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Talking To The King: Bruce Campbell and “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” Roundtable

IMG_0305There are many incredible things to be happy about when it comes to “geek-dom”, the best example would be Star Wars which will crush the box office like the Empire upon its release, but for horror fans, the greatest thing that could happen is only days away, the return of Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise! It has been twenty-four years since Bruce donned the chainsaw and the “boom stick”, we begged and pleaded for it, and the team of Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell himself finally listened. The world that we loved for years has returned in the new STARZ series, Ash Vs. Evil Dead. I can tell all of you, I have witnessed the first two episodes, and with no “pillow talk”, this is EXACTLY what we desired and then some, it is Ash in all of his glory, and Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo are excellent additions to his Deadite fighting crew.

This week, I have sated my thirst for something I have wanted since Army Of Darkness, the true return of the classic film series, and I also had the extreme pleasure of joining a Q&A session with the man of the hour himself, Bruce Campbell, and talk to him about the upcoming show.

The following is a complete transcript of a round-table discussion that took place October 27th.

Bruce Campbell: Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning.

Bruce Campbell: Good morning.

Mr. Eric: Okay. Hi, Bruce, how are you today?

Bruce Campbell:: Good, sir. Thank you.

Mr. Eric: All right. So, I guess I have to ask, what was it like to play Ash again after so much time, and is Sam still torturing you the way he did when you guys were growing up?

Bruce Campbell: The answer is good and yes. I mean, it’s great to get back to this character, it’s probably the most fun character there is to play. Now, we can use all of our experience to build on this character again and flesh him out even more. And yes, Sam is just as cruel as he always is.

Mr. Eric: But you guys are still having fun, yes?

Bruce Campbell: Yes, pretty much.

Mr. Eric: How does it feel putting the chainsaw back on , and having fake blood thrown all over you again?

Bruce Campbell:It reminded me of how much I hate fake blood. (Laughs) That hatred it runs deep, it runs really deep. It’s one of my least favorite things, it’s adhesive, surgical adhesive, and they had to use that for appliances, make up appliances and, yes, fake blood. Because it gets everywhere.

Unidentified Woman 1: And is there a connection between the Evil Dead (2013), which I know you had a cameo in?

Bruce Campbell: No connection, whatsoever. That was a director who had a whim, who goes I have this great idea, it has nothing to do with anything, but I want to do it. I was like, yes, whatever. So no, no connection whatsoever.

Christopher Hermanez: I was wondering, now you said in the past that the video games that had come out for Play Station were Evil Dead sequels and we should look at them that way. Will any of those storylines be referenced, or did you use them for any personal reference inside of your head?

Bruce Campbell: I’m glad i’m not running for office, because guys like you would dig up crap I said randomly sixteen years ago, so that’s why i’m not a politician. Because to you I could say something that was bologna I made up at the time. Okay, I lied, you got it? I lied. So now we move onto the truth, and the truth is i’m glad we had something to finally show fans where I’m not put on the spot all the time to try to make crap up. Look, we have to clarify, Army Of Darkness bombed, we didn’t make any money and it was the most expensive. So, people began to think we were lazy, or we didn’t want to go back to it. I got news for you, pal, there’s no money in the bank for it. You’re not making anything if there’s no money, so it’s just the raw truth of it. Thankfully, the fans have stepped up through all of the DVD reissues, there were eighty-six versions of Army of Darkness after that, and it became an American Movie Classic, you know, the channel. And so fans drove it, and they drove it at these personal appearances since ’88. They haven’t let it go, so they finally got it, regardless of what I said, when I said or how I said it, we’re here, and it’s a good day.

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Krisha Plalica: Great. Okay, Bruce, you’ve done so much with this character. What are you looking forward to doing with him now that you have all this experience and the opportunity to do it?

Bruce Campbell: Well, you know, people have only seen four and a half hours worth of Ash. In this first season alone, we’re going to do five new hours of Ash, so i’m actually looking forward to finally seeing that Ash is going to interact with other people now. He has to be a leader, so it’s a slightly different story in that the character has to evolve, the story has to get bigger. And I’m looking forward to that so that I can take enough time to finally be with Ash. The other movies, you know, I had a week that went by without any dialogue, like shooting Evil Dead 2 got trapped in the cabin, so it’s Ash getting out in the wild, you know, getting into suburbia. (Laughs) So, that’s the fun thing to do is interact with other people.

