On a related note, who are your favorite Jason actors and why?
Huh. Must have missed this post first time around. My take:
Best: C.J. Graham in part 6. Great physicality, intimidating presence. There was something about his no-nonsense approach in a story loaded with humor that really makes him stand out for me. He brought a lot of subtleties to the role that aren't obvious unless you're really paying attention to him; it's almost as if he underplays the role, which makes it that much more effective.
Runners up: A tie between Kane Hodder and Ted White
Hodder: fans are always clamoring about his character performance as Jason and talking about how much he brought to the role, but I don't see anything he brought aside from the huffing & puffing and the occasional tilt of the head. I think what made his appearances more popular was the fact that the Friday films he appeared in involved more complicated stunt work than the others, and while Hodder did all his own stunts, most of the other Jason actors did, too, so I think that kind of nullifies that argument. So ignoring the stunts and looking at the actual character performance itself, I don't think he brought a great deal more to it. Good physicality, yes, but he wasn't as big or intimidating as Graham.
White: Old school stuntman and real life tough guy, he brought to the role a certain...I guess "swagger" is the word. It's nothing over-done -- like Graham, you have to really watch him during his scenes. But swagger is only worth so much, and while his subtleties were effective, they weren't as effective as Graham's.
I'd also give a nod to part 5's Dick Weiand. Yeah, he may have just been a "pseudo-Jason" but he had the highest body count of any Friday flick and I thought he did just as good a job as any of the other Jason actors, especially during the finale, where he's hit with a bulldozer and takes a licking in the barn. For a not-really-Jason, I thought he did a bang-up job.