The original Friday the 13th “final girl” wants back in the game

Adrienne King, who played "Final Girl" Alice in 1980's original Friday the 13th, told SCI FI Wire that she thinks her character is still around and would make a good adversary for Jason Voorhees today. King spoke to SCI FI Wire in an exclusive interview for the Blu-ray release of Friday the 13th and suggested that the evidence points to Alice being alive, though she appeared to perish in the follow-up.

"I had to do research for the DVD, and after doing much research, in Part 2, you never see Jason and Alice together," King said. "You see an ice pick into a face, but you see no blood. You never see a body. There is some sort of thing that has clothing that looks like Alice's clothing from the first movie, but she was in her robe when supposedly she met her demise."

King also said that she thinks that her character, resurrected or merely revived, would fit perfectly into future installments of the series' mythology. "Let's have another sequel, let's get Alice back in the throes," she said. "She was the one, after all, who inspired the monster to come out."

King talked at length about her memories of making the movie, showing it to her mom and moving forward as a horror-film icon. The following is an edited version of that exclusive interview. The Blu-ray of the original Friday the 13th drops on Tuesday; the reboot of Friday the 13th opens in theaters on Friday (the 13th!).

Adrienne, was your process as an actor the same on this as it would be on any other movie? According to some of the interviews on the Blu-ray, writer/director Sean Cunningham seemed to see this primarily as a money-making venture, which wouldn't necessarily leave much room for character development.

King: I know, and it kind of really bothers me when I hear him talk like that [laughs]. Because that was his shtick—and, OK, Betsy [Palmer] needed a car—but the rest of us were so thrilled to have an acting gig and totally embraced the fact that we were working and had a paycheck coming in, and then on top of that, for me to actually have [a role] that I could totally sink my acting chops into. I grew up in the business, this was something I always wanted to do; I've always been an artist and always been an actress. The opportunity to really be serious about a role, I took it very seriously. And I always remember Sean whispering during those terrible moments. There were three times that we did the scene where Jason pulled Alice into the lake, and the third time we did that it was 28 degrees outside and they didn't have wetsuits for us. All they had was a blower and a garbage can filled with junk so the fire kept us warm—and only one pair of jeans and a blouse, so if I didn't get it right in the second [take], I was going to be naked in the third. And Sean would whisper in my ear, "You're a trouper, and actors are troupers."

At what point did you realize that this had become a cultural phenomenon?

King: Opening night on Broadway. The same place where we had auditions is where it opened on Broadway, and the line was around the corner, and it had been all day long. This was before Entourage, you know, and I walked in there by myself with my parents and had no clue what was happening at all. It was a mind-blower. At the end of our favorite ending part—which, you can almost feel the water splashing on this new Blu-ray—literally there was a scream, and there were paramedics. Someone had passed out, and we thought it was a heart attack. I thought maybe it was Paramount's shrewd Frank Mancuso helping the press, but no. That's when I knew this is something outrageous, and I kind of just had to run out of there.

How did they get you back for part two? Because of the situation with your stalker after the first one, I understand you might have been reluctant to come back. [After the success of the movie, King found herself stalked by an obsessive fan.]

King: The only reluctance that had to do with it was that I couldn't focus. I don't want to do anything unless it's done right, and I knew I was their only thread, but I did not know what they were going to do. They said they were going to leave it open-ended, and that's all I knew about it. [When they shot it,] it's their last day of shooting and everybody wants to get home; it's either like Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend or something. Everybody wants to get home, and I've got that whole scene starting at night, and I go home at dawn. Literally it was a night from hell. There was no love on the set, because I was walking into this hornets' nest; unbeknownst to me, Steve Miner thought I was holding out for more bucks, which was farthest from the truth. But, for me, it had to do with the fact that I had something bigger going on in my life at the moment, which was survive—mentally as well as physically, because I could not wrap my brain around it. It's not like there were big stalking things in the news before that. It's kind of like, take a deep breath and do what you have to do and hopefully it will all work out. It may take 25 years, but eventually it all worked itself out.

Do you have a fondest memory of the experience of being a part of Friday the 13th?

King: One of my great memories, very personal, is when I asked Sean if I could sneak my mom into a screening at a place where they were showing it to potential buyers. It was still in a good rough-cut situation but still not perfect, and my mom was watching it. During the strip Monopoly scene she almost had a heart attack; she was like, "Whew, no nudity. I got through that." And then we're at the end, and she's like, "Thank God, thank God it's over." And I'm just sitting there smiling and holding her hand knowing what's coming, and I swear to God she jumped 25 feet in the air. I turned around and saw Sean shaking someone's hand, and I figured that was probably Frank Mancuso from Paramount. I certainly think we helped him seal the deal.

What else do you have coming up?

King: I have a Web site that I work on very hard that has my paintings and a lot of stuff that the fans haven't seen, like 30 Polaroids [from the set]. Tony Masi and Tommy Hudson, they have the finances together and have tapped Dee Wallace, myself, Danielle Harris and Heather [Langenkamp] to direct an all-female anthology of horror films. So who the heck knows what's next? I've [also] got a sci-fi movie coming out. It's called Walking Distance. After Friday the 13th's resurrection, people decided to get Betsy and I. I've been reading scripts. This one happened to come in the nick of time when I was pumping iron, and it was written for a man. It's a very good role, worthy of Alice, and the fans will not be disappointed. What I love about it is that it's sci-fi horror, so it's a whole new spin on things. After Friday the 13th, I had to come up with something strong, so hopefully the fans won't be disappointed.

If the new film was a big success, would you want to come back playing the same character or a different character?

King: I am so ready, but I would to come back as Alice. When I think about it, she so inspired so many people, [judging] from the e-mails I get. I would love for Alice to come back and just kick some butt and handle some unfinished business and make it make sense for all the fans who truly believe this was real. Give them something that answers their questions. And I hope the new remake or resurrection infuses new life in the series, because then there's hope for that.

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