Travis Dale: You just mentioned how much of a bomb Army of Darkness was, and I was curious because nothing from Army of Darkness was mentioned in the theme Ash explaining the Evil Dead to Pablo. Is that intentional, are you guys not going to reference any events to that movie in the series?

Bruce Campbell: Correct.

Travis Dale: Correct like you’re skipping it over it, it’s not canon anymore, or he’s not going to be going back to the other world?

Bruce Campbell:  Correct in that that’s not material that we can do legally, so we’re not going to do it. It’s a whole complicated bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that’s not even worth going into. The three movies were made by three different companies, so that should tell you to call your uncle the lawyer and talk to him about it. He’ll laugh, and he’ll go, “Three movies, three companies, and you want to make a T.V. show? This should be fun.” So, it’s very complicated to put together, and i’m just really grateful that it all worked out, here we are. But it means there are things we can include, things we can’t, but you know, everything that Ash needed was in the first two movies anyway, anything he ever used, so it’s all good.

Cinnamon Vokrow: Okay, so we have shows like Southland that have gotten cancelled and then picked up by other stations and then the ratings had gone through the roof. And then you have shows like The Walking Dead that have got turned away by other stations and then picked up, and then the ratings have gone through the roof, so how does STARZ enter into this?

Bruce Campbell: They had what we needed. They gave us the budget we were looking for and they gave us the leeway we were looking for, and they give us unrestricted content that those movies demand. So they were really, out of the suitors that we had, they were actually the only company that i’m aware out there that could give us that criteria, and that did it. That sealed the deal right there, and you know, look, these guys are growing as a company. I like being part of companies that are growing and expanding rather than shrinking and contracting, and they’re willing to stay on the cutting edge. They want to do shows that people not only like but they like a lot, and I think we provided something like that for them, and I think we’re attracted to them because this show can actually play around the world. Not all shows can. We started overseas and in the UK and then spread all over the world, I think we’re good partners. I think we’re good for each other.

Tony Simms: Hi, Bruce. I got a chance to check out the pilot, it’s fantastic.

Bruce Campbell: It’s the subtly, you know.

Tony Simms: I have another question concerning the ‘Easter Eggs’ in hidden things. Should we be looking for more than just Oldsmobile, the ’73 Delta 88.

Bruce Campbell: Well, it’s not even like we’re hiding anything, you know we are bringing back all that stuff. The problem is, you know, it’s a lot of Michigan stuff mostly, it’s Michigan Easter Eggs. There’s Michigan State University, Camp Chappaqua, the place where Sam went to camp, Faygo Red Pop, Coney Island, you know, like chili dogs that everybody eats in Michigan, And it takes place in Michigan. So, yes, there’s tons of Easter Eggs, There’s no question about it. You’ll see them in the show, we don’t hide them. The ’72 Delta 88 is the same car that’s been in all the movies, it’s the exact car, it’s not a different car which is pretty incredible. We had it put on a boat and shipped to New Zealand.

Mike Davis: Evil Dead was inspired by part, I think it said at least in part, by Sam Raimi’s interest in H.P. Lovecraft. You guys grew up together, I believe, were you also a fan of Lovecraft when you were growing up as he was?

Bruce Campbell: No, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Lovecraft. I read a comic called Sad Sack, it was a silly, army-comedy comic, so that was me. I didn’t really get into that. You know, we didn’t get into horror until we decided to make our first feature film, because horror was the only type of genre that you could make cheap movies and no one cared. Like you couldn’t make a cheap drama, that would be too low budget. No one would, dramas had to have good photography and well-known actors and stuff, and horror films, you could still make drive in movies back in those days, so that’s what we did. And horror I appreciate now, it is one of the few genres that can wind the audience up and make them pay attention, I kind of like that. It’s one of the few genres that can be very manipulative.

