Interview: Shavar Ross (Reggie, Friday The 13th: A New Beginning)

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 Shavar Ross (Reggie, Friday The 13th: A New Beginning). Big thank you to Steve for letting us share his interview with Shavar!

Shavar Ross Interview
(Steve De Roover) How did you get involved in the movie/entertainment-business and especially in Friday the 13th Part V? 

(Shavar Ross) My father was the actor.  My parents separated and my father took off to Hollywood to become an actor.  He was a well known stage actor in New York and was signed with the prestigious William Morris Agency.  He guest starred on television shows like Lou Grant, Police Story and MASH.  I got discovered by an agent when I was seven while visiting my dad in California during my school's Christmas vacation.

(Steve De Roover) The Friday The 13th franchise has already celebrated its 30th anniversary. The Franchise is still going strong after all these years. What is the enduring appeal of this little horror film and the following franchise?

(Shavar Ross) I have no idea (lol).  The blood and the gore, I suppose.  People are fascinated with death, blood and gore--and of course, the masked man called Jason, lol.

(Steve De Roover) Did the success of Friday the 13th Part V open any doors for you? And do you have some special memorable story's about shooting the fifth movie? How was it like to work with director Danny Steinmann?

(Shavar Ross) It may or may not have.  I was already somewhat popular because of Diff'rent Strokes at the time.  It did however, give me some crossover appeal, though, lol.  I remember being at the premiere in Westwood with Corey Feldman (in the balcony) and hearing white people stand up and shout, "Run Dudley!!" (LOL)

I thought the film was actually a comedy at first lol.  The stuff they were tryin' to do (workin' out the kill scenes) was hilarious to me.  I still think the film is a comedy lol! Working with Danny was cool.  I'm having more fun with him now, though, hanging with him at some of these F13th functions.

(Steve De Roover) At the time of Part V there was a lot of controversy about the gore in the previous Friday the 13th films. Was there any kind of pressure on the set about this? And how did you experience are the bloodshed and scary Jason/Roy, because you were very young at the time of shooting?

(Shavar Ross) I just remember seeing a dummy (mock up) for the torso and legs for Violet's (Tiffany Helm) character.  It was gross, man.  I was like, "They're gonna show that in the movie?"  I remember people on the set being upset 'cause they couldn't use it, lol.

Jason wasn't scary to me because I knew he was a stuntman, lol.

(Steve De Roover) Some fans and critics call Part V one of the worst in the entire franchise, due to the fact that Jason isn’t the killer. Other enjoys it for sleaze, the kills and the nude scenes. Do you understand the backlash and what is your personal point of view?

(Shavar Ross) I can understand the backlash but I thought they were tryin' to be different with this film.  They already knew they would continue the series so this was the one film that would be different from all the rest. Gotta admit, it was different.  We're The Black Sheeps of the series, lol.

(Steve De Roover) The movie is almost cut to shreds due to the courtesy of the MPAA. Everybody at Paramount claims the footage is lost, but after the release of the first box set there is again some new footage found for parts IV, VI, VII and VIII for the new DVD’s. Do you think it’s true that all the footage for Part V is gone or is it always a way to promote the new DVD’s? And how did Danny Steinmann and you/the cast react on the cuts imposed by the MPAA?

(Shavar Ross) I'm not aware of any lost footage.  If there is, I'd like to see a blooper reel.  They should've had blooper reels from all the films in the series on the DVDs.

(Steve De Roover) You were involved in the "Crystal Lake Memories" book, in Daniel Farrands documentary "His Name Was Jason" and in the new Deluxe Edition of Part V. It looks to me that you are a huge supporter for the franchise. Am I wrong about that?

(Shavar Ross) Well, I'm a pretty down-to-earth guy.  I'm very approachable and most people sense that from me.  I've also matured to appreciate all my accomplishments in my career thus far.

(Steve De Roover) You were a famous child-actor in the eighties thanks due your work in some successful sitcoms. How was that like?

(Shavar Ross) It was fun and respectable times.  People respected those shows back then.  I don't think they respect people like Gary Coleman nowadays.  His attitude wasn't the best but fans don't understand the psychological effects and trauma a child actor experiences after a show gets cancelled, after he/she is considered "washed-up." Gary Coleman is still a genius to me, no matter what people say about him.

(Steve De Roover) How did your own production company come about? Now you are CEO and you also produce, write, edit and direct. That is completely different than acting. Can you tell us more about that?

(Shavar Ross) I just got tired of going on auditions.  I don't like to wait on people.  So far, I've produced, wrote, directed and edited two short films and a feature film that is in stores on DVD.  From now on I'm gonna start writing myself parts in my own films.  I'm actually interested in making a horror film now so you horror film producers hit me up.  I hope you guys support it if I produce one lol!  You guys can even help me with the storyline, lol, just give me one of the lead roles.  No red suit though!!

(Steve De Roover) What will the future bring for you? Can you shed some light on some of your upcoming projects?

(Shavar Ross) I would like to continue my directing career.  It's not easy making independent films but I think I will eventually become very successful at producing them.  I'm just realizing that I can do much, much more than I've done in my past.  Unlike other former child actors, I don't sense that I'm through with my career.
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