Tag Archives: Bruce Campbell

Interview: Dana DeLorenzo talks ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 3

With renewed efforts in the entertainment industry for the search of great women roles in film and television, the powers-that-be needn’t look any further for an example of greatness than in a series that’s had fans buzzing since 2015. It’s in the STARZ horror comedy “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” where the effervescent Dana DeLorenzo fully realizes the potential of Kelly Maxwell – an electronics store trainee-turned-no-nonsense, F-bomb slinging demon hunter — who aids the lovably flawed antihero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) in his fight against gnarly, netherworldly beings known as “Deadites.”

While Kelly was initially billed as one of Ash’s sidekicks (along with Ray Santiago’s Pablo Bolivar), the character has easily asserted herself as a force to be reckoned with in the first two seasons of “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” where she’s gotten just as drenched with blood, guts and goop as Campbell via devices appropriately dubbed “blood canons.” The great thing is, if you’ve loved everything Kelly has stood for so far in the first two seasons of the series, you’ll find out in Season 3, which premieres this Sunday on STARZ, that she’s only getting started.

In a recent phone conversation from Los Angeles, DeLorenzo said that while it’s a thrill to have such a memorable role in the series, it’s even better to know that the role is in a genre known to stereotypically portray females as sex objects and/or victims — where “women fell into the horror movie trope of being the girl running naked through the woods and being the damsel in distress.”

Dana DeLorenzo in "Ash vs. Evil Dead 3" (photo: STARZ)

The tricky part about how things play out in “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is that the character of Ash — who first appeared in “Evil Dead” in 1981 and was back for “Evil Dead 2” in 1987 and “Army of Darkness” in 1992 — continues to be a bad-Ash in the series, even though times have changed considerably for the aging lothario. Basically, Ash is a 1980s and ’90s character living in 2018, and Kelly isn’t having anything of it.

“What we love about Ash Williams are his great flaws. He’s ignorant. He has antiquated views about a lot of things, including women. What I love is how ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ had the foresight to keep Ash Williams as Ash Williams and not apologize for who he is, yet put him toe-to-toe with a strong female character like Kelly who was going to call his ass out and not let him get away with it. It still gives Ash the opportunity to say those spectacular one-liners that only Bruce Campbell can do, yet it lets Kelly hold her own and allows her to be the voice of the audience. I love that in the very first scene of the series where we meet Kelly, Ash is being Ash and is immediately hitting on her. She’s looking at him like, ‘Are you kidding me, dude?’ and then ‘thump!’ she just throws his ass down on the counter. I love that scene.”

Interview: Groovy Bruce Campbell Talks ‘Hail to The Chin’
Interview: Bruce Campbell Talks ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 2

As refreshing as that first scene is, DeLorenzo is thrilled that there’s much more to Kelly than her toughness. Apart from the character’s physicality and her keen ability to handle any weapon she can get her hands on to dispatch her Deadite foes, DeLorenzo feels fortunate that Kelly can display real human emotions, too.

“While it’s nice to play a badass female that kicks ass, what I like most about Kelly is that she’s flawed and vulnerable. She’s not afraid to show her fear. You can see when she’s afraid — she’s not just gritting her teeth like Annie Oakley — you can see these vulnerable moments with her,” DeLorenzo said. “But I think what makes her a true warrior is that she pushes through that fear. She has the courage to dive into the deep end, because that’s when we root for the underdogs. That’s what we want to see, to go into a situation when you’re most afraid and take the leap. I love that most about her, that she’s multi-layered, and that she’s got a bit of a mouth on her. That’s pretty fun to play.”

Without question, part of the reason Kelly resonates so much with fans is her willingness to say exactly what she thinks, which oftentimes includes her authoritative use of F-bombs and mother F-bombs. The bonus for the audience is, since DeLorenzo has such a command on the delivery of those curse words, her prolific use of the F-bomb and its variations easily ranks her alongside Jack Nicholson and Samuel L. Jackson in the pantheon of the all-time great screen swearers. When Kelly curses, the audience listens –sometimes laughing out loud and other times pumping their fists — because it’s so (insert F-bomb here) entertaining.

DeLorenzo said it was a conscious decision by Campbell and Tapert to have Kelly the character swear the most on the show, mainly because she was able to give those curse words some extra meaning.

“It was in Season 2, after we had a whole season under our belts, when Bruce and Rob both said, ‘I really think that only character that should really swear is Kelly,” DeLorenzo recalled, gleefully. “Swearing can be something done for just a cheap shot — swearing for the sake of swearing — but they very much enjoy the way the lines are written and the creative ways that Kelly can swear, so I’m happy to take on the role of the sailor.”