Daniel Wilder: So, i’ve always thought that Ash appeals to genre fans because he’s sort of a societal outcast, but he has one really specific skill set, in his case fighting demons. Do you think that is why the horror fans embrace Ash?

Bruce Campbell: Yes, I think it’s the correct assessment, plus the fact that he has no special skill, he is not trained. He was not part of any government agency, nothing, so I think when you watch him you go that could be me. The guy that works at 7-11, I mean I could do that, why not? I’m sick of trained heroes, I’m really bored with that, guys that are just ripped to shreds and, you know, full of skills. That’s boring to me. Give me the mechanic that picks up a weapon, you know? Now I’m interested, that’s my hero.

Laura Gallagher: In Ash vs Evil Dead, are there any advancements in special effects that you are grateful for that you did not have while shooting the films?

IMG_0477Bruce Campbell: [Laughs] Well, we tried to keep the blood real, digital blood is not effective. We had that in a couple of cases in this pilot. You know, we’re not a big proponent of digital, so the funny thing is we have better ways of delivering the blood, but it doesn’t make any of it easier or better, it just makes them better at hitting me. Their aim is better now, the chance of getting it right on the first take is better now. We do a lot more testing, we’ve used anything from a seed spreader to a paint brush dipped in blood, you know, splattered it on us that way, to a Hudson sprayer to a beer keg that converted to a pressurized, basically a blood sprayer, and then we had a cannon. So, the good news, the systems are all better, but it doesn’t make my life any easier, it makes it worse.

Rob DiLauro: Oh, man, it’s so good to have you back, I just want to let you know that, man. This is like my Star Wars.

Bruce Campbell: [Laughs] That’s funny that you say that, Ash vs Evil Dead, and Stars Wars.

Rob DiLauro: This is it for me, man. “Star Wars”, you know, what is that?

Bruce Campbell: [Laughs]

Rob DiLauro: My question is when you’re working away from Sam, obviously there are a bunch of different directors on the series. Was there any difficulty for you to move away from Sam when it comes to this particular character, and just being familiar working with him?

Bruce Campbell: Yes, it’s heartbreaking, because, you know, you’re used to the old man yelling at you. If somebody starts yelling at me, i’m like “I’ll punch you in the face, man.” So, there’s definitely an adjustment, and we looked we found a great set of directors. The guys were really happy with the directors that we had, I have no complaints, but it’s hard on everybody. It was me missing the old man and probably directors going, you know, “What’s with this guy?” Because we had to figure everything out. But, you know, I feel I’m the voice of Ash, so I can be at least a constant influence on the character.

Kristen Clark: Sir, can you talk a little bit about the ways that we’re going to see Ash fighting personal demons, you know, as well as literal ones within these series?

Bruce Campbell: Well, if it was an hour show, we’d go into his past. Thank the heavens it’s a half hour show, so we’re going to get into Ash and there will be enough about Ash that will make us want him to be our hero forever and ever for all times. And in order to do that, we have to humanize him a little bit, so I think we’ll start to see more of a leader with Ash, a little more hero qualities,-and, you know, the jerk stuff will still be there. Pure Ash, I mean you’ll get that. But I mean this time around we’re going to hopefully see a likely improved Ash, but we’ll see.

Christopher Chain: Hey, big fan and I watched the pilot. My question is, what are the modern day trends in horror you wish to avoid in your show?

Bruce Campbell: Torture porn, just because it’s a bore. I don’t care one way or another about it, I don’t want to rail too much about torture porn, it’s just low grade film making. I would just like to focus on a variety of horror. I want to mess with people’s minds, you want to startle them, you want to shock them, you want to disturb them, and you want to keep them on edge. Horror films are great. You can grab an audience by the scruff of their necks and force them to look at that screen, I think that’s really cool.

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Mike Spring: So, what’s been the biggest differences in filming Ash for a television series versus filming him in the motion picture world?

Bruce Campbell: Speed is the number one only because you’re on a TV base, And TV is a very efficient medium. You get in, you get out, you do it. And I love TV, I love the pace of it because nothing gets stale. Making the other Evil Dead movies, they were great, and very informative, and very educational for all of us, but they are tedious as hell. I think movies are tedious, so bring your big, thick book to work in a big Hollywood movie. But the TV pace will never let you get that bored, you know by lunchtime you’ve given little Billy his medicine back, kissed the girl, and killed the bad guy.

