This Day in Horror

12 April 2012

Interview with Larry Zerner from Friday The 13th Part 3


I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the Friday 13th alumni earlier this week, Larry Zerner.  Larry played Shelly in Friday the 13th Part 3 and was the person who supplied Jason with his hockey mask when Jason did away with him. 

TC: How did you get the role for Friday the 13th part 3?
LZ: I was studying acting wanting to be an actor and had a professional job were I was handing out tickets for movie previews for test screening.  I was in Westwood on a Saturday night handing out tickets for a test screening of Road Warrior.  These people came up to me and said “Are you and actor?”  I said yes, not knowing why they were asking me.  They then said “we wrote this movie and think you would be perfect for it.”  That was Martin Kitrosser and Carol  Watson who wrote the movie.  They just saw me with the afro and said “that’s Shelly!”

TC: How do you remember the atmosphere on the set? Was it fun? Hectic?
LZ: We had fun.  For most of us it was your first movie.  The set was the house, the barn and the lake and was about a quarter of a mile away from were the trailers where.  Everything took a long time because of the 3D process and setting up for it so we would just hang out at the trailers while the crew was out working.

TC: Did you get along with all of your co stars?
LZ: Yea we all had a good time.  There were really no ego’s.  Nobody was taking it too seriously.  We shot so slow for a movie because of the 3D effects.  Normally you would shoot it in about 30 days and it took us 3 months to shoot. That is a page a day in script.  If you said 2 lines in a day, that was it!  The first scene we shot was the scene at the store with Shelly and Vera and the motorcycle gang and they ended up trashing the scene and shutting down for a week and we came back the next week and reshot it.

TC: How did you get along with the director Steve Miner?
LZ: Steve was cool!  He directed Part 2.  He wasn’t really what I would call an actors director at the time, but it really wasn’t about our performances.  It was more about the shot and the effects and just get it and go and move on.

TC: Have you attended any conventions over the years?
LZ: I have done about 3 or 4 like Fangoria and Monster Mania and also have one coming up in August called Camp Blood in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Which is exciting because I’ve never been to Germany, it’s just really cool.  It’s going to be me and Ron Millikie from part 1 and Bill Randolf from Part 2 and many more.  They have not announced all of the guests yet.  With Friday the 13th it’s the Jason’s and the girls that go.  The lesser known actors will only be asked when it’s a big reunion.  When I did Monster Mania it was like 16 or 18 other people from the series that were there.

TC: Your character Shelly is one of the most important in the legacy of the Friday films.  Shelly basically supplied the iconic hockey mask to Jason.  How does that make you feel to have put on the hockey mask before Jason?
LZ: Its very cool because I did not have very much of an acting career. You can tell people that I was in Friday the 13th and I gave Jason his hockey mask and everybody knows what you’re talking about.  I did something that was remembered 30 years later, which was unexpected at the time.  Its an honor to be part of the mask.

TC:  Have you done any other Horror movies?
LZ:  I have done like only 1 other movie and it wasn’t horror.  That was the extent of my movie career except I have a very small part in the upcoming film Knights of Badassdom which is a horror comedy directed by Joe Lynch. Its starring Steve Zahn and also Ryan Kwanten from True Blood.   It’s a great cast and should be really good.  It is coming out this year, and I’ll be in it for like 10 seconds.

TC: When you accepted the roll for Part 3 were you familiar with the other 2 films?
LZ:  When they said Friday the 13th I definitely knew what they were talking about but I don’t think I had saw them.  It was the days when video’s were just starting.  It wasn’t like you saw everything that came out, we didn’t always have all those movie channels and easy access to movies.

TC:  Have you seen all of the Friday the 13th movies now?
LZ: Yes, I have certainly seen them all now.  I wish I hadn’t seen part 8!  No offense to the fine people in part 8 J

TC:  Are you still acting now?
LZ: I stopped acting a long time ago.  I went to law school and became a lawyer which I have been doing for the past 21 years now and I have my own firm.  So if anyone out there needs a lawyer you can contact me at www.zernerlaw.com.  I do entertainment law, and copyright law and trademark law.  I do represent a lot of people in the horror community because of my connections.  I’ve handled the legal for the His Name Was Jason documentary and the Never Sleep Again documentary.

You can visit Larry Zerner’s website at www.zernerlaw.com and also follow him on twitter @LarryZerner




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