Not toying around

One particularly memorable time where DeLorenzo got creative with her use of the F-bomb was in Season 2, where Kelly got into a verbal battle and physical throwdown with a demonic hand puppet named “Ashy Slashy” (think one of the puppets from Broadway’s “Avenue Q,” except that it looks like Ash Williams). The scene was such a hit that collectibles company NECA made a full-scale replica of Ashy Slashy, which DeLorenzo can’t wait to get her hands on … maybe.

“I was at first thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing my house?’ I’m sure I will be tormented by it,” DeLorenzo said with a laugh. “I honestly feel like I’ll have to chain the little brat down.”

For those who were knocked out by the Kelly-Ashy Slashy battle in Season 2, DeLorenzo promises there’s a scene in episode 6 this season that rivals it. This time, though, it involves Ruby (Lucy Lawless) — the villain of Season 1 who becomes allies with Ash, Kelly and Pablo in Season 2, only to return to the dark side for Season 3. The stakes are raised this season because Ruby is going after Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), the teenage daughter Ash never knew he had.

'Ash vs. Evil Dead' (photo: Starz)

“I stay relatively clean in the first five episodes, unlike the bar scene in the opening episode of Season 2, where I had 26 gallons of blood on me,” DeLorenzo cracked. “This whole season for Kelly is about forging her own path. She finally gets an opportunity in episode 6 — a small window — to potentially end the battle with evil once and for all and goes toe-to-toe with Ruby. But since Kelly has this pent-up rage after being painted in this bloody corner for the first five episodes and having her hands tied, she goes ballistic. It’s reminiscent of the Deadite deli slicer scene from Season 1.”

Anybody who can recall that magnificently manic scene (or countless others) well knows that DeLorenzo has an incredible passion for her work, and it shows everywhere, whether it’s on-screen, off-screen at conventions with fans or in phone calls to talk about the show. DeLorenzo is in the unique position to help build upon one of the best horror comedy franchises of all time, and that’s something she’s never lost sight of. Even casual fans don’t have to look hard at one episode of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” to see DeLorenzo gives her all to the series.

“I’m exceptionally passionate as well all the people who are involved in the show, from the crew to the stunt people to the writers, it truly is a passion project and a bloody love letter to the fans,” DeLorenzo said, humbly. “For me, not a day goes by where I don’t think about how I finally got that little streak of luck after so many beatdowns for so long while chasing the dream. I was working at a bar when I got the audition for this job. In fact, I almost couldn’t go to it because I was working at the bar until 2 a.m. and I had to learn my lines driving in the car as I was on the way the audition.”

But lucky for fans, DeLorenzo made that audition and they’ve embraced her and the indelible character of Kelly — something DeLorenzo is reminded of in and around the course of making “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” if not every day.

“It’s great to meet with fans and talk with people like you who share our excitement and are entertained by our over-the-top silliness and gore,” DeLorenzo enthused. “I mean, what more could you want? Give me a blood cannon in the face any day.”

Copyright 2017 DirectConversations.com

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Interview: Groovy Bruce Campbell talks ‘Hail to the Chin’

With a career in film and television that spans more than 35 years, actor Bruce Campbell has been a mainstay with fans since his groovy debut as director Sam Raimi’s anti-hero Ashley J. “Ash” Williams in the 1981 horror classic “The Evil Dead.” Since then, he’s thrilled fans by reprising Ash in the sequels “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness,” and reprised the chain-saw handed, boomstick-slinging Deadite slayer in the outrageously entertaining STARZ horror series “Ash vs. Evil Dead. ”

But in between, Campbell has led a remarkable life as an actor and director on several other projects; and he’s also earned a stellar reputation on the pop culture convention circuit, where he’s greeted countless numbers of fans over the years with his trademark wit and undeniable charm. Basically, Campbell has proven despite his successes in the industry that he’s just an average Joe that has worked hard enough to maintain a living for nearly four decades in one of the most competitive businesses on the planet.

Needless to say, Campbell has amassed his fine share of unique behind-the-scenes stories along the way, which he first shared in his memoir “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of B-Movie Actor” in 2001. But since Campbell’s career kept rocketing skyward after 2001, naturally he has accumulated more interesting tales, which led him to do a follow-up memoir “Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor” (St. Martin’s Press), new on store shelves and online Tuesday.

While often filled with humor, Campbell’s stories, like in the first “Chin” book (an ode to the actor’s square-jawed mug) is also deeply personal and revealing. It’s that sort of honestly in both his screen and personal appearances that fans have glommed on to, mainly because Campbell is so relatable to them.

While most actors give off the whiff of inaccessibility as they attend red carpet premieres, awards shows and other events generally not accessible to the public, Campbell is happy on the flip side to bring the show to the people who have kept him employed all these years. To Campbell, the barrier between stars and fans shouldn’t be so thick.