Shanna O’Neil: I watched the first episode and one of the things I noticed is that Ash is very different when he’s actually fighting and when he’s just being Ash. And I’m wondering where that comes from, because I notice it is literally a shift in personality. He goes from kind of bumbling, lovable kind of thing to badass, tell me what that’s about?

Bruce Campbell: It’s about contrast. You know, I think with your characters you’ve got to do that, there’s Mickey Mantle at the plate and Mickey Mantle out to drink with the boys, I don’t know, I think its kind I think with characters. I heard a note from a director to an actor, this is related to me by a friend, and the director said, “I want you to be a different character in every scene.” And the actor was astounded, “What are you crazy. I’m only playing one character.” His point was that there was so much depth to humans and each individual, so in order to come close to the complexity to the most boring average person, you’d have to play each scene as a completely different character to even start to see the glimpses of all the sides of a person or even a character. So, even though I’m doing a cheesy horror series there is still some art to it.

Tony Collette: It looks like from the pilot, which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way, it seems like this might be more of a road series a little bit, maybe around Michigan, or maybe beyond that too if you can comment on that?

Bruce Campbell: Well, part of that depends on how the story evolves. The first season I think is definitely putting “the genie in a bottle”, after that, you got to see what roots take hold. So, I think there might be some information that’s gleaned that might take it in whatever direction it goes, so I don’t know that it’s necessarily going to be a road series, but it’s definitely becoming a slightly nomadic situation with the car, with the trailer. Yes, they are able to roll because they kind of have to roll, so that could easily change at any time.

Richard Keller: I was wondering, the tone of the pilot, it’s spot on. It really nails the original all three films really, so I was wondering how much work you did on getting back to that tone?

Bruce Campbell: We don’t. (Laughs) What we do is do whatever entertains us on the set, and that’s really the bottom line. The tone meetings I think come after Sam leaves the directors and talks about it, but Sam and I never talk about films. He’s the one that’s like, you know, if you put the star of your show in a man girdle hat takes balls for a director, a writer or director, to create that or do that with his character. I challenge other directors, I’m like, “I bet you can’t be as daring as Sam as far as messing with the character and really showing their flaws, their naked flaws.”

Judith Ramer: The huge variety of media and genres that you worked with, from your responses it seems that it’s more where you can delve into, where you can extend your creativity and just go, that seems to be what draws you. But, is there any particular genre and or media that does draw you a little more that you might be interested in working in further?

Bruce Campbell: Interesting question. It’s funny, yes, I go where the work is good. I had some people who represented me years ago who could not understand why I would go to Auckland, New Zealand, into the southern hemisphere to work on the show Hercules and then on Xena and Jack of All Trades, they just couldn’t understand it. It was a syndicated show, there’s no network, they got no respect at all. No Emmys, no nothing. And I’m like, “You don’t get it, you’re not down there on the set with us. We can get away with murder, murder. and we do.” We take the script, and we look at it, and we see what we can do. We can work with the director, work with the other actors. if somebody has an idea, they do it. It’s the most creative set I’ve ever been on, and the last time I checked as actors, that’s what you’re looking for is creativity, you’re not looking for the Rolls Royce and, you know, the big fancy trailer. Those are supposed to be the by-products of having fun, and then getting good at what you do. So, I’ll chase that to the end of the Earth, which is one of the main reasons when I was going to be Auckland, New Zealand for this show, I mean I have crew members that I know down there that I’ve known for twenty years. These people are extremely gifted at what they do and it makes our job easy because they make it look good and we make it look easy. You see them come out of their trailer, you’re cracking jokes, you punch them in the arm, you know, you’re messing with them when they’re on camera trying to get them to break up. You know, there’ s a lot of work play involved, and that’s a big appeal to it too. But other than that, the comedy, the comedy can lift your spirits.

Laura Gallagher: My question is about Lucy Lawless. What was it like being reunited with her, and what is her presence added to this show?

