When Dana DeLorenzo answered the phone on Tuesday morning, two things became obvious very quickly.
DeLorenzo’s excitement and passion for Season 2 of “Ash vs Evil Dead” was palpable, and she feels so fortunate to be a part of Starz Channel’s hit horror comedy that it borders on surreal.
Perhaps that was because DeLorenzo spoke with iHorror while visiting her parents’ home. From her childhood bedroom to be more precise.
“I’m sitting here doing an interview where I used to play with my Barbies,” DeLorenzo said. “Never in a million years would I have thought this would have happened.”
While it all might feel like a dream to DeLorenzo, to fans of The Evil Dead, she is simply Kelly Maxwell. Smart, strong, funny and more than capable of holding her own alongside The King, Bruce Campbell.
During our two-page conversation, DeLorenzo offered candid takes on every aspect of the show, with teasers ranging from why Baal is the most dangerous villain in Evil Dead history to Kelly’s relationship with Pablo to a reminder about the fate of anyone who gets close to Ash Williams.
DeLorenzo also shared her thoughts on the ways that newcomers Lee Majors and Ted Raimi elevate the show, how “Ash vs Evil Dead” has changed her life and an “action” from Season 2 which cannot be undone. All delivered with an infectious enthusiasm that left her saying “I’m so excited about this season that I’m pacing back and forth smiling because I just want to say so much but I can’t because I’ll ruin it,” continuing “I think we have such a fantastic Season 2 that I want it to be on tomorrow.”
One thing is beyond dispute: After reading DeLorenzo’s revealing responses, fans will be dying for October.
In the world of the Deadites, there’s no testing the waters, you just dive right in. With that in mind, word on the street has you hooking up with Lucy Lawless for an epic, tag-team beat down for the coming season. On a scale of 1-to-Awesome, what can we expect from that dynamic duo?
Is there a level beyond awesome — like tour de force? Like lethal powerhouse? First of all, Lucy Lawless is incredible as a human being and as this character, Ruby is just this fierce, focused, bad-ass chick and then you add little, scrappy Kelly whose not afraid to pulverize a Deadite face with a meat tenderizer. So you put the two of them together and there’s going to be a lot of Deadite guts around that you have to step over. It was very, very cool, especially because I did most of my scenes last year with Bruce and Ray (Santiago), who are my boys and I love them, but getting the opportunity to work with Lucy was incredible. We had the best time and she was an inspiration to me and just the coolest person on the planet.
She’s one of those people who’s brilliant at everything in a completely mind-boggling way. “So you’re beautiful and you’re a good actor. Oh, and you just taught yourself five languages? And you’re really smart? (Chuckles)” Getting to kick ass with her was just such a treat, and I think both Kelly and Ruby have a lot of the same drive, even though Kelly’s motivation is revenge with a lot of pent up rage about what happened to her and her parents in Season 1. Ruby’s motivation is a little bit more driven by the fact that she screwed up and now she’s trying to contain evil and get it under control. Those combinations, I think, make it really exciting and fun to watch because they’re kind of always keeping each other in check and I’m very, very excited for fans to see it. I think it’s a really great, new dynamic to look forward to in Season 2.
In mid-July, we asked Ted Raimi about what you and Ray Santiago added to “Ash vs Evil Dead,” and he said that with equal parts comic and dramatic ability you offered a great deal as the new faces of The Evil Dead universe. Seems only fair to ask for your insight with regard to what grizzled veterans like Raimi and Lee Majors bring to the table for Season 2?
First of all, Lee Majors? I mean, the most perfect casting choice to play Ash Williams’ father beyond the obvious of the bionic hand. He plays this role so brilliantly because you look at Ash Williams and ask what would make Ash Ash? Here comes a guy like Lee Majors playing this role of a complete bad-ass, tough guy who’s also really good at playing just a little bit too much of a jerk, but then is also so damn charming. And that is what the character of Ash is. So Lee Majors, I mean, he would walk on set and it would just elevate. He really does have an aura about him in the way that Bruce and Lucy do, but he has this, I can’t explain it, it’s just this aura where you felt him before he even got on set. I learned so much just from watching him. Talk about a professional and a veteran and someone who could do it in one take. It was like, one take, boom, he was at the top of his game. It was incredible to watch. I had to remind myself not to clap during a scene like (screeching) “Oh my God, this is so good!” I think he’s going to add a whole new level of comedy and bad-assery. And my favorite, which when you think about it, is that when Ash’s father is in the show you get double the amount of quotable one-liners. No one can deliver a one-liner like Bruce Campbell, except Lee Majors (laughs) gives him a run for his money. So start making the tee shirts and get the rewind button ready.
And Ted Raimi, my God, he is just the funniest person on the planet, number one. He’s one of my favorite people in this whole experience, a show within a show. Watching him and Bruce together, and here’s what I love, because they have this lifelong friendship, that chemistry exists in life and it obviously translates to the screen. And that is something that cannot be manufactured, it’s just innate. When they’re together they just have so much fun because their characters are meant to have fun. Chet (Raimi) is the epitome of a burnout, he’s a walking midlife crisis. I mean, the guy has frosted tips for God’s sake (laughs). He is the antidote to Ash’s ass-kicking and (Ash’s) motivation because all Chet wants to do is party. Well, twist Ash’s arm, you know what I mean? So you’re watching them in these scenes together and they’re just being goofy because they’re playing these longtime friends on the show and they’re friends in real life, so you get to see that and it’s just so much fun to watch. I will say, Ted Raimi will probably get the biggest laughs of the season. He’s a scene-stealer and you can’t take your eyes off of him.
