Interview: Adrienne King (Alice Hardy, Friday The 13th 1980)

Writer Steve De Roover of / has been steadily collecting interviews of Friday The 13th alumni over the years and has agreed to let publish these interviews for fans to read and enjoy. Below is Steve's interview with Adrienne King (Alice Hardy, Friday The 13th 1980). Big thank you to Steve for letting us share his interview with Adrienne!

Adrienne King Interview
(Steve De Roover) How did you get started in the business of movies in the first place?

(Adrienne King) Believe it-or-not, I started acting in commercials at the tender age of 6 months old. So I laughingly respond now: it’s not like I had a lot to say about it back then! I must have enjoyed it though because I kept on working as a child model and actress on and off throughout my school years. Of course, by the tender age of 8, I was incredibly clear on what I was doing & that I was indeed enjoying it & wanted to do and learn more! I studied with some wonderful teachers as a child and gained incredible experience performing in New York City. I even landed the role of Melinda in INHERIT the WIND for the Hallmark Hall of Fame series & worked with some extraordinary actors: Ed Begley, Melvyn Douglas, Dianne Baker, Murray Hamilton…. Directed & produced by George Schaeffer: a full summer of rehearsals & taping with the best of the best in the 60’s. I was hooked for life after doing that riveting play within a television show.

(Steve De Roover) How did you get involved in the first Friday the 13th?

(Adrienne King) I auditioned with every other young actor and actress in New York in the summer of 1979. Ask Sean Cunningham, the director/producer & he’ll tell you that they saw everyone! I was signed to a commercial agent at the time but you really needed (still do) a theatrical agent to get an audition with the movie’s casting directors. In this case it was the legendary Barry Moss & Julie Hughes.

I’ve always been a firm believer that if you can’t get in through the front door then try the back one & if that doesn’t work, then try the side window; and in this case a very good friend of mine, Bill Love, had a boss, who’s good friend’s girlfriend, Pat, worked in the same office as Barry Moss! We were all over the possibility of making my audition happen. It’s all about tenacity & networking! So, I got to audition for Barry, which led to an audition with Sean Cunningham which led to call-back after call-back and reading with several different potential cast members and then a screen test! I’m pretty sure I nailed it with my scream!  And the rest is history!! Incredibly, I was to become the heroine, Alice, the sole survivor of Friday the 13th!

(Steve De Roover) Recently, the world-famous horror franchise celebrated its 30th anniversary. What is in your humble opinion the enduring appeal of Friday The 13th?

(Adrienne King) I think a lot of it has to do with the believability of F13 cast as “regular kids”; we were “the teenagers next door”…everyone can find someone there to relate to and the actors, well, we truly did a lot of personal work on our own back-stories because there was very little on the page itself. We developed our characters and therefore the audience cares what’s happening to them.

Friday the 13th & I  (astonishingly) have three (3) going on four (4) generations of fans now & I’ve asked a lot of my young fans; especially the ones I’m surprised are so into the original F13 because they’ve grown up with the latest technology, video games & CGI & I can’t imagine how they connect with our little movie. But they sure do & they’ll most often reply because “it’s real!” I think that says it all, doesn’t it! Of course, Mr. Savini’s special effects seal the deal.

Betsy Palmer left me a phone message from a convention she was attending, saying “They made me watch the movie & I can’t believe how really good it was! And you, Adrienne, were wonderful and oh, my, how fabulous was our fight on the beach?…” She went on and on; astonished at how solid the movie was and how it held up & about “our” chemistry on film and the calibre of acting!

That was incredibly special to me because that’s the first time Betsy’s watched Friday the 13th on the big screen in ages and realized that it was something to be proud of. I am so happy she’s finally embracing our Friday the 13th!

(Steve De Roover) You look to me a big supporter of the Jason-series. Can you explain to us why?

(Adrienne King) I’m more a big supporter of the Jason-series fans than the series itself. I like 1-4 the best and then they sort of lost me. I’m eager to rejoin the ranks, though.

(Steve De Roover) Were you at the time of shooting the first one aware that the movie would become such a classic in the genre?