Bruce Campbell: She’s a badass, she’s a great addition to the show. She can step in and do anything we need her to do which is spectacular. She’s a great actress with an incredible amount of versatility, she can do comedy, which is great, and she can kick ass. So we’re lucky, lucky, lucky. I think you can look forward to her having an increasingly expanding role in this show, and that’s critical to me because I’ve always loved Lucy. She was great when I worked with her on Xena, and knowing that she was getting available, she wasn’t available right away during this first season, so when she was I said, “Rob, you better sit down with your wife at dinner and you better lock this in.” So, yes, it’s important to get her back, we’re really happy, and lucky.

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Ashley Baker: [B]eing from Michigan, I’m very ecstatic to see this show play out the way it has. And, well, I was wondering if there’s going to be any, if you will, some Michigan spoilers like Flint or Detroit?

Bruce Campbell: Well, I hope so. I hope that Michigan references will never end, because if you’re setting your show in Michigan, we’re definitely going to have that. I want Ferndale, I want Royal Oak in there where I was born, you’re going to see a whole lot of references in the show, yes, it’s all Michigan all the time.

Daniel Wilder:  Have you had any desire to write or direct an episode of the series?

Bruce Campbell: No, this is really Sam’s baby and I’m sort of in Burn Notice territory as a director also, which gives me a great position with the star because I didn’t get in any kind of authoritative figure with them. I’m a fair director when I direct, I kind of want what I want. And, no, this works great. I have so much to do with Ash, I don’t really have any desire for that.

Chelsea Charatoi: Sam Raimi explained at the Comic-Con panel that other than his deed, Ash hasn’t really grown in the last thirty years. But do you think during the course of this season we’ll get to see an evolution of his character?

Bruce Campbell: Yes, and thanks for asking that, because you have to. Ash is going to be, you know, he’s always sort of a pronounced character, and he’s always going to have his quirks. But, yes, he has to be a leader. The other people in this show around him have to see something in him to make them want to follow him on this quest, and they obviously do because of what’s going to happen to them, and they will have a personal stake in this as well. Ash has to be a guy who you can actually sit down and reason with from time to time, and try to convince him of something. Yes, there’s a lot of decision making to be done, and he will have to involve other people against his will.

Nick Buck: I got the chance to watch the pilot episode and, holy shit, it was glorious. How do you think the fans will react once it’s released on Halloween, and was it complicated to get back in the mindset of Ash?

Bruce Campbell: No, it’s not complicated to get back in the mindset of Ash. It’s difficult to get out of the bed the morning after you do a fight scene, my recuperative powers aren’t as strong. What was the first part of your question? He can’t hear me anymore; can he? Oh, fan reaction to coming out on Halloween. Well, you know, we did it for them, so I hope they like it. It’s got everything they’ve always demanded, so this time it’s maybe done a little classier.

Sean Mobilehill: I’m just wondering, I mean, are there already any talks about a season two because I just want more and more?

Bruce Campbell: Well, the only hints that I would say that production has to prepare for the next season, meaning you have to send the leases on warehouses, and you have to get a writer’s room going, so there are things that are taking place that would indicate that. But, there’s been no official announcement, but we haven’t been stopped from doing the necessary press for another season. How’s that for you? (Laughs)

[Editor’s note: Season 2 has now been confirmed by STARZ]

Derek Anderson: I know that you mentioned that Ash, he’s no longer just by himself in the cabin, he has a pair of friends and companions in Ray and Dana’s characters. I was just wondering what it’s like to kind of share the blood splatter this time around with them?

Bruce Campbell: I like it because now I only get a third of it. Now, they get part of it, spread the love, man, spread the blood around, and it was great to see them all being initiated. That was a wonderful experience to see the true horror and shock on their faces when they see that stuff, they just nail them, right in your face. The reactions on each face, you could tell Ray’s expression was totally pissed, and it’s great because it works perfectly for the scene, because when they first get hit with the blood, none of us have to act because we’re all like, “Oh my God”, because you act just like you would.

Ash Hamilton: It’s interesting that the franchise has evolved through the comics and the games, also the fan fiction, and that it has definitely evolved the character of Ash. Was there any of that discussed before going into the series that the expectations from fans might be a little bit different?