“I’m always happy to poke a hole in that. I don’t want people to put me up on a pedestal. I don’t want to be seen as anything special,” Campbell said in a phone conversation from New Jersey on Monday. “So, maybe talking about getting a DUI will bring me down to earth a little bit in some people’s minds, which is exactly what I want. Athletes shouldn’t be put up on pedestals, politicians, no one — because they’re all going to fall. We’re humans. We make stupid decisions.”

Thankfully, Campbell believes the real dumb decisions are behind him, because now they’re viewed in a completely different light.

“Nowadays, good God, with all the social media — all the stupid crap coming out of actors’ mouths is now immortalized on the internet, “Campbell observed. “If you have one bad night and someone photographs you? Oh, baby. And if they record your rant that normally wouldn’t be happening, you have to watch out. It’s a different ball game out there.”

Co-authored by Campbell’s longtime assistant, Craig Sanborn, “Hail to the Chin” not only chronicles some of the actor’s adventures on and off the set with his longtime wife, Ida, it tells several of the stories — sometimes pretty, sometimes not so much — of his work on dozens of projects.

Included are tales of his work on the cult classics “Bubba Ho-Tep” and “My Name is Bruce,” as well as reuniting with his “Evil Dead” director Sam Raimi on the box office blockbusters “Oz the Great and Powerful” and the “Spider-Man” trilogy. Campbell also recounts his work on such television series as “Burn Notice” and “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” among many others, and his interesting encounters at conventions.

Bruce Campbell 2

Whether he’s on the road filming, promoting his work or meeting with fans, Campbell has more than earned his reputation of being one of the hardest-working men in show business. The actor believes a lot of his attitude is rooted in the solid Midwestern work ethic he developed growing up in Michigan, along with the likes of Sam Raimi and his brother, Ted (who also frequently collaborates with Campbell).

“I don’t know any other way. We grew up in a town full of factory workers,” said Campbell, 59. “These are guys who didn’t even like their jobs and yet they worked at them. It was inspiring in a way to take that work ethic and put it towards something that we chose to do. It makes you want to work hard if you’re doing your own thing, and take responsibility for it, too.”

Campbell is no doubt working harder than ever, not only on by embarking on a three-month, 35-city book tour to promote “Hail to the Chin,” but the third season of “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” which is completed but awaiting a premiere date. Of the upcoming the upcoming season, Campbell said, “Season 3 is a piece of work. We’re hoping by the 10th episode that you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor.” He also said to “expect the unexpected.”

No matter how long it will be until more Ash, fans not only have “Hail to the Chin” to keep themselves busy in all-things Campbell, but several more offerings from NECA, the major provider of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” merchandise. On the slate for late November/early December is a full-scale replica o

f the Ashy Slashy puppet from Season 2, which Campbell tried on Monday (“It was perfect. It was exactly like we shot with,” he said.); and a before that, more action figures from “Evil Dead II” and “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

Bruce Campbell and his Ashy Slashy Puppet in Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2

And while the “Evil Dead II” figures are a wonderful blast from the past, the one thing Campbell said he’s finding is that the new action figures for “Ash vs. Evil Dead” are reminders of just how long he’s been in the business.

“They’ve done a great job, and they’re some of the best action figures that I’ve ever had,” Campbell said. “But I was joking the other day, ‘You know you’re craggy when your action figure is craggy.’ The new action figures got all the wrinkles and the crags, and I was like, ‘Wow. Thanks for nailin’ it.’ You think that they’d cut you a break and make you look 15 years younger, but no, no, no.”

Copyright 2017 DirectConversations.com.

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Still undecided? Ash Williams promises to make America groovy again

ash-2Forget Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp or any of those other Stooges (leave any Fake Shemps out of it), there’s a presidential candidate who said he wants to make America groovy again with your vote for president this Election Day.

That, of course, would be one Ashley J. “Ash” Williams, the deadite slayer from Elk Grove, Michigan, who promises to cut — chainsaw on stump — through the crap (He really will. Check out the morgue scene in this season’s second episode).

Ash Williams Evil Dead II Sixth Scale Figure

Ash declared his presidential bid this summer as he was ramping up to the premiere of the second season of his flat-out frickin’ hilarious and extremely gory STARZ horror comedy “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

The declaration came on his Ash4President website and posters for the series, where you could find the hashtag #Ash4President, and slogans “Hail to the Chief, Baby” and “Make America Groovy Again.”

“I swear to God, I hope that there are some actual write-in votes, where people go to the polling stations and they don’t vote for either one (of the candidates) and they write in ‘Ash Williams,'” Ash spokesman Bruce Campbell told me in a recent interview. “It’s gonna happen. There’s going to be somebody out there who’s going to do it, and I want to meet that person.”

Interview: Bruce Campbell talks ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 2
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So you may wonder what party Ash represents? The answer is simple, that is, if you know Ash (aka “Ashy Slashy”).

“It’s the Party Hardy Party,” Campbell said.

If you want to see Ash in the flesh, new episodes of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” air on Sunday nights on STARZ.

