|Jori with Ted White at Flashback Weekend, 2012|
from: Forced Viewing
All I've gotta say is that I love this man. Ted may not be a genre fan like Kane Hodder or Derek Mears, but this is a man who really appreciates and loves his fans even if he is not a fan of horror movies at all. What you get is a no bullshit attitude from Ted, but always a smile and a grateful attitude.
Jori from ForcedViewing.com spoke to Ted in November while at Flashback Weekend and he had a lot to say. In the conversation he goes into detail about reading (yes, reading) for the role as Jason and turning down the job, only to reconsider when he heard a "chi-ching."
I was worried a bit about interviewing Ted White. After all, I really only knew him as Jason from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. What could I possibly ask him? But far be it for me to run away from a challenge. (He’s a great storyteller though, so it’s not like I really had to work very hard.)
How did you get the role of Jason Voorhees?
I was called on an interview to come in and read for a part not knowing what it was. (They don’t ever tell you when they call you for an interview what you’re going to read or anything.) When I got there, they gave me a script (I don’t remember whose dialogue it was – some man’s dialogue) and it was three pages long. When you do that, you go out in the hall and sit for ten or fifteen minutes and memorize the lines and then come back in and read for the director and executive producer. There were several other people out there – guys my age at that time. So I went in and I read for them and they said, “Would you please wait in the hall for us and we’ll let you know.” I said fine. I guess maybe 45 minutes passed, maybe an hour – I don’t remember exactly – and they called us all back in. They gave us an impromptu question and answer thing and we answered exactly how we felt. It was about different things – it didn’t pertain to the movie at all.
When that was done we went back outside and about twenty minutes later they come out and ask me to come back in. They said, “Well, we picked you” and I said thank you very much and when do you go into production? They said we’re probably a ways a way from going into production but we need you for other stuff prior to starting the movie. And they said, “Would you like to read the script?” and I said yes. I went outside and sat down in another office. They said by the way, your name in the movie is Jason. Well, I had no idea who Jason was! As I started reading it – I only read half way – and I saw that all he did was kill people! I walked back in and told them that I wouldn’t be interested and thank you very much for the opportunity.
They said, “Why?” And I said well this is not what I have been doing for the last forty-some years (at that time). I’ve always done major motion pictures and I said not that I’m averse to doing a lower class picture, but it’s not really what I want to do. You need somebody that’s more attuned to what you’re doing than I am. They said, “Are you sure?” I said yes I am very sure but I thank you for letting me read for you and I went home. They called me back several times and I said no I haven’t changed my mind but I’m flattered that you called me but it’s not going to work.
Meanwhile the prop man on the show only lived two blocks from me. He came by one day – on a Sunday – and he said, “I hear you turned that show down!” I said yeah and he said, “Well you know I’m working on it. You know they have to make a body cast of you from your waist up? And you’re going to be on hold for six weeks while we do that.” Well when you’re on hold in the motion picture business you’re on full salary! So I said “Well! That’s a big difference!” Did you hire anybody yet? He said they’ve got some people in there reading right now! So I called back and got the producer and I said this is Ted White and he said, “Have you reconsidered?” I said I think I have! Let’s go over the salary one more time.
He told me and the salary was fine, it’s what I was used to making, so I said I’ll do it. Two days later we were done making a body cast from my waist up and then I was on hold for a month and a half! My wife and I went to Hawaii and I did a Magnum P.I., came back in town and worked on several other little features around town, so I stayed busy for that six weeks.
Awesome, huh. Now go to Forced Viewing and read the rest.
|Ted White in-between shots in Part IV|