Bruce Campbell: No, I don’t think the fan’s expectations have changed from the basics. We will always give them the basic which is carnage, mayhem, some good one-liners, an unusual hero, I think part of the attraction that fans will continue to like is that he’s a good guy. He might be an idiot but he’s a good guy, and he’s always going to try to do the right thing against ridiculous odds.

Kyle Wilson: Hey, Bruce. I wanted to talk about the scale of the rest of Season One because in Evil Dead, you guys are all trapped in a cabin, this time you’re out in sort of the free world. It seems to be hinting the Deadites are going to be a more global or at least national scale. Can you talk a little bit about the overall threats?

Bruce Campbell: Well, I don’t think it’s one of these situations where it’s like World War Z or something like that. I think this is something more local-regional, at least for right now. But it’s definitely a threat, and it’s definitely coming from one area, it’s definitely near where Ash was.

Risa Dryer: So, the first episode captured that great balance of horror and comedy from the films, I was wondering if you’re going to keep with that balance, or if we’re going to see more episodes that are more horror and more serious, or ones that are completely slap-sticky, or is the balance going to be more maintained?

Bruce Campbell: I think we’re going to keep a pretty good balance. It’s a horror show where we do take the horror seriously, so a fan of only horror, I don’t think will be insulted by our approach of horror. We take it very seriously and hopefully we’ll give them some good stuff to freak out about. The comedy for me lets everybody know that wink, that this is ultimately entertainment. For me, it takes the creepiness out a little bit because it’s still over the top, but it becomes nothing that you can see on the six o’clock news. That’s what has always appealed to me about this approach.

Adam Monroe: Over the years I imagine you’ve probably been approached by any number of writers with all kinds of ideas for Ash and the Evil Dead. For years, there was the “Ash vs Freddy vs Jason” rumor floating around, can you talk about maybe a few of the things, some of the more crazy ideas that people pitched you about The Evil Dead that you’re probably much happier to have done this show instead of?

Bruce Campbell: Oh, yes, I mean this TV show, look, the good news here is none of us are tormented about doing some bastardized version of the show or the movie. This is going to be as true to form as possible with the whole approach. As far as the second part of your question, it was the conversation with New Line about doing “Ash Versus Jason Versus Freddy”, and I was interested because I wanted to kill them both. But we were informed that no one is killing anybody and we would only have control over what happens to the Ash character, we couldn’t control the story, we couldn’t control what Ash does to anybody else. I’m like, “This sounds really not creative.” I’m so glad that we’re back to this again because we can finally do it right.

Rob Delario: In the Army of Darkness uncut version you’ve got a love scene where it’s very passionate, and the silk sheets and all of that. and this Ash gives a woman a piece of Ash in the bathroom. How awkward was that scene to shoot in the bathroom?

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Bruce Campbell: Awkward? Sex scenes are always awkward. I don’t dig them, but it works either for comedic or story effect. In this case, we used it to trigger a story point, so I didn’t have a problem with it, because it wasn’t completely random. It was actually leading up to something.

John Espinosa: So you’re basically the cause and solution of all of his problems. What do you think makes him so prolific to audiences.

Bruce Campbell: Because he’s just like you, we make our own problems every time, everything that we complain about is something we can solve. So that’s why I think Ash is universal, because it’s like looking into the mirror.

John Longley: I was wondering, first of all the pilot was just amazing. What I really noticed was that scene with the doll was very much like the scene with your hand from Evil Dead 2. I was wondering how it was acting with, you know, something that was going to be CG rather than, you know, in Evil Dead you actually had a hand, messing around, you were holding it, hitting it and all that kind of stuff because it was, you know, your hand. What was the difference there?

Bruce Campbell: Well, everything. You have a physical thing and something ethereal in another case. It’s all acting so it doesn’t really matter whether you’re fighting with your actual hand or fake hand, it’s all fake. So the level of fakery doesn’t go up or down, it’s all fake. Like where does the music come? Whenever I get a logic question I go, “Where does the music come from in the movies?” There’s never any answer.

Laura Dengrove: . I just wanted to let you know Evil Dead is like my dream come true, that whole film is perfect.

