‘Friday the 13th’ ghoul to haunt Nightmare at Beaver Lake festivities

October 18, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Jason Voorhees stalks the forest on the Sammamish Plateau.

C.J. Graham — the title star in “Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI” — is due to appear Oct. 28-29 during Nightmare at Beaver Lake.

Jason Voorhees

C.J. Graham

“Most people, if you say the word Jason and ‘Friday the 13th,’ they may not know you personally, but they know the character,” he said in a recent interview. “I am blown away by the cult following that still exists.”

“Friday the 13th” producers selected the former nightclub owner in part due to his stature. Graham stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall.

“They felt very confident with my physical structure and my physical abilities that I’d been fine as a stunt man and doing the burns and all of the different stunts that came with it,” he said.

The actor researched the slasher-film genre before accepting the 1986 role as a superhuman serial killer.

“I didn’t really know the series well until I was asked to come interview for the series,” Graham said. “I actually had to go back and do some review of my own to watch a couple of the prior films to make sure I understood the character that I was trying to portray.”

Graham received a call on a Saturday morning and, by Monday afternoon, reached the set in a tiny Georgia town about 40 miles from Atlanta.

The initial scene called for Graham to don a hockey mask and stalk to a mobile home on set.

“I remember the stunt coordinator telling me, ‘Just push out your laps and look as big as you can as you walk away from the camera,’” he recalled.

The script also called for Graham to dunk into a lake on the Covington, Ga., set — although producers did not mention the leeches and water moccasins. Crews lit Graham on fire for burning scenes on a set in Los Angeles.

Nowadays, Graham manages the Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, Calif., and appears at horror conventions.

“I always laugh. I say that I killed 17 people and never went to jail — kind of like it is in California,” Graham joked.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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