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A Chat With V.C. Dupree (Julius, Part 8)

One of the greatest and most iconic scenes in all of the Friday the 13th films is that of the One Round boxing match between Jason Voorhees and Julius in Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan. The scene itself is not Oscar worthy, but is one of the best conversation pieces around the water cooler at work that continues to be discussed and revisited.

The actor who played Julius, V.C. Dupree, is a very fun and entertaining guy to talk to. At the Friday The 13th reunion event Return To Camp Crystal Lake, this writer had a chance to talk to V.C. and he had some great stories to tell and some more information on the switch from Lee Coleman to Scott Reeves for the role of Sean Robertson in Jason Takes Manhattan.

First off, V.C. guided us through his audition process in which he wanted to make sure he got the part of Julius, knowing from his agent that the character was a boxer. To guarantee the producers and director were sold on him, he added multiple layers of clothing to make him look bigger than he really is. V.C. mentioned to me that he knew he was a smaller guy and thought this would give the appearance that he had a boxer's body. Well, his layering of clothes worked as he got the part. However, his little stunt did not fool everyone.

Director Rob Hedden tracked down V.C. after the audition and told him that he knew he had added the layers of clothing. So, Rob asked if V.C. would do some heavy duty working out to add the muscle necessary for the part. V.C. agreed and he was given a personal trainer and numerous equipment to get the job done. What was funny to him was that one day Kane Hodder stopped by his hotel room, saw the equipment and became jealous that not even Jason Voorhees had the type of set up V.C. had. As a consolation, Jason knocked his head off.

Next V.C. and I discussed one scene in Jason Takes Manhattan that he was actually injured. While filming the phone booth scene in which Jason is to punch through the glass and grab Julius while he is on the phone, V.C. cut his hands. The stunt would have Kane Hodder punch through pre-cut "candy" glass. However, the glass did not break as it was supposed to and the entire sheet of glass was pushed into V.C. This caused him to make a decision, either go head first into the phone booth or use his hands to break his fall. Unfortunately, the "candy" glass that was broke after Kane had punched it, fell all over the phone booth and when V.C. used his hands to break his fall, he cut his hands on the glass.

All would be fine as after the scene was finished filming, the injuries were tended to and he was able to move onto his climactic boxing scene. After the two of us looked over the call sheets from Jason Takes Manhattan, we discussed Lee Coleman, the actor that was first to play Sean Robertson in the film. He lasted just over a week and it was mentioned that he was let go due to the fact that his acting was not what the filmmakers were ultimately looking for. This, apparently, is one part of why Lee was unfortunately replaced.

The actors were all required to sign a stipulation that they would not engage in any type of activities that would injure themselves, such as sky diving, rock climbing, so on and so forth. One night, Lee went for a jog and, unfortunately, tripped on a tree root sticking out of the ground. This caused him to scratch up his face pretty bad. So, with that happening and his portrayal of the Sean character not working out, he was let go.

V.C. remembers being pleasantly surprised by his replacement, Scott Reeves, as he had just worked with Scott on a commercial previous to joining the Jason Takes Manhattan project.

It was a great pleasure to chat and ask questions of V.C. He was so open to talk and a lot of fun to be around!
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