This is the original 1999 interview with Jonathan Tiersten that took place after he was tracked down by Jeff Hayes. This is Jon's first ever "Sleepaway Camp" interview online. Of particular interest, it's fun to read the duo discussing the possibility of a sequel with "Ricky" returning which actually ended out happening 4 years later. This is where it all began.
Well fellow campers, a Sleepaway Camp fan's dreams came true on Saturday, May 22 1999 when me and a small group of fellow fans (including my girlfriend, my sister, and website frequenter Joe Canistro) went to Lee, Massachusetts to meet the one and only Jonathan Tiersten who played everyone's favorite cousin RICKY in the original slasher classic: Sleepaway Camp!!! A lot of fans have wondered what ever happened to "Ricky" and here you will find the answers as well as many tidbits of information about the cult phenomenon straight from the mouth of "Ricky" himself!!
Let me start by telling you what Jonathan is up to these days. He is currently preforming in a Colorado based band called: BAMBI'S APARTMENT where he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with a great bunch of guys.
Now I know you are all wondering why Jonathan is currently doing music now and not acting...well as he puts it, "I got sick of the business!" Dont get him wrong, he still enjoys acting, but he just got sick of the business at the time...and in his mid 20's decided to move away from New York...and ended out in Colorado where he owned a bar for a few years and even recorded a solo album! Eventually he met up with Michael O'Neal and formed the band BAMBI'S APARTMENT. Jonathan is actually thinking about a return to acting and hopes that BAMBI'S APARTMENT is a stepping stone for it. He has a passion for both his music and acting...and is very good at both!! Now I know you are all wondering why Jonathan is currently doing music now and not acting...well as he puts it, "I got sick of the business!" Dont get him wrong, he still enjoys acting, but he just got sick of the business at the time...and in his mid 20's decided to move away from New York...
...and ended out in Colorado where he owned a bar for a few years and even recorded a solo album! Eventually he met up with Michael O'Neal and formed the band BAMBI'S APARTMENT. Jonathan is actually thinking about a return to acting and hopes that BAMBI'S APARTMENT is a stepping stone for it. He has a passion for both his music and acting...and is very good at both!!
Okay campers, let's go back to camp! The following interview will answer a lot of questions about what Jonathan remembers about his "FUN" experience making Sleepaway Camp and a lot of answers to questions that we have always wanted to know!!!! Enjoy!!
What was it like making Sleepaway? It was like a giant Party. A really fun time. Do you still talk to any of the cast members these days? Chris Collet is pretty much the only one. What is he doing now? He still acts. Does a lot of Broadway plays. What ever happened to director Robert Hiltzik? I'm not sure. I think he made enough money off of Sleepaway Camp so that he didn't have to work any more. What was he like? He was really cool. When he showed me the script he said that he wanted to make the most twisted movie ever so to let him know if I had any other ideas...after I read the script I was like umm, I think you already did pretty much make the most twisted movie ever! Rumors have surfaced that Robert may have been gay (because of the theme of the movie) and that he himself dressed in drag to play Aunt Martha?? No way! He was certainly not gay...he very much liked his women. And It was a WOMAN who played Aunt Martha...she was a weird lady in real life too! What ever happened to Felissa Rose? Not sure really. I think Sleepaway was the last movie she did. Did you have a crush on any of the girls on the set? Oh yeah. I had the biggest crush on Kathy Kahmi, the girl who played MEG. Did she know it?? I think she knew. Did you ever hook up with anyone on the set? (laughs) I dont think I should get into that. Do tell. Well, some of the extras...
What was it like working with ARTIE the chef? He was a good actor. I remember shooting the scene where he slammed me into the wall after I caught him in the walk-in with Angela. We had to shoot that scene like 15 times because the director wasn't satisfied with the first few takes. By the time we were done, my back ached!! I swear he just kept doing it cuz he enjoyed seeing me get thrown around (Laughs). Was there lots of other stuff filmed for the movie but cut out? There was some. The baseball game was a lot longer...and the scene where I am talking to Mozart ("Mind Over Matter") was originally a LOT longer...I told Robert that it was too long and that made it boring. Rumors have said that there was an ending where Angela got taken off to jail...? Not that I know of. I wasn't there for all the shooting but I still dont remember knowing of that. Tell us some other cool facts about Sleepaway Camp! The killer's hands...they were MINE!! Angela was the killer but the director thought her hands looked too feminine and it would give it away! So all those scenes where you see the killer's hands...they are actually mine! You know that scene where the guys are getting stoned by the lake? They really did get stoned before they shot that scene...that is why it looks so realistic. Was camp actually going on during filming? No, that camp was closed down even before we started shooting. It is still around? I dont really know. What did you do on the set for fun? Well it was mostly night shooting so we slept a lot during the day...and then at night after filming we went Bowling all the time! There was a 24 hour bowling alley near where we stayed. What about the classic shocker ending? Was that Felissa standing behind a dummy-made body? No...That was actually a college kid that wore a plaster mask of Angela's face over his...and had his body shaved. I remember he didn't want to do it...it was very cold that night...and he was like crying...but he needed the money. How did You get involved with Sleepaway? I went in for an audition that my Agent got me...and I knew after reading for it I got the part! I never felt so right about a part before. The director told me to cuss him out! I was like WHAT? He said to cuss him out...so I was like okay, you asked for it...(laughs). Did you see Sleepaway at a movie theater when it came out? Yes. How many times? Once. It was funny because my older brother who I never got along with suddenly thought I was cool since I was in a movie. Have you seen any of the Sleepaway sequels? NO. My agent was furious when they came out! I didn't really care though. It must be weird for you to know you have all these fans years later. What do you think of that? I think it is cool how everything comes back...the whole retro thing. And now the question that we are all DYING to know...If You were asked to reprise your role as Ricky in a future Sleepaway Camp sequel...would you do it? DEFINITELY!! AWWWW Yeaaahh!!!
Well there you have it! Ricky: still alive and kicking! When this interview was conducted in 1999, Jon was fronting the band BAMBI'S APARTMENT, which has since disbanded. He is now the singer/songwriter/lead guitarist of the alternative-rock band TEN TIERS.