I’m very, very excited for fans to see the Six Million Dollar Man and the great Ted Raimi in action. It’s going to be so much fun, I’m smiling just talking about it (laughs). The fans are going to love it.
We keep hearing that there will be more blood and over the top action for Season 2, but how can your character possibly up the ante from Kelly as Eligos?
We did set the bar pretty high (with Eligos), but what I can say is that for me the pinnacle of Kelly, when she really transitioned from just being this girl who got caught up in this mess, was the victim of this emotional roller coaster with her mother putting a fork through her father’s eye, trying to kill Kelly and then Kelly gets possessed — was that deli slicer scene in Episode 6 (Season 1). I think for me that was when Kelly really just came into her own in terms of an evil-ass-kicker. And then when you keep going, like the epic battle with the cabin for God’s sake, I think Kelly now has so much pent up rage but only one mission. It’s like she’s a Jack in the Box, all wound up, ready to pop and unleash her fury on evil. That’s how we’re going to amp it up (with Kelly), and I can say this — I really can’t give anything away as you know — but last season I got to cross something off of my acting bucket list, which was playing a possessed person (chuckles). Ever since I saw The Exorcist I’ve always wanted to play an evil or possessed character. So, check. This season, I got to cross the only other thing left on my acting bucket list (chuckles). I think we do clear the bar in terms of Kelly’s character, but also the season as a whole. It’s not lip service, though it sounds that way. It really is double the gore, double the laughs and quadruple the blood.
The first scene we shot of Episode 1 of Season 2, which you see in the trailer, was the big blood scene of the day. And you know it’s going to be a very bloody day when everything is covered in plastic and the camera guy is inside of a tent made of plastic, you can’t even see his face. So, I’m amping myself up for whatever rig they made, which was making a lot of noise when they were testing it, so I thought “If it’s making this much noise, I’m going to get covered in blood.” So I’m walking around the back of the set and I see these massive white buckets filled with bright red blood. I saw Anna from the art department and I said “Well, that is a lot of blood for today.” And she said “Oh no, that’s not for today. That’s for you. (chuckles).”
You would think that I wouldn’t be shocked, but I actually was because when you saw how much blood this was, which I will tell you how much it was in a moment, I said “Wait, all of this is just for me? Just for this scene?” And she said “Uh-huh!” And I said “Okay. Oh, wow. You don’t happen to know how much this actually would be?” She said “Yeah, I do. I made it. It’s 85 liters.” So I was like “Let me Google that real quick!” It was 26 gallons. Of. Blood. For ONE moment. Of ONE scene. That is in the first five minutes of Episode 1. For ME! For. Me. And then Ray had all of his blood, Bruce had all of his blood and then, as if that wasn’t enough, Landon, they’re like (laughs) “Okay,” they put another tarp down and they make Bruce, Ray and I do this individually.
So one-by-one we put on our little safety goggles, and they roll out the blood cannon. Yes, you heard me, it’s a blood cannon. I don’t know exactly what it’s called, but that’s what I call it because that’s what it is. And they individually BLAST us with a cannon of blood (laughs). And then as if that wasn’t enough or got into enough crevices in our bodies, they just took a massive bucket and dumped it on each of our heads. I mean, it’s comical to the point where blood was in my apartment for weeks, and this was after a two-hour shower on set. They have to cover our trailers with plastic because you can never sit down, you can’t go to the bathroom, you can’t do anything! (Laughs) You’re just sticky with blood that once it dries, it’s hilarious.
Honestly, you can’t touch anything. Your phone is going to be forever covered in blood. Try going through airport security six months later when you’re like “Oh, wait. I missed a spot on my luggage. How did that get there?” Trying to explain that to GTA. “You can taste it. It’s probably sugar.” I mean, it’s a whole thing, Landon, but we do it for the fans and we love it because that is what Evil Dead is — blood for weeks and months (laughs) — forever and ever.
Having touched on Eligos and Ruby, both of whom offered a lot to digest last season, tell us how Joel Tobeck takes it to the next level as Baal this year?
I love talking about Baal, and now that it’s out in the universe I can talk about. (Baal) is, by far, the most dangerous villain in Evil Dead history. Again, I have to tread lightly because I don’t want to ruin it, but any villain who has chronically wet hair is always a dead giveaway that it’s going to be a very dangerous villain (laughs). When you have the chronic wet look, that’s serious.
The fact that Ruby and Ash Williams have a very, very, very difficult time defeating him, if they even do, there’s a real good chance they’re not going to defeat him. That’s all I can say without giving too much away, but he is by far the most dangerous villain in Evil Dead history and fans will see why once he is part of that story-line. I will say that it’s all hands on deck trying to beat this guy and because the writers have expanded the universe and we have this very formidable opponent with Baal, there are more people who are going to die this season. It is a much higher body count than Season 1 and a lot more people get tortured. I have to be careful (laughs). Baal’s greatest weapon is torture, and that’s all I’m going to say before I give everything away and get fired from the show. Which I might already be. Who knows? I may not even make it through Season 2. I’m just saying you never known. You never know who’s gonna go. That’s all I gotta say.