Disqus for Friday The 13th: The Film Franchise

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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!
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