The only thing that could possibly be better than spending a week in Orlando with my family, was finding out that while I was on said vacation I’d be interviewing three cast members from one of my favorite shows, Ash vs Evil Dead. Debuting on Halloween night 2015 on the Starz network, AvED perfectly captured the craziness of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. There’s blood, gore, Bruce Campbell one-liners, deadites and demons, more blood, and more gore. The new series has something that none of the originals had: kickass female characters. Since the original film in 1981, Ash Williams has been rescuing damsels in distress from the clutches of deadites, or sawing their heads in half once they got possessed. In the TV series, Ash faces a slew of fiery badasses who fight alongside and against him including Lucy Lawless (Ruby) and Jill Marie Jones (Agent Fisher). The main female on the show though is Dana DeLorenzo, who plays Kelly Maxwell, one of Ash’s noble sidekicks along with Pablo (Ray Santiago). I got the chance to interview her, while standing off in the one quiet sections of Universal Studios, Florida.
Check out the interview here below.
Geeks of Doom: Great to speak with you today, I’m a huge fan of the show.
Dana DeLorenzo: Thanks so much, I’m glad you like it.
Geeks of Doom: Well, I’ve been a fan of the Evil Dead movies since I was a kid. The Evil Dead franchise is actually older than many of the actors on the show, you included. What is it like to be a part of a franchise that has such a long stay in pop culture?
Dana DeLorenzo: You know it’s one of those things I continually have to pinch myself, and I think it’s more than I can really comprehend. I’m constantly in awe and so grateful to be a part of something like this, especially because this is my big break into a television show, and to come into something that has such a passionate and loyal fanbase is beyond lucky. I’m just completely enjoying the ride. I love meeting the fans, fans like you who have been part of this and followed the franchise since the beginning. I always like to thank fans because you’re the entire reason this show exists. The show really is a love letter to the fans, so I like to thank you because you guys gave me a job. It is a dream experience, and I’m loving every second of it.
Geeks of Doom: Well, it goes both ways, we the fans appreciate the work you’re doing too. We can say we love it, but we’re not the ones getting gallons of blood thrown in our faces on a weekly basis.
Dana DeLorenzo: You are more than welcome to come on the show and have that happen to you. I’m sure Ray [Santiago] and Bruce [Campbell] and I would love to throw it on someone else for a day.
Geeks of Doom: I happily volunteer for that. Speaking of Bruce Campbell, we have followed his career for a long time, and at SDCC during the panel discussion, he’s interacting with young fans and throwing money at them. How different is Bruce Campbell from the persona he gives off while on camera?
Dana DeLorenzo: That is a great question, he is exactly how you’d hope he would be, only even better if you can imagine. In front of crowds and fans there is no better showman. Watching him work a room is incredible. Watching how he can command a stage, he needs to have his own variety show. I have to say he does give off that persona, but he really is the best leader you can have on a show. I learn so much from him every single day, and I know that sounds cliche, but really and not just from an acting standpoint, just how he carries himself and how he lives his life. He’s actually an incredibly intelligent man. I think you have to be incredibly smart to play such a dumb role. It sounds counterintuitive, but you have to be smart to play dumb. He’s one of those people who in between shots, is regaling us with so many stories and anecdotes about something he’s reading or some fact, I mean the guy is human encyclopedia. I could’ve just gone to the Bruce Campbell University and learned everything I needed to know about life. Including, how to wear fantastic shoes. That’s a show in and of itself, his wardrobe, but he’s incredible, and I’m so thankful to have him as the captain of our ship.
Geeks of Doom: That’s great to hear. To change things up for a second: I had a daughter a few years ago, and I’ve become much more in tune to women’s issues since, and I’m always on the lookout for strong female role models. So on a show where the lead is Ash, this aging lothario, what does it mean to be a part of such a strong, badass female cast along with Jill Marie Jones and Lucy Lawless?
Dana DeLorenzo: You know it’s something I take great pride in. I’m so grateful that Sam [Raimi], Rob [Tapert], Bruce, Craig DiGregorio the showrunner, and the writers have really put thought into that. I love that we are changing the way that women are viewed in horror. We’re not just the damsels in distress, running into the woods naked. We are the asskickers, especially with Kelly, she’s a badass, she’s a rock-n-roll wild child who’s not afraid to slice a deadite’s face. I had a fan come up to me at a comic-con and tell me she was writing her senior thesis on the changing face of women in horror, and she was choosing Kelly as a main example. I just think that is so cool and such an honor, and I hope we get more strong female roles like this in the genre. Watching women kick ass is a whole new level of awesome.
Geeks of Doom: That’s great, my daughter is only 5 now, but when she’s like 8, I’ll start watching with her, and I can’t wait to see how she reacts to Kelly as a character.
Dana DeLorenzo: I love how it’s specific, like she’ll be 8, in second grade, and THEN it’ll be appropriate for her.
Geeks of Doom: I gauge it to where my dad started letting me watch horror movies.
Dana DeLorenzo: Passing on the tradition, that’s very cool. Especially with a character like this who can go toe to toe with Ash Williams, even on the comedy front on the show. I really love that Kelly does not take his crap. That’s been a blast, playing that kind of badass as well.
Geeks of Doom: My last question gets back to the show. I got a chance to interview Ray Santiago a few hours ago and I asked him this same question. Kelly and Pablo: Pablo is interested, Kelly puts him in the friend zone. In season 2, will we see more exploration into the Kelly/Pablo story arc?
Dana DeLorenzo: I think it is safe to say you will see them get even closer this season, but if there’s one thing they learn being around Ash, in their world if they get together, one of them is going to end up dead. Whomever you get closer to will end up dead, so what I will tease is that you have to see the season to see if they can beat the odds or if the house of evil will win.
And with that, the interview was concluded. Dana DeLorenzo comes across as totally cool and down to earth, similar to Kelly on the show. She continues in her breakout role, when Season 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead returns to Starz on Sunday night October 2, 2016. Season 1 is available now on Blu-Ray.