Tackling stereotypes and Voorhees
Every warm-blooded horror fan holds fond childhood memories of their first genre picture laced with overt sexuality. For me, it was Caroline Munroe in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Actor Arlen Escarpeta, co-star of Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th, on the other hand, jokes Sean Cunningham’s original 1980 Friday transitioned him into manhood.
This confession comes our way when we meet Escarpeta briefly on the red carpet at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Eyegore Awards. In the new Friday the 13th, the young actor plays Lawrence and he’s not at all ashamed to admit he bites it in the film.
Just don’t expect Lawrence to play to the stereotypes African-American characters easily succumb to in horror movies. Instead, Escarpeta’s role in Friday, “almost plays [the stereotype] against itself because I am the black guy in the movie. There’s a lot of things that are expected of me. It’s a new age, a new character so I don’t die first. I make it well into the movie, I don’t say anything too stupid,” he laughs.
While Escarpeta wouldn’t divulge how he meets his maker at the hands of Jason Voorhees, he does say he’s now incredibly happy to be part of the franchise. “When I auditioned for the job, I thought ‘cool.’ When I booked it, I thought ‘cool.’ Me and the rest of the cast went down to Platinum Dunes, they showed us a teaser and now I’m ecstatic. I can’t believe I get to be a part of this.”
Look for Escarpeta and his co-stars Jared Padalecki, Derek Mears, Amanda Righetti and Danielle Panabaker in Friday the 13th when it hits theaters on February 13, 2009.