Derek Mears (born April 29, 1972) is an American actor and stuntman, best known for his role as Jason Voorhees in the reboot of Friday the 13th and Hawes in Hatchet III.
Life and career
Mears was born in Bakersfield, California. He performed improv comedy at ComedySportz in Bakersfield. He graduated from Highland High School in Bakersfield in 1990.
Mears has numerous credits both as a stuntman and as an actor. He had minor roles in The Tick, ER, Alias, Nash Bridges, Men in Black II, The Shield, CSI: NY, My Name Is Earl, Mr. & Mrs Smith, CSI: Miami, and The Hills Have Eyes 2. His stunt credits include the films Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Blades of Glory, and TV series such as Angel and Bones.
Mears got his breakthrough lead role in the new Friday the 13th film. He was recommended to the producers, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes, by make-up and special effects guru Scott Stoddard, who created the new look for Mears' character, Jason Voorhees. Due to Mears' height at 6 ft 5.5 in (1.97 m) he is one of the tallest actors who ever portrayed Jason, beside Ken Kirzinger, who stands at a similar height to Mears. He was nominated for an MTV Movie Award in the category for Best Villain for his portrayal of Voorhees, but lost to Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
Mears did a lot of research on child development to flesh out the role of Camp Crystal Lake's notorious resident serial killer:
In the script, Jason watches his mother die in front of him. So I did research on, when you're that age how do your cognitive processes happen? How is the child supposed to be developing? I found out that at that age you're starting to be integrating into society, whether it's through group sports or group activities so that you find out you're not alone. I discovered that he missed that aspect. He was already an outcast from society for looking different and being disfigured, and his only connection to love and reality is his mother.”
He is contracted to return for either another Friday the 13th sequel or another film by Platinum Dunes.If Mears reprises his role as Jason, he will be only the second person to portray the character more than once, next to Kane Hodder.He portrayed a Classic Predator in the 2010 science-fiction horror film sequel Predators.
Mears appeared in Ultraforce 2 on the Superego Podcast. He also appeared in the American sitcom Community in the episode "“Romantic Expressionism". He appeared as a zombie, credited as "Master-at-Arms", in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Mears appeared with other Horror actor Tyler Mane of the Rob Zombie Halloween movie reboot in "Compound Fracture".
On June 5, 2013, it was reported that Warner Bros. relinquished their film rights to the Friday the 13th series back to Paramount as part of a deal that allows Warner Bros. to co-produce Interstellar.One week later, Mears revealed that Paramount is working with Platinum Dunes to make a new installment "as fast as possible".