Thursday 3 August 2023

An interview with Kirsten Baker (Terry from Friday the 13th Part 2)

Former actress and model, Kirsten Baker's place in the Friday the 13th franchise hall of fame is safely assured thanks to her iconic portrayal of the ultimate nubile teen counsellor 'Terry' in Friday the 13th Part 2'.  

Born in Norway, Kirsten Baker came to the US when she was just 6 weeks old having been adopted by US foster parents.

I caught up with Kirsten recently in London where she was a first-time guest appearing at London Film & Comic Con. Kirsten admitted to me that she was still adjusting to transatlantic jet lag so sightseeing wasn't a major priority so much as her hotel bed! She did however graciously grant me a quick interview in between signing autographs for her many fans so I started by asking about Norway and given how young she was when she relocated to the US, whether she'd been back since?     

“I’ve been back as a foreign exchange student (a long time ago), like 1976. And I went when I was 16 and explored the native country that I came from and boy it was amazing! So different from the United States and the UK even. I actually speak a little bit of Norwegian:  "Hvordan går det med deg?” (Translation: “How’s it going with you?”).

Very well indeed thank you Kirsten! Now I understand that the makers of Friday the 13th Part 2 had pre-selected you in advance and so you didn’t have to audition for the role of ‘Terry’?

“No, that’s correct, they offered it to me.”

And you hadn’t seen the original film before accepting the role had you...?


Am I right in saying you are not a big fan of horror films per se?

“Right, I’m not too big of a fan”. 

But you can make an acception and watch Friday the 13th Part 2?

“Oh yeah, it’s fun. I think it’s a good movie. I like the ensemble cast that we had”.

I was going to say there’s a discernible good vibe amongst the cast in that instalment. How did you get on with Russell Todd (who played your over-eager pursuer/stalker ‘Scott’)?

Scott was always chasing me…”

What for real, as well as on camera?

“Ha! No, just on camera – we were friends”.

(Well that's a relief). And I have to ask about your character Terry's very cute pet Shih Tzu, ‘Muffin’…?

“Ok, Muffin actually didn’t die”.

[You heard it hear first folks! That’s nice to hear, however implausible given the onscreen evidence to the contrary]. Anyway, Kristen did get to bond with the impeccably groomed canine offscreen: “Muffin liked me, and I liked Muffin.”

Obviously, you didn’t have an onscreen death [Kirsten's character Terry discovers Todd hanging suspended upside down with his throat slit, turns and screams directly into the Steadicam] but did you have an actual death detailed in the script?

“No, it was an oversight in the script.”

That’s ridiculous!

“Isn’t it? Something that important.”

But then we see you (or at least your lifeless corpse) lying by Jason's shrine to his mum Mrs Voorhees in his shack towards the film's finale, and there’s some discernible makeup on your face but that’s the only hint we have of your demise…

“That’s right, so I can come back!”

Exactly! And all these years later, why do you think it is that Friday the 13th Part 2 has to this day not only maintained - but if anything increased -in affection and appreciation amongst the fans of the franchise and beyond?

“I think it was the ensemble cast."

For me personally, I think it’s the scariest film in the entire series. Every case member is absolutely fabulous, (Jason is at his scariest in his burlap sack) and you of course were absolutely fabulous in it as well. So thank you for being in my favourite franchise of all time! 

“Thank you very much, you’re welcome!”   

Interview by Paul Worts conducted on 7th July 2023.