An interview with Friday the 13th Part V’s Melanie Kinnaman

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with actress Melanie Kinnaman. She’s probably best-known as the “final girl” in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, but here she also discusses her other roles and interests.

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Melanie, what first inspired you to go into acting?

I started as a dancer at age 4. I was good at it, so I kept dancing and now teach it. I’m also a singer. So all that propelled me to step out and act. I acted in commercials, which helped me spread my wings early on.

You obviously have a big following thanks to your role in Friday the 13th Part V. Would you like to return to the franchise?

Oh, sure. There has to be a good script. Those scripts in the early days may not have been perfect, but they kept your attention. They held the audience. So another one would have to be in that same flavor.

Were you a horror fan prior to appearing in that film?

I like Hitchcock. I was a fan of the classics, which weren’t as gory as the ones made now.

Which of the other roles you’ve played stand out for you?

Everything is like having a bunch of children. You don’t have a favorite. I did have fun on Cheers and Hill Street Blues. Sometimes the experiences are better, but you love all the roles. But each experience is always different.

Are there any actors, actresses, or directors that you’d like to work with?

Oh my god, there are so many. Everyone wants to work with John Carpenter [chuckles]. But many of the greats have died. Bernardo Bertolucci just died recently. I’d like to do a Stephen King piece. Steven Spielberg is exceptional.

Many actors and actresses have also tried their hand at directing. Do you plan to do something like that?

I find it interesting. I’m a choreographer, so that’s directing in a sense. You are directing the movement, the whole piece. So I definitely find it interesting.

Are there any types of movies or TV shows that you’d like to take part in?

Stranger Things is one. There are many things on Netflix that really have opened up the whole industry for us. Netflix will take anything experimental, unlike studios. Ozark is a great show with great writers, so I’d love to take part in that.

Of the numerous television credits to your name, is there one that’s your favorite?

Hill Street Blues and Cheers probably tie for that. Cheers was a great experience because doing three-camera comedy is the best and I worked with great people, great writers. Soaps are a different thing. Sometimes it’s a different director each day. But Hill Street Blues for drama and Cheers for comedy.

You’ve also acted on the stage. How is that different from acting in films and television?

Well, it’s so immediate. It’s very exciting. The audience is there so there’s no retake. There’s no stopping and no chance to redo. You feel the audience and their response to what you’re doing. You get the energy from the audience that you don’t get in a film. Live theater is fluid. You start at the top and go all the way through. You have a seamless feeling and it’s different each night, whether it’s a long or short run. Different things happen each night. There’s a different nuance with the people you act with in each performance. It may be very subtle and very slight and the audience may not catch it, but you do.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects?

I’m doing a lot of small independent projects right now. It’s fun because they are not big and you spend more time developing and creating and don’t have a time limit from the studio or a big company. One of these projects is a horror film and the other is a comedy. I have fun doing the small independent projects because you can give more input, which is something that’s often limited by a bigger studio. The input you are allowed to give in that case is usually limited to the character you play, whereas independent projects allow you to give your thoughts on more.

Rob Kirchgassner

Rob is a blogger, critic, and author. His latest novel is a western: The Search West is available now from Amazon.

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