(Adrienne King) We all had this “dig-in deep & work hard” independent attitude that this movie was something special right from the beginning. There was an amazing amount of energy & talent which permeated throughout the entire cast & crew. No egos; no money, night shoots… low-budget; everyone’s there for the right reason: the passion of making a movie and it translated onto our film in this case.

(Steve De Roover) You were the first (and still my all-time favourite) ‘final girl’ of the franchise. You are also one of the only actresses that appeared in two Friday The 13th instalments. How does it feel to be an important part in horror movie history? And how did you get involved in the sequel?

(Adrienne King) Thank you very much, Steve! It’s been an interesting ride… I’m getting to enjoy it now.

Well, Alice was the sole survivor… so after Friday the 13th opened May 13, 1980 as an immediate blockbuster Paramount got busy on the sequel right away.

(Steve De Roover) Why did they kill off your character in the first fifteen minutes? Was this always the case or had it anything to do with the tragic happenings of your stalker?

(Adrienne King) So here’s the coolest thing…. Alice isn’t dead after all! The producers decided to leave it open-ended for many reasons, including my personal scenario, but it was decided that Jason was to become the villain.

Unfortunately, my stalker emerged soon after the release of F13 and slowly escalated over the next year and continued into 1982! Stalking wasn’t taken seriously by the authorities until after poor Rebecca Schaeffer’s death some years later.

It was a tough time for me so “open-ended” sounded good which means Alice could still come back! There are some clues in the top 15 minutes of Part 2 that point to it all being Alice’s “dream within a dream”. We should do a top 10 list of why Alice is still alive!

(Steve De Roover) For that same tragic reason your promising career was cut-short. You are a very strong woman and get through these harsh events through your paintings. How do you look back on all these events?

(Adrienne King) Well, it definitely turned me upside down for awhile. Fortunately, I had been blessed with two passions: my acting and my art. I had a degree in fine arts from FIT in New York & I sought refuge in my paintings. They turned dark & layered & deeper... I probably did, too. My art became my therapy. I have some of these paintings on my website. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Well, that’s the truth but it took some time.

I had an awesome career in voice-overs & looping (see my credits on my website: and attended the 1984 summer session at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London studying Shakespeare which probably wouldn’t have happened without this “turn of events”.

Bottom line: We’re all survivors in one way or another. And I’m so thrilled to share with you that I am, indeed, a happy camper!

(Steve De Roover) Do you have some memorable stories about shooting the two Fridays?

(Adrienne King) On of my favourite memories was while the crew was setting up for the “camp counselors playing on the beach” I was sketching them from up in the lifeguard’s chair looking down on Kevin Bacon & Harry Crosby doing push-ups; pumping up for the next scene. Everyone was so happy to be there and be part of something that we were all sensing was very special. It was one of those freeze-frame moments: sunny and warm and I remember it like it was yesterday! I hope to find that sketchbook someday.

As far as Part 2 goes; it was done in one torturously long night which happened to be the last night of shooting for the entire film so the crew wanted to go home desperately. One of my least favorite memories has to be when the props-man forgot to check the “retractable” ice-pick before the scene and needless to say: it did not retract: “OW!!!”

(Steve De Roover) How was it like to work with directors Sean Cunningham and Steve Miner, FX-wizard Tom Savini and your esteemed fellow cast members?

(Adrienne King) Sean was like an older brother to me; a brilliant director who knew what he wanted and did whatever he had to in order to make it happen! He encouraged his actors & knew when to leave us to our own devices. He’s the reason that Friday the 13th still holds up! We did the final canoe scene on 3 different occasions with 3 different camera set-ups over the course of the 7 weeks… the last time it was 28 degrees Fahrenheit… but he got the shot that remains engraved in each & every F13 fan for eternity!! We’re still friends to this day.
(I had limited interaction with Steve.)

The rest of the cast was amazing, especially Harry Crosby.. so charming & talented.. he’d play the guitar for us during takes AND of course, I adore Betsy… she’s finally forgiven me for her decapitation! We refer to our final fight scene on the beach as the “Ballet of the Machete”.

Tom Savini allowed me to witness his magic in his on-site studio at the camp. To this day I can’t watch a horror film without scrutinizing the special effects thanks to Tom.

(Steve De Roover) Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions and I wish you all the success in the future!

(Adrienne King) My pleasure, Steve. See you back at camp!

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