One of the stars of Starz’ Ash Vs Evil Dead, Dana DeLorenzo has been one of the show’s highlights, effortlessly stepping up alongside co-star Ray Santiago to share the spotlight with Bruce Campbell’s Ash as the Deadite war rages on.
We were lucky enough to speak to DeLorenzo about what to expect from Season 2, being doused in ludicrous amounts of fake blood and working with some of TV’s most popular cult names…
Firstly, how was the experience of Ash Vs Evil Dead for you?
It has been absolutely incredible. I get to have my dream come true, and never would I have ever thought that my dream job would be on a show where I have to pulverise a demon’s face!
But it really is the best job, because from an acting standpoint I get to do such a range, because of the nature of the show being genre-busting: comedy, horror, action and even some drama, so every day I go into work, I get to flex some new muscles and try a bunch of different things.
I’ve had the best time adjusting to the show in general, and then you get to work with people like Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless and Sam Raimi – they’re the best people to be around, because they’re such an inspiration and such incredible people in general, so I’m very, very lucky, and I’m having the time of my life.
It’s fair to say that Kelly has been through the mill – what’s her state of mind like going into Season 2?
Kelly was definitely put through the wringer in Season 1, and I can say that at the start of Season 2 Kelly has a lot of pent-up rage, but only one mission: revenge.
She is ready to unleash her fury for what happened to her and her parents. She is a girl who’s not afraid to smoke weed out of a shotgun; you do not want to get in her way. But she’s working at a bar in Jacksonville with Pablo while Ash is playing chainsaw limbo with coeds, and Kelly resents that Ash is being Ash and avoiding responsibility and holding her back – in a lot of ways, Kelly is like the daughter Ash never had.
They are great together when they’re fighting evil or ragging on each other, but when Ash is thinking out loud and it comes to getting revenge, she starts to forge her own path, and that’s when she teams up with Ruby. They become this lethal powerhouse, and it’s interesting to see where that goes, but the bottom line: Kelly’s out for blood, and everyone – dead or alive – better stay out of her way!
Incidentally, why exactly do Kelly and Pablo stick around with Ash, considering the amount of trouble he’s put them both through?
Because both of them – Pablo probably a little more than Kelly – have now seen that even though Ash is kind of a dummy, and his way might not be the most logical or rational, he has the gift; he is the man who is going to save the world from evil.
And they are both very loyal. From Kelly’s perspective, she knows that she needs to be there to help him come up with a plan and keep him on course, but even in those moments where she butts heads with him because he’d rather be drinking from a keg in a bar, and she wants to stay on course and fight evil, she knows that evil is going to be around Ash, so if she wants revenge she needs to stay by his side, because that’s who they’re going to come after.
They have become this rag-tag family. He saved her from her Deadite mother; he saved her life, and she’s going to stay by his side for that. None of them have anybody else; they’ve all lost their family, so that creates a very strong bond, and I think they’ll stick together through it all, as long as one of them doesn’t end up dead!
You’re in a cast that includes icons like Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless – does it ever seem surreal working alongside them?
It’s funny you say that – when we were doing Comic-Con in San Diego, I was sitting there at lunch, I look around and there’s Bruce Campbell. Next to him is Lucy Lawless, and next to me is Lee Majors – the Six Million Dollar Man.
If anybody ever told me that was going to be a lunch of mine one day my head would have exploded! Even though they have become such great friends and colleagues, people that I get to call my show family, I still get a little starstruck every day. I’m not going to lie, I still get a little tingly sometimes around them, because they’re all such legends in their own right, and they all have their incredible aura of them, they really do.
Bruce Campbell – hail to the king, that’s all I can ever say, because he really is the greatest person. We have so much fun on set together, and I always say that you have to be very, very intelligent to play someone as dumb at Ash, and he’s so smart – always regaling us between takes with some anecdote, interesting story, and when we shoot scenes together we both like to riff a little bit.
Especially in Season 2, we would be doing a scene, and all of a sudden it became my goal to make him break, which I never did, but I did get a laugh once from him. He just makes me break every time because he’s so damn funny – no one can deliver a one-liner like Bruce Campbell.
And Lucy Lawless – I call her Lucy Flawless, because she is – which by the way, fun fact, her middle name is Francis. She is an inspiration to me in many ways, we spent a lot of time together in Season Two, and she’s such an incredible woman: one of those people who’s brilliant at everything. She’s taught herself five languages, one of those being Italian – I’m 100 per cent Italian, and I have Lucy Lawless, a Kiwi, teaching an Italian Italian.
I can go on about Lee Majors – he’s a class act and a consummate professional, so damn charming and funny. It’s so surreal that I get to work with these people every day and call them my friends.
Ash Vs Evil Dead inherited a massive fanbase thanks to the movies – were you aware of just how vocal it was before becoming involved?
I was aware of the fanbase. When I booked the job, I realised the only reason the show was being made was because the fans pestered Sam and Rob for 20 years to make a follow-up, so I always make it a habit to thank fans for giving me a job [laughs], but what I think continually surprises and overwhelms me with excitement is how passionate these fans are.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to meet quite a few of them in person, whether through Comic-Con or some of the conventions. I’m just so moved by these fans, I don’t think there’s anything else that I can think of that has fans who are this loyal – a lot of them have been with the franchise for 30 years, and even newer fans, they’re just so passionate and love this franchise so much that I just feel very fortunate to be a part of it, and that they have accepted the new characters of Pablo and Kelly.
I was a little bit worried that we might not fit in, but we have thanks to the great showrunners and producers who made it possible, but also the fans who have absolutely welcomed us with open arms, so we love them.
Has the experience of filming the show matched how you thought it was going to be?
I don’t think I even knew what to expect! I really didn’t, especially because they were taking a franchise that was solely for the big screen. So I think we were also learning things about how it would translate to a 30-minute television show, and I have to say, it’s one of the things that I think… Ash’s line in Season 1 when he says, “Shoot first, think never”, I have taken that and applied it to shooting the show, because a lot of the time, doing something for the first time, you think too much about it, you’re going to fail, at least that’s how I operate: if I think too much about filming, it’s not going to go well!
So when I show up for filming, I have taken on the attitude of, “Well, let’s just jump straight into it,” and sometimes that’s when it turns out best, because you go on instinct, and have great actors and great people on the team to support you. We had a great time doing it.
To round things off, what can we expect from Season 2?
Double the gore, double the laughs, quadruple the blood. I can tell you that in the first scene alone, I had 26 gallons of blood just on me for one part of the scene. That isn’t even rounding up the rest of the scene. And also, in Season 2, fans will see the most dangerous villain that Ash has ever faced in all the franchise, and also the most physically hilarious yet absolutely disgusting Ash fight ever.
I don’t think anything like this has been done in cinema or television, people will be talking about it around the watercooler the next day, and you will be laughing, gagging and saying, “I can’t unsee what I just saw, but why am I still laughing about it?” That’s what you have to look forward to.
Ash Vs Evil Dead is out on DVD on 19th September, distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.