Chat With Paula Shaw (Mrs. Voorhees, Freddy vs Jason)

The Return To Camp Crystal Lake event was Paula's very first convention and she really did not know exactly what to expect. However, she told me that she felt very much at home and that she was taken back by how many people attended to talk to all of the actors. Paula was very nice and willing to talk Mrs. Voorhees.

She briefly went through the audition process, which was basically her screaming at Jason, much like she does in the film Freddy vs Jason. Paula joked that her crazy screaming truly was what won her the role. I asked her if she had ever seen any of the Friday the 13th films and she politely said that never once had she thought about that. However, once she won the role of Mrs. Voorhees, Paula did go and watch previous entries in the series to help her understand her character as well as her demented son Jason Voorhees.

The most important question I felt needing to be asked was did she feel any pressure taking on a role that was so iconic and played to perfection by Betsy Palmer. Paula mentioned that she felt no pressure at all as she was on set to do a job and give an interpretation of the character that she felt best fit the movie she was working on. Ronny Yu did not come to her after shooting a scene and tell her that Mrs. Voorhees does this or that. Paula really appreciated that and said that Ronny Yu was so fun to work with as a Director.

There were two challenging aspects of filming the role of Mrs. Voorhees for Paula. The first involved the scene in the boiler room where Mrs. Voorhees was yelling at Jason while running down the stairs to the first level. Paula mentioned this to be a little exhausting as she had to keep looking directly at Jason while running and also had the added obstacle of stairs to watch for. The other challenge had nothing to do with filming at all, but the task of make-up appliance.

Paula had to endure three hours of a head casting procedure for which she had never attempted to do in her career previously. The head cast was necessary to create the prop Mrs. Voorhees head that Freddy Kruger would later hold in his hand during the dream battle sequence.

In all, Paula enjoyed the experience with the cast and crew and was proud of what she added to the Friday the 13th universe. She was a pleasure to talk to and had a great sense of humor, but humility about her place in Friday the 13th lore!


  1. Crystal Lake SlasherJune 7, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    Did she ever contact Betsy and ask for advice or anything like that? Interesting to find out that she only got the part on her screaming ability alone. |o|

  2. I thought her version of Mrs. Voorhees was more in line with how the character would have been. She was kind-hearted and very mothering of her child, but also let him know when he was doing things that were stupid.

    Poor Paula had to endure 3 hours. Did she know she was going to have to do that?

  3. Paula never did contact Betsy. She never felt the need to as she wanted to put her own spin on the character.

  4. Paula did mention, and I should have added it to the story above, that she was never told about this. She was quite surprised to find out that she was having a head cast created from her head. She was a little frightened.

  5. Of course Ronny didn't tell her what MrsV would or wouldn't do. He doesn't know, he didn't know much about Jason either. Sorry, not a fan of what he did with the film. Paula however, was very sweet to meet at the show. I'm glad she came out to meet the fans!

  6. I wish they used someone else for a director, I don't think Ronny is qualified for a Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm St. movie. He seems like the kind of guy who wants to direct monster movies, not slasher movies. I don't know who's fault the blood was in this movie; his or the FX team, but the squirting blood looks ridiculous.


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