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Tall, bald and imposing, American actor Derek Mears has crafted a career out of portraying bad guys in film and on television, often under heavy makeup. A native of Southern California, he headed to Hollywood and started winning minor roles, as well as stuntman gigs. After a few years of TV work, Mears began playing aliens and other odd creatures in films such as "Men in Black II" (2002). In 2007, he portrayed one of the violent mutants in "The Hills Have Eyes 2," and he subsequently got his big break when he was called upon to don the hockey mask of iconic serial killer Jason Voorhees in the 2009 reboot of "Friday the 13th." Though he wasn't able to immediately follow the movie up with other roles of that caliber, Mears went on to significant parts in other major productions, including the fantastical "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (2013), solidifying his name as a go-to guy with an entertainingly ominous presence.
Following a childhood in Bakersfield, California, Mears gravitated towards acting, even appearing on stage performing improv comedy. With his solid frame and considerable height of well over six feet, however, it soon became clear that stunt work and screen roles of a threatening nature were his forte. His earliest film and TV work included stunts for the supernatural show "Charmed" (WB, 1998-2006) and the sci-fi thriller "Signs" (2002), along with bit parts in projects such as "Men in Black II." After playing an unfriendly extraterrestrial in the space adventure "Zathura" (2005), Mears graduated to the bigger part of Chameleon, a murderous desert-dweller in "The Hills Have Eyes 2."
Having grown accustomed to performing with prosthetics and other appearance-altering techniques, Mears was a natural fit for the hulking, mask-wearing Jason in the 2009 relaunch of the "Friday the 13th" franchise. After giving the well-known boogeyman some serious menace, he played one of the title alien hunters in "Predators" (2010) and turned up briefly as a zombie sailor in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (2011). In 2013, he got a chance at a slightly more nuanced role as Edward, the massive misunderstood troll in "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" and later went for a mono-eyed look as Cyclops in the mythological sequel "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" (2013).
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