A New Beginning couldn’t be a more apt title for the fifth entry in the Friday the 13th series.
Released back in 1985 it surprised many with a Jason-less sequel and fast became the black sheep of the franchise.
Now 35 years later many fans are looking at the film with fresh air and changing their opinions.
We caught up with Ron Sloan, who memorably portrayed Junior, to talk about his role, the franchise and the upcoming 13 Fanboy.
Tell us how you got involved with Friday the 13th Part V?
I was discovered in a showcase in Hollywood, where the casting directors
Fern Champion and Pamela Basker, we’re attending. After watching a five-minute scene, that I was performing, they asked me to improvise a backcountry hillbilly.
After a few minutes of hysterical laughter, they offered me an audition for a movie called Repetition. AKA… Friday the 13th Part 5.
How much did you know about the series before getting the part of Junior?
I watched Friday the 13th part one and part two. I personally knew a couple of actors in the series professionally, but I wasn’t a true Horror fan at that time.
What was the atmosphere like on-set?
I had a great time on location. I would say 95% of us did not know it was a Friday the 13th. The question of the day was how do you die? It was kind of fun discussing with each actor how we died in the film. It was around that time, which was the first day of shooting, that Tom Morga AKA Jason Voorhees stuntman walked on the set in forecast him with a blade in his hand, and looked at every single one of us. At that point we all knew we were in a Friday the 13th, everyone started screaming and laughing.
Tell us about working with Carol Locatell?
Carol Locatell is the best. We did have written dialogue, but we also were allowed to improvise. I couldn’t stop laughing she was so funny. When she slapped me, many times in rehearsal, I think was to stop her from laughing. We are great friends still.
When I call her on the phone I still call her mom and she calls me Sonny boy.
Carol and I also worked together on 13 Fanboy in January.
How much of your scenes together were improvised?
As I mentioned in the previous question we had written dialogue along with improvisation. It blended together so well I don’t remember what the written words were.
Your death scene is quite memorable, what can you remember about it?
It was interesting the way my death scene came about. As you know I was riding a motorcycle and got decapitated by Jason…AKA…Roy. The hardest part of that scene was keeping the motorcycle upright with a large film camera on my handlebars. The director Danny Steinman, told me if I dump the bike he would really kill me.
I also had a harness and cable on that jerked me backwards when the prop cut-out blade hit my neck.
The film was reversed to make it look like I had was decapitated.
80s special effects, gotta love them.
Did the special effects team have to take a mould of your head for this scene?
That part of the film, was a true nightmare. It was a couple of hours molding. The hard part was, I had to keep a screaming face while all the rubberized Material Flood in my mouth and throat. Worse than going to a dentist getting a root canal. Straws in my nose gurgling in my mouth.What a margarita headache, from the cold mixture. After all was said and done, the special effects artist felt the mold didn’t take and he would have to do it again. I told him he would have to make it work I was done.
Years later, I came across the special effects company on a movie lot. I asked them if I could purchase the prop of my head, from my movie. With some laughter and a grin, the prop attendant told me that my head was working more than I was, and he apologizes that they use my head in another film and blew the back of it off with a gun. With a smile, he put my head in a plastic bag and gave it to me as a gift.
A New Beginning was for years since as the black sheep of the Friday series, are you glad to see it has found its audience?
I am truly amazed and very happy that the fans have accepted this film.
When I did my first convention in Texas about 14 years ago, I never realized that fans actually dressed like Junior and idolized Ethel.
I am very fortunate to have landed this fun part and have the appreciation of a great fan audience.
How close were the cast of A New Beginning?
At the time of the shooting, I only knew a couple of actors professionally.
Presently, I am still really good friends with many of them.
Tell us about working with Danny Steinmann?
Everybody questions about Danny Steinman, but for me, he was awesome since my first audition. I truly had him laughing so hard, he was almost doubling over. At the end of my audition, he told me he’s going to love working with me. When I went on my callback to meet Frank Mancuso Jr., the producer, Danny told him he’s going to love working with this kid. On the set, He had an air of being tough, but not with me. We enjoyed each other’s company. May he rest in peace.
What can you tell us about your role in 13 Fanboy?
I am truly excited and ecstatic, to be working with such a wonderful group of actors. I’m very fortunate to play opposite Dee Wallace as her husband. I feel honored and thrilled, to be part of such an awesome script. This is by far the best role of my career.
I definitely have to thank Deborah Voorhees for her insight, her creativity, and her dear friendship. The fans are going to love this film, and it is definitely a thriller!!!
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is available now on DVD and Blu Ray.