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Interview: Bruce Campbell talks ‘Last Fan Standing,’ ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’

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By Tim Lammers

Bruce Campbell, one of biggest attractions at Wizard World’s fan conventions, is turning the spotlight on the people who’ve showed up to support his work over the years – and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

Campbell, the star of the classic “Evil Dead” movie trilogy and such hit shows as “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Jack of All Trades” and “Burn Notice,” has yet another new gig: the host of the new ConTV.com trivia game show “Last Fan Standing.” Debuting Monday on the website and other mobile platforms, the show features four fans at different Wizard World conventions facing off against each other with their knowledge of movies and TV shows in the sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres. Through a process of elimination based on points earned, the last of the four contestants is deemed the “Last Fan Standing.”

Campbell is a very affable host during the show, and often takes the time to have fun with the contestants — not make fun of them.

“You have to appreciate their love of the genres. We’re just trying to give them a chance to shine,” Campbell told me in an interview Monday. “There’s a lot of introverts who come to these things. Inside they’re dying because they want to talk about things, and in some cases, they can’t. But with the show, we’re hauling them up on stage and people are clapping, and we’re giving them prizes and stuff like that. It’s a special time for people who don’t usually get in the spotlight. They spend their whole lives looking at people in the spotlight, so with the show, we’re turning the spotlight on them. I think they’re enjoying the hell out of it.”

Campbell, who said he’s appeared at “dozens upon dozens” conventions since 1998, noted that he doesn’t take his fans for granted, mainly because he wouldn’t be where he is today without them.

“Harrison Ford was just quoted as saying ‘I don’t get this whole fan thing,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, Harrison, maybe you should get this whole fan thing.’ People are obsessed about certain things. Once you get into sci-fi, horror or fantasy, fans can let their imaginations go wild,” Campbell said.

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Having witnessed their interactions with fans at convention appearances, Campbell said he’s been very impressed with the way cast members from that monstrous zombie TV show on AMC conduct themselves with people.

“When Norman Reedus from ‘The Walking Dead’ goes to these Wizard World conventions, he is frickin’ Elvis Presley,” Campbell said. “People are bringing him stuff, and you look at his table when he’s done signing, and it looks like someone died or something. They bring him candles and gifts and strange oddities, and he’s a very gracious participant in these events. Not every actor likes being there.”

Campbell said the first season of “Last Fan Standing” shows were shot at Wizard World conventions in Louisiana and Oregon, and given the company’s ever-expanding in presence (Minneapolis, for example, was one of the cities to add a Comic-Con last year), the “Last Fan Standing” crew could very well be visiting more places in seasons to come.

“We were able to get a whole season done in two cities, because we found that it was more cost-effective to shoot more than one show per city,” Campbell said. “So if you’re dragging your crew out to do a show, you might as well do two shows a day. We did four shows in New Orleans and six in Portland and we were done. Now, granted, if the show is a success, I have five other events this year that I’m booked at, and the show could very easily go to any of those.”

Campbell said he loves how “Last Fan Standing” is shot, which bypasses all the formalities of other game shows.

“Fans walk through the doors and nobody is screened. We don’t do the crap that they do for all those other TV shows,” Campbell said. “Everyone gets a clicker and a voting device, and four people get weeded out of that crowd. Then I show up and they go at it.”

‘Dead’ again

Campbell told me he’s revved up to start filming his new STARZ TV series, “Ash Vs. Evil Dead,” starting this April in New Zealand. The series, based on his Ash character from his two “Evil Dead” movies and “Army of Darkness,” will find the wise-cracking, square-jawed anti-hero as a nomad living in a trailer park in the Midwest. Apart from the news of the addition of a couple younger co-stars who will play his sidekicks, Campbell couldn’t reveal too many details of the show – apart from the fact that Ash is reluctant to face the evil Deadites once again.

“When the evil rises to test the mettle of the average man every so often, Ash is our average man,” Campbell said. “It’s a journey he doesn’t want to undertake. It’s very much a Joseph Campbell’s hero’s story that we hope to carry over multiple years to finally flesh Ash’s character out. He’s never really been fleshed out. He’s only been in six hours of material. After this first season, you’re going to have 10 hours of brand-new Ash. He’s going to have to talk and things like that.”

While Campbell and “Evil Dead” co-creator and director Sam Raimi have been bugged for years to do a fourth “Dead” movie, the actor/producer said doing a TV show makes the most sense. The great thing for fans is in addition to Ash’s return, Raimi is directing the first episode of the series, set for debut later this year.

“We’ll be coming into fans’ living rooms every week with new stuff. I don’t know how they would want anything more than that,” Campbell said. “They’ll be getting 10 fresh hours a year of ‘Evil Dead.’ They never got that before. This is going to be a feast. They can gorge themselves on this show now.”

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