Bruce Campbell: Now who dragged you into it though?

Laura Dengrove: Well, my actually family. I have an “Evil Dead family”, it’s kind of been passed down to all of us.

Bruce Campbell: Okay.

Laura Dengrove: So it’s a real staple in the family.

Bruce Campbell: Okay. Well, give them all my fondest regards.

Laura Dengrove: Oh, I shall. So I wanted to talk about one of my favorite things in some of Sam’s other films, the cameos that you do. They are usually the funniest parts of the films to me. I’m just wondering, Sam has done cameos, I’m wondering if we can expect any cameos from him at all throughout the season?

Bruce Campbell: Oh, cameos from Sam? Oh my God, I don’t think so. Sam is more like Howard Hughes these days, Sam is “Oz the Great and Powerful”, you know, hiding behind the curtains. He just wants to work his magic in a mysterious way.

Krisha Plalica: I really like the supporting cast. I wondered how they were going to do against you, and the chemistry with you and Ray Santiago is really great. I’m wondering how long it took to find him and what it’s like working together the two of you, because you two are wonderful on screen?

Bruce Campbell: You never know, you never know until you audition. So, as Executive Producer, I pick my battles in what I get involved in, and one of them is casting because I know I’m going to be stuck on a set with those people. So we went through a lot of rigorous stuff, we had to make sure these people were healthy and rigorous, and had a lot of patience, and could deal with a lot of special effects , a lot of just difficult, uncomfortable film making. So, I thought we got fortunate with Ray. he’s got a spectacular way about him, he’s got a great mug, and is a sweet guy. And so, my hope is to go to conventions with those guys and watch them get swamped. That would be the greatest joy of mine, to watch Dana and Ray, and (Jill Marie Jones, go to these conventions and be tormented, it would make me very happy.

Mitchell Long: I’m really glad you mentioned working as an Executive Producer on Ash vs Evil Dead. I’m curious, what are some of the challenges as well as benefits of assuming multiple roles in a project?

Bruce Campbell: Well, the challenge is it just takes up more of your life, but the benefits are that you can control more of what your output is and try to make it something you’re happy about, sometimes you don’t really have an input. I was in this position on Burn Notice, and I knew they never really had to listen to me, so when I made suggestions they were always happy, they were very friendly, and I would send them to the Executive Producer knowing that I didn’t expect anything. In this case, it’s a little more, it goes beyond suggestion. You know, it’s more like, let’s do this and do that. But I have two great partners, Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, and we never really hit an impasse because we have three people. If anyone ever wants a partnership, go in with three people, you’ll never hit an impasse.

Anthony Krogas: Good to know, good to know. I wanted to ask why the show is only a half hour show. Why isn’t it an hour long drama?

Bruce Campbell: Because then it would be boring.

Anthony Krogas: Oh, okay.

Bruce Campbell:: And not what we wanted and not a comedy. A half hour is the only format that gives us the pace that we need and the tone that we need, and I think it’s perfect for a modern audience. I don’t know if we need a ponderous Ash, we need a quick witted, fast moving Ash.

Dana Ancrobmie: I was wondering, you’ve been with Ash on and off for several years now, what personally would you like to change about his character on the series from than which we see on the movies as he grows, evolves, and changes?

Bruce Campbell: Well, I don’t want to get too ethereal about it. There’s not a whole lot I want to change. He’s just becoming more of a leader, more of a guy that’s going to, you know, inspire people, and you know he’s going to be like a teacher, educator, kind of mentor tormentor, so there will be a little more of that, you know, kind of Father Figure. You’re going to have a little bit of that, like an Uncle-Father type, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Christopher Chain: What has some of the fan reaction been like since you’ve been promoting Ash vs Evil Dead?

Bruce Campbell: They’re like, “It’s about time!” I mean, they’re really, they’re not angry but they’re like, “Okay,” I think they feel like they’ve marched, their years of tormenting us have finally paid off, and I think they’re actually satisfied that it’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get putting the original elements back together again.

Christopher Hermanez: I was also wondering as the show starts off, you’re in a trailer just as you were in My Name Is Bruce, so what’s