the tickle of the paint spraying on my face, and I would scratch it, or wipe it. Then the makeup artist mouthed “NO!”, and laughed. He didn't want to wake me up. (The makeup people Bill and Horatio were amazing, by the way). I was in the larger part of the trailer, where everyone got their makeup done, but England had his own partition. He opened up the door a few times to chat with me. I can’t for the life of me remember what we talked about, but it was so nice of him to keep me company. I actually had to sit longer than he did (if I remember correctly), and he said something like “It get easier, don’t worry.” As a minor, I was only allowed to work for 8 hours at at a time. The makeup took up 6. I had about half an hour for lunch, so that was only an hour and a half of filming. If I was legally allowed to work longer, I probably would have been on set for two or three days, rather than about 5. So the makeup actually allowed me to be around for longer, which is not a bad thing. The only negative thing I can say about the makeup is that I wasn't allowed to eat much. They had an amazingly catered set, chicken and pasta and everything. But because of the makeup that I had on, and the limited amount of time (no room for touch-ups) I had to be extremely careful eating around my makeup. So I was left with Wendy’s chili through a straw. The beans kept getting stuck (Hah!). It was just another thing that added to the experience. I wouldn't have changed anything that happened. As for the drowning parts, I tried my best, but they had a stunt double just in case. It was tough because my dentures kept falling out, and my contacts kept slipping. The worst part was because water got stuck in the pocket between my real eye and my ‘dead eye’. So the makeup artist had to keep popping out the glass eye and draining it. The only part of my experience that was really hard was getting my head cast for the makeup. I was so afraid of my nose getting covered when they were casting my head. It was really scary. But like I said, it just made the experience that much more memorable.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) Have you kept up with the franchise and have you seen the new Friday the 13th that was released this year? If so, what did you think of the movie?

(SPENCER STUMP) I watched a bit of the movie. But I haven’t sat down and watched the whole thing. To be honest, I’m a total wimp when it comes to scary movies. I still hide my face behind my hands and peek through my fingers. To be even more honest, I’m not a huge fan of re-makes. If a movie is going to be re-made, I enjoy when they re-invent it. When they take the original idea, and change it up. Like the new Nightmare on Elm Street, his makeup is different, and I think they’re going to make it a bit different. Or with the Bewitched movie with Nicole Kidman. They took something, and made it new, and current. I don’t know much about the new Friday the 13th, so I can’t comment entirely. But its definitely on my list of things to watch. I’ll just keep a pillow close by to bury my face in.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) Ari Lehman portrayed a young Jason before the franchise really took off and also during a time when the films in the franchise were vilified by society and critics alike. I would guess this made growing up as “the young Jason” a bit more difficult than it is today. What has it been like growing up in todays society, being a young man, having played a young Jason with the films now really embraced by so many as a historical motion picture franchise?

(SPENCER STUMP) Its never something thats been a huge deal in my life. I loved the experience, and at the time all of my friends were extremely jealous. I was so proud of it, and I told a lot of people. It was difficult being in a movie in general, regardless of the type. Now when it comes up, people are pretty excited. They have a lot of questions, and I’m happy to answer. But I don’t march around announcing I was in a movie for 5 minutes like I did when I was younger. I look back on that moment and am so happy it happened, but its not something I brag about. I would say that the fact that it was Friday the 13th had nothing to do with the acceptance, or the negativity that I got. My Mom almost said no to the part, because it was a horror movie. There was a lot of convincing on my end, and finally she succomed. She almost didn’t let me see it in theatres either, saying she would make me wait until I was 18. If she had decided on that, I would have just watched it at a friends house like all kids do.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) You have been confirmed to be attending the 30th Reunion event of Friday the 13th this year. Have you been invited to and attended other conventions? What is your thoughts on the convention scene?

(SPENCER STUMP) I think its funny. Not in a negative way at all. I simply find it amusing that people spend so much money and time on conventions. That is mainly because I’m not obsessed with the series. But if it was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention (my Achilles Heel, and one true childhood obsession), I would be all over that shit. I would line up for hours, I would pay ridiculous amounts of money, I would do anything. The experience of being with other people who love it as much as I do would be so much fun. Being immersed in the cutler. One way or another we've all got some television show, celebrity, or film series that we are obsessed with. So I understand it completely. I am also a bit flattered/confused that people want to see me and get my picture. I was in one movie, for less than 5 minutes, yet still people are excited by it. Even this interview. I’m flattered that you want to know my story. But hey, I’m not complaining. I love talking to the fans, and hearing their passion for the series. I don’t go to gloat, or make money… I go to meet the fans, and see the people who love the series. If it wasn’t for them, Freddy vs. Jason would not have existed, and I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I have only been to one other convention, and it was a fairly small one in L.A. It wasn’t extremely successful, and I was extremely ill during. So its hard to have an honest experience of a convention. From what I’ve been hearing this con is going to be a big one. I’m extremely excited. I am talking to a few other people about different conventions at the moment, but so far Friday the 30th is the only one I’m 100% attending.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) The last time you were interviewed, you mentioned the possibility of attending America’s Dramatical and Music Academy. Have you been able to make this possible and what else does the future hold for you?

(SPENCER STUMP) That was definitely just something I was obsessed with when I was 13. My Mom and I talked about moving to New York and me going to school… but its not feasible at this time. That was just one school I knew of in New York. Between the last interview and now, I’ve been involved in stage productions in my community, still acting, just not in film. Graduated high school  gotten older, the usual. I’ve also done some directing, and began my own Musical Theatre program. Right now, I’m just about attend school for Theatre in September, and from there on, who knows. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting an agent again, or being teacher. Acting is definitely my passion, and whether I’m doing it, or teaching it, I will be involved in it for the rest of my life.

(F13TH FRANCHISE) Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and look forward to seeing you at the 30th Reunion!

(SPENCER STUMP) No, thank you! Mainly for listening to my ramblings. I haven’t reflected in my experience on Freddy vs. Jason in quite some time. Its great to think back on such an amazing experience. Like I said, I’m flattered that you contacted me for a second interview. I await a third! I’m always up for a little reminising. See you in August!
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