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-- Spring 2000 --


JL:   How did you get the role of Johnny Ventura? Was it difficult taking over the lead acting role from John D. LeMay and be given the task of expanding the character of Johnny in the third season?

STEVE:   I got a call from a casting director at home. She asked me to come in to meet Frank Mancuso Jr. I read for him and flew to Toronto the next day. The work involved was spending time alone and thinking a lot. No, the challenge wasn't that difficult. It was all up to my imagination. That's what helped me through it all.

JL:   Did you enjoy working with the cast and crew? Were there any difficulties in the working conditions because of time constraints?

STEVE:  Chris Wiggins was a real pro and the people of Toronto were very friendly. I had a great time. The working conditions sometimes were difficult. It was a job in which we had to stay up all night and sleep all day for two years. I remember one morning. It was about 5 a.m. Chris was sleeping in his chair outside and frost was forming on his beard. You had to be there on the set to understand and experience some of the harsh working conditions.

JL:   By the third season of the series, there were media reports from various religious organizations which fought hard to have the show cancelled due to its high level of "violent" content. What is your opinion on this issue?

STEVE:   The press blows things out of proportion. The portrayal of violence is a big part of how our industry makes money. For me, it's all how you look at it. It's just a television show. I look at things differently. I don't get swept up in all the images. Overall, the press was negative towards the show because so many people wanted it off the air.

JL:   Can you share with us your experiences with the press with respect to the series? The press is often guilty of using various exclusionary and trivialization strategies to denigrate or undercut the subject in question. And media portrayals of the series were no exception.

STEVE:   I remember an incident in which I was seriously misquoted. An assistant from the Associated Press went out of her way to call me and asked if I watched the show. Well, in Toronto the show was one year behind. I wasn't on it and I was always working, so I never got a chance to see the episode. Then she asked me what episode we were working on. I said it was a show about vampires. She then asked if I liked working with the people on the show. I said yes. Then she posed the hypothetical question of what I could change about the show. My response was that if I had it my way, I'd get rid of the blood because it stains my skin and sticks everywhere. Well, taking all this information together, her write up was ... "Steve Monarque the new star from Friday the 13th: The Series doesn't watch his own show. He feels there's too much blood and he works with a bunch of vampires." I got a call from Frank Mancuso Jr. He wasn't very happy. So, as you can see ... no more press for me.

JL:   Midway through the series, the storyline expanded to include some romance between Micki and Johnny which began in the episode "The Long Road Home" but there was no continuation in later episodes. Any thoughts as to why?

STEVE:   I'm not sure if either the writers or the producers knew what to do. They often seem confused. The romance we both wanted but for some reason they didn't see it that way. Both the writers and producers ran out of ideas. I wasn't surprised the series didn't renew for a fourth season.

JL:   What are some of your favourite episodes?

STEVE:   I liked the car radio in the episode HATE ON YOUR DIAL. I love the fifties and I got to see myself go from colour to black and white. I also liked THE TREE OF LIFE. That was fun.

JL:   Are there any similarities between Steve Monarque and Johnny Ventura?

STEVE:   Like my character Johnny, I feel that in my own life I am somewhat of a protector of good versus evil. I often have seen developments unfold before most people do. Having grown up with three brothers, we still, to this day, are always looking out for each other. I've had a lot of practice. But unlike Johnny, I believe that the Faustian thesis has its limits. Yes, people will do anything and use anyone to get what they want, but they will only achieve what man has created which are things that do not last forever. As for the occult, there's no truth in any of it. It may be fun to play and imagine, but to devote your life and to praise it will lead to nothing but a dead end. I'm more interested in the everlasting.

JL:   What are your overall impressions of the series? Is the series' title 'Friday the 13th' misleading in any way?

STEVE:   The show was fun. I had a great time. As for the name, well, Mr. Mancuso changed it from "Friday's Curse" to "Friday the 13th: The Series". He had a large audience with his movies. Why not hook them with the show? Misleading title? Yes. A problem? No.


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