Amanda Righetti calls her ‘Friday the 13th’ role challenging

  • By Terry Morrow Scripps Howard News Service
  • Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:31pm
  • Life

LOS ANGELES — Excuse actress Amanda Righetti for her bruises and bumps, but she got them in the woods running away from a serial killer.

She was doing OK, frantically staying one step ahead of him. But then she tripped, and, well, we all know how that goes.

“I’m still dealing with injuries from it,” Righetti said, referring to her role in the remake of the classic slasher film “Friday the 13th,” in theaters today. “I’m dealing with knee injuries. My neck hurts from falling so much.”

On the upside of such a situation, she wasn’t reduced to just a bra and panties for her chase scene.

“I’m wearing more clothes than most (actresses) in the same situation,” she said.

Righetti is part of the next generation of actors helping to redo “Friday the 13th” for a whole new audience. Though “Friday the 13th” has spawned numerous sequels, the first film came out nearly 30 years ago.

She co-stars with Jared Padalecki of the CW’s “Supernatural.” Righetti can be seen each week in CBS’ “The Mentalist,” in which she plays Grace Van Pelt.

Righetti is 25 and wasn’t even born when the original “Friday the 13th” was in theaters in 1980. She has seen the original, considered a classic among blood-and-gore horror aficionados. It was a film that helped spur the success of a whole genre — the maniac masked serial killer.

“I saw it when I was very young,” she said. “I was so young that I had to go back and revisit (viewing the film) when I got cast for this. I couldn’t remember (the plot).”

She plays Whitney Miller, a “bratty” type whose mother is ill. Her boyfriend decides to take Whitney on a campout. Undoubtedly, he has an ulterior motive — don’t all young guys in these kinds of movies?

What they come across, of course, is a crazy guy with a hockey mask — a guy with a yen for killing young, hot campers who smoke, drink and have low moral values.

Yes, Righetti knows this is all just a movie. Still, it was disturbing to see the actor in the Jason Voorhees mask for the first time on set.

“It was creepy,” she said, “because Jason is such an iconic character. There’s something ­really exciting about seeing him.”

At the same time, she said cast members faced another fear — that they might not be able to duplicate whatever made the first film work so well.

“Because it is a cult classic, we felt a little bit of pressure because people respond so strongly to it,” she said. “There’s a lot of detail in this movie that makes it a great experience for everyone.

“Some of the great sets are revisited, but this film has a great spin on it to make it (welcoming) to (new) fans.”

The original film had campers reopening Camp Crystal Lake, only to have a series of murders disrupt their plans. In this new version, new campers are in a cabin, where much of the action happens.

“Camp Crystal Lake is still a character in this,” Righetti said, “but it is in a different way.”

The new version doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“In the opening, it has some very funny moments,” she said. “Then, as it moves on, it gets more serious.”

Making the new “Friday” was “definitely a challenge,” she said, “in a good way.”

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