Jason stars as "Kevin Girardi" on CBS's drama "Joan Of Arcadia". Ritter's feature film credits are "Mumford," "Swimfan," "Freddy vs. Jason" and "Heart of Summer." His upcoming films include "Happy Endings" and "Our Very Own." His television credits include guest-starring roles in "Hack," on CBS, "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," as well as a role in the movie "The Dreamer of Oz." His theater credits include the Off Broadway production of "The Beginning of August," which also starred Mary Steenburgen, and the role of Tim in the world premiere of Neil LaBute's play "The Distance From Here" at London's Almeida Theatre. Ritter is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He is the son of actors John Ritter and Nancy Morgan and the grandson of famed film cowboy Tex Ritter. Ritter was born on February 17, 1980, in Los Angeles, California.
Jason Ritter's Hollywood Heritage
Jason Ritter is the grandson of country singer Dorothy Faye and western film star, Tex Ritter, who also played the voices of many characters on the classic cartoon Tom and Jerry. Jason Ritter's father is actor John Ritter, who rose to stardom playing Jack Tripper in the '70s comedy Three's Company. John Ritter died in September 2003 on the set of his latest hit show, 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter.
Jason Ritter Gets His Start
With his celebrity upbringing, Jason Ritter was destined to end up a star. Jason Ritter's acting debut was a family affair - when Jason Ritter was ten, he played Harry Neil Baum in the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz. The movie starred both of Jason Ritter's parents. Jason Ritter then went on to appear in movies like Swimfan and the 2003 horror epic Freddy vs. Jason. Jason Ritter also stars in the new TV series Joan of Arcadia.
Jason Ritter - Did U know?
Jason Ritter's nickname is Jace the Ace from Outer Space.
Jason Ritter is a founding member of The Irreputable Theater Company in New York City.
Jason Ritter graduated from New York University and also studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Jason Ritter Says....
"If I ever had to deal with Jason, I'd just run away and get on a plane and get out of there. Freddy is in your mind - there's no escaping him. "
Jason Ritter plays in the horror movie ''Freddy vs. Jason''
Ritter was a last-minute addition to the cast; he auditioned in L.A. and was quickly flown to Vancouver for a meeting with director Ronny Yu. Somewhere along the way, he read the script and discovered that his character Will (originally set to be played by Brad Renfro) fulfills a different function than the male leads in previous Freddy films. 'In the past, it has always been the girl who's the focus,' Ritter points out, adding that the boys are 'usually the guy the girl likes who gets killed early on, this time, it's a couple fighting Freddy together.'
For the young actor, playing Will has entailed more than the usual horror turns. 'He's not the typical horny teen who has sex and dies,' Ritter says. 'This has been a lot tougher to play. I mean, Will's a guy who's been drugged up and out of society for four years. He's had to deal with the fact that everybody's been telling him he's crazy. And then, all of a sudden, he breaks out and not only has to deal with Freddy and Jason but also being back in a big, loud, noisy world. Having a character deal with all that and making it believable in front of the camera is not easy.'
Appearing before the cameras would seem to be in Ritter's blood; his father even worked for Yu in another genre sequel, Bride of Chucky. 'Since both of my parents are actors, I was sort of around the business,' he explains. 'I wanted to get into it when I was real young. I wanted to be a child actor and drop out of elementary school. But my parents said that if I wanted to be an actor, I had to go to college and learn how to do it the right way.'
Because he needed 'immediate gratification,' Ritter stopped performing at that point, picking it up again in high school and then studying the craft at New York University. He found work immediately upon graduation in May 2002, turning up frequently on both TV and the stage, as well as in features Swimfan and Mumford. He also became a founding member of The Irreputable Theater Company in New York City. Although this is Ritter's first true fright flick, he is no stranger to the exploits of Freddy and Jason. 'I grew up on these movies,' he says. 'They gave me nightmares for years. And now I'm getting to face my demons in the flesh.'"
Jason Ritter Talks About "Freddy vs. Jason"
Fans waited patiently in line for hours for the chance to get in to the August 13, 2003 World Premiere of the much-anticipated battle of horror movie icons - "Freddy vs. Jason." There was also plenty of opportunity for those who were more interested in collecting autographs to get up close and personal with the movie's cast. Not wanting to disappoint, most of the stars made their way over to the mob of screaming fans, some of whom were carrying signs proclaiming their allegiance to one of the two fictional killers.
The cast of "Freddy vs. Jason" joined their director, Ronny Yu, and producer Sean Cunningham, for a walk down the red carpet followed by a special preview screening. Here's what the film's young stars had to say about working on this classic showdown of slasher-movie titans.
JASON RITTER ('Will')
Q: How do you describe your character?
I play Will. Basically he's sort of a damaged kind of guy. He was wrongly sent to a mental institution four years before the movie starts. Then he sees on TV that there's been a murder at his girlfriend's house, the girlfriend he left. He breaks out of the mental institution to see if he can go help out and to make sure that she's okay.
Q: Who do you find scarier - Freddy or Jason?
Freddy. If I ever had to deal with Jason, I'd just run away and get on a plane and get out of there. Freddy is in your mind, there's no escaping him. If you know about him, you either have to stay awake your entire life or... It's like the inevitability of falling victim in all his movies is the simple act of falling asleep and he'll get you. He'll take your worst fear and turn it on you.
