You’ve most likely seen Ann Ryerson’s face on-screen before, either in one of the many television shows she’s appeared on over the years (most recently on Curb Your Enthusiasm) or on the big screen, where she appeared in the classic golf comedy Caddyshack (as the girl who lost her Baby Ruth), as well as supporting roles in numerous other films including Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin’s entry into the Friday the 13th saga, Jason Lives, where she played the gun-slingin’ paintballer Katie. Many thanks to Ann for taking the time to talk to Camp Crystal Lake Online about her experiences making Jason Lives. Read on, campers!
1) How did you get started in the acting business?
I started out acting in grade school plays, church plays, high-school and college plays. After college, I saw an improvisational theatre company and thought it looked fun and interesting and was something I could do, so I tried out for their workshop. Six weeks later I was onstage, doing eight shows a week for Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, earning $75 a week. From there I was with Second City, and so on…
2) You’ve been in numerous comedies throughout your film and television acting career, including the all-time classic Caddyshack. What attracted you to play the character “Katie” in a horror film like Jason Lives?
It was a chance to work, which I love to do. I had seen none of the previous Friday the 13th movies, and actually knew nothing about them until my agent explained a bit.
3) When is the last time you’ve seen the film?
At the screening given for cast and crew back in 1986.
4) Given the particularly grisly nature of your on-screen demise in the film, did you have any apprehension about taking the role?
When I found out I had to die onscreen, I said “I don’t do deaths for horror films.” But a triple beheading? That would be quick and easy, no problem!
5) What was involved with the special effects required (mold-making, prosthetics, etc.) to pull off such a complex death scene with you and your co-stars Allan Blumenfeld and Matthew Faison’s triple-decapitation?
We had complete body molds made – one of our heads (straws in the nose to breathe – very claustrophobic!), one of our hands – one of the body. It wasn’t air conditioned and I fainted! I woke up inside a full body-mold, not knowing where I was!
6) How long were you on-set for?
We took two or three days to film our scenes – I believe two. We were the first scene filmed for the movie.
7) Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin knew he was going to have trouble with the MPAA on Jason Lives, so he shot different versions of the kills in an attempt to appease the ratings board. How much of what was filmed for your scene actually made it into the final cut of the film?
Everything we filmed was in. I believe what was cut from the final release had more to do with the heads falling to the ground.
8) Did you keep any souveniers from the film (props, script, etc.)?
No, I didn’t. Props are the property of the prop department, costumes of the costume department, etc. I did keep souveniers of the trip, as I took a side trip outside of Atlanta.
9) Have you kept in touch with any cast or crew members that you worked with on Jason Lives?
Alan Blumenfeld, Whitney Rydbeck and Matthew Faison cross my path at audtions occasionally.
10) Friday the 13th fans can be an eccentric lot; have you ever had any unusual experiences with fans due to your work on the film?
No, I haven’t!
11) Speaking of fans, you were in one of the most memorable scenes in Caddyshack, the infamous “Baby Ruth” scene. Do people still recognize you from that film?
Not too often, as I wear a baseball cap or swim cap in most scenes! But those who know me will suddenly say “OMIGOSH! I saw you in Caddyshack! I never knew that was you! That’s my favorite movie!”
12) What other upcoming projects due you have in the works?
I have a small part in First Daughter, due out at Christmas, and I play a demon woman in the upcoming Keanu Reeves movie Constantine, which begins shooting in September, and will be released next year.
13) Any last words for the fans reading this interview?