Interviewed by John Gray - 9 May 2002
Actor Stu Charno, whose genre credits include appearances in Christine, Once Bitten, Sleepwalkers and the acclaimed X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," is widely remembered by fans as Ted, one of the few suriviving camp counselors in 1981's Friday the 13th, Part 2. Mr. Charno was kind enough to take part in a recent interview for Pit Of Horror. Many thanks to Stu for his time and enthusiasm!
Are you a Friday the 13th fan? If so, what is your favorite Friday film (excluding Part 2)?
After being in a film, any special effects are kinda ruined for me. Like I imagine a magician's assistant would be, watching a magician. The magic is gone, because they know it's all just a trick. So I don't watch horror films...
Have you seen the newest Friday sequel Jason X? If so, what did you think about it? If not, have you heard about it or seen the trailer for it? (If you have seen it, please elaborate on what you think about "Uber-Jason")
See answer to first question.
Did you ever imagine after Part 2 that the series would become so popular and spawn eight more sequels?
I was surprised that they were doing a Part 2, and never expected that it would go this far...
Any cool stories from the set you can share with us?
We were just a bunch of young actors, happy to have a job in a film. We all had a blast together....
Why was the character of Ted written out of the script like he was? He was at the bar and the last thing he said was, "Are there any after hours places 'round here?" to that old guy. Was he supposed to come back the next morning and find all the carnage?
We were told, tongue in cheek, NOT to ask certain questions... The impression I was under, was that they weren't as interested in answering 'logical questions' as we were interested in asking them...
Is there a copy of the script to Part 2 anywhere in the universe? And do you still have this script?
I wish I still had that script. It was so long ago, and I was still living in New York, and have moved a bunch of time in these 20 years -- I can say, with fair certainty, that my copy is gone...
According to the book by Simon Hawke, Ted was going home with that waitress. Was this a part of the script as well?
She was a lovely lady, and I'm sure Ted (with the beer bottles as binoculars - my dad's idea, by the way), knew that. Simon Hawke must've read Ted's mind, but nothing was ever mentioned in the script...
How much on-hands involvement did Frank Mancuso, Jr. have on the set of Friday the 13th, Part 2?
I really don't know what Mr. Mancuso's involvement was.
What kind of changes, if any, do you remember from the original draft of Ron Kurz's shooting script and the final version of the film?
We digressed from the script for my jokes and other fooling around that I did. Not being on the set for other actors' stuff, I don't know what they did relative to the original script.
The lodge used for the fictitious Camp Packanack appears very accommodating for a large group of people. During the shoot, did cast/crew members actually reside there, or was the location used strictly for shooting purposes, while the personnel were housed elsewhere?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that we stayed there in these little bungalos that were on the grounds.
Do you remember where some of the shooting locations are? Was it filmed all at one location?
Kent, Connecticut is what I remember.
The campfire sequence, in which your character Ted scares the other counselors with a mask and spear, seems to be one continuous shot. How many takes of that scene were required to get it right?
We just did a few takes of that scene - it was VERY, VERY cold in October, there in the mountains of Connecticut...
Did the cast get along well?
We really did have a fabulous time. Bill Randolph and I became good friends, though we've fallen out of touch this last decade. He's a wonderful actor. John Furey and I see each other on auditions now and then. I think he's a very interesting actor.
Now for the burning question that has divided Friday the 13th fans for twenty years. To your knowledge, what was meant to be the fate of head counselor Paul Holt (John Furey), whose disappearance at the conclusion of the film has never been explained or resolved?
I'll ask John if he knows anything about that, the next time I see him.
Rumor has it that John Furey got angry with Steve Miner and stormed off the set, never to return? Can you shed some light on this?
Not when I was there....
You have also been in such great horror films as Christine. How was it working for John Carpenter?
John Carpenter was fabulous to work with. I wrote someone here about this, but I'll repeat myself with his indulgence. John was incredibly relaxed. He was like an oasis of calm attention, as us young actors were running around, all worked up. Before the scene were we destroyed the car, he gently suggested that the characters play the scene like, "This is the time of your lives. Have fun!"
Any cool stories from the set of Christine?
Y'know, I never hit a car with a tire iron before. It's simultaneously scary and freeing. After the first SMASH on a glass window though, one gets used to it. Now I smash up cars all the time. (Just kidding, for you 'impressionable' types....)
You were also in some of MY favorite comedy films such as Young Doctors In Love, Just One of the Guys and Once Bitten. Any cool stories you can share from any of those films?
Every acting job has bunches of little tales that I remember. For Just One Of The Guys, I had to learn how to handle snakes, lizards etc. - that was a riot... For Once Bitten, Karen Copens accidentally punched my in the beak during that scene where she hits me.... Stuff like that.
How was it working with Jim Carrey on Once Bitten?
I love Jim.... He's one of the most creative people I've ever met.
What are you working on these days? Films, TV etc.?
I just finished a sci-fi film with James Spader called Alien Hunter, and I just did a McDonald's commercial that will be shown up in the Bay area.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast members from Friday the 13th Part 2?
Ever thought about doing a Friday the 13th Part 2 reunion with all the cast members, like at a convention? Iím thinking that would be HUGE with the fans.
I'd love to. Maybe we should get you fans to all chip in, to raise the money!
Now one final question. Do you have the un-rated directors cut of Friday the 13th Part 2? If so....how much do you want for a copy!!! :)
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