Q: Do you have a favorite horror movie - excluding "Freddy vs. Jason?"
"The Haunting." The original "The Haunting" with Russ Tamblyn. That movie scared the dogs out of me.
Q: What else scares you?
Heights scare the s**t out of me. I can do roller coasters; it's more like standing on a roof. It's like a railing thing. I have dreams where I'm on the Eiffel Tower and it starts slowly twisting off and I'm trying to get to the other side. Dinosaurs scare me. I meet them in my dreams sometimes (laughing).
Q: How would you describe "Freddy vs. Jason?"
This movie is cuckoo. [Fans] are going to go ape s**t.
Jason Ritter on His Upcoming Projects
Actor Jason Ritter was on hand for the blazing hot July 10, 2004 World Premiere of the teen romantic comedy “A Cinderella Story” to support his “Raise Your Voice” co-star, Hilary Duff. Though it felt hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk outside of the historic Grauman's Chinese Theater, Ritter looked cool and collected, and was more than happy to discuss his time spent working with Duff on their upcoming movie.
Q: Can you talk about working on “Raise Your Voice”* with Hilary Duff?
Yeah, we finished filming that. I play her ill-fated older brother.
Q: What happens that makes you 'ill-fated?'
I die, but early on. I’m not ruining anything.
Q: So that means you’re not in the movie for very long? Your fans will be disappointed.
No, well, not really. But it’s an important character.
Q: What was it like on the set with Hilary Duff?
She is so mean. No, she’s amazing. She’s like one of the sweetest people I’ve ever encountered. She is so nice and sweet. You almost think when you see her do talk shows that it’s an act, but she really is just that sweet.
Q: And you also have another film coming up that involves 10 separate stories?
That one is called “Happy Endings.” My storyline is I’m a guy who is a drummer in a band and I’m not very good. But I’m rich so all the people in the band stay in it because my dad buys us all new equipment. And I end up having a relationship with this girl and she starts sleeping with my father, and I can’t handle it. Tom Arnold plays my father and the girl is Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s a cool movie. Lisa Kudrow is in it and Steve Coogan. It’s really great. It’s an indie film from Lions Gate.
Q: What else do you have coming up?
I just finished a movie in Tennessee called “Our Very Own.” It’s about five kids growing up in the small town in Tennessee in the 70s and all of their dreams and their problems.
Jason Ritter Honored
Actor JASON RITTER was honoured on Thursday night (21OCT04), with a new Humanitarian Leadership Award named after his late father, JOHN RITTER.
Jason's friend, MICHAEL J FOX, suggested he be the first to receive the award, which is given to people who use their fame to spread awareness about a certain disease or illness. Fox uses his celebrity status to put the spotlight on Parkinson's Disease, which he suffers from.
Jason's father, who passed away last year (03) at the age of 54, gained fame for his role as JACK TRIPPER on the classic TV series THREE'S COMPANY.
Jason Ritter coping with loss of father and faulty media reports
More than six months after John Ritter's death, his son is adjusting to the loss, and dealing with hurtful media reports about their relationship.
Actor Jason Ritter, the co-star of "Joan of Arcadia" (8 p.m. Fridays on CBS), said scandal rags are wrongfully reporting that he and his father were estranged.
"They said we had a horrible relationship and didn't talk for six or seven years," said Ritter, 24. "They say we had this reconciliation a week before he died. They say he didn't give me his blessing to be an actor until 'Joan of Arcadia.' "
But in fact, Ritter said: "He was nothing but supportive of me."
Such negative reports, he said, have added to his grief over the death of his father, who died of complications from an undetected heart problem.
The elder Ritter collapsed while working on the set of his sitcom "8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter." He died hours later at a Los Angeles hospital.
Jason Ritter's paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather also died last fall.
"It's sort of been one blow after another," he said. "When I woke up on Jan. 1, I felt like it was a ... brand-new start for me. I have basically learned to keep on being grateful for what I have while I have it."
This year has been better for Ritter on a professional front. "Joan" is a critical and ratings hit. On the drama, Ritter plays Kevin Girardi, a teenager coming to grips with life in a wheelchair.
Although Ritter was at the hospital when his father died, their last conversation was two days earlier when they went to see a Jackie Chan movie together.
"He called and asked me to go after work. I was tired, but I am so glad I went now," he said. "I took him home. I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me, and that was it."
Ritter said he is glad "8 Simple Rules" is continuing.
However, it is difficult to watch, he said. "Even though my dad is gone, he is still part of the show. They'll mention something about (his character), and I'll feel it. I don't know if it is therapeutic, but the show is about a family going through the same loss that I have."
He said his family is "still close" to the cast of "8 Simple Rules."
"I know they miss him, too. This would be all different if I had to sit there and watch people fake crying over him," he said. "But for them, it is real. It comes through in the writing and acting and directing in that show."
Despite the heavy media attention when his father died, Ritter said he and his family were able to grieve privately.
"When I would go through the airport and glance over and see a magazine about (the death), it would jar me," Ritter said. "Otherwise, I was able to be with my family, in their home."
Ritter said the public outpouring upon his father's death also helped him mourn.
"I knew people loved my dad," Ritter said, "but I never knew how much. Oddly enough, I never felt like no one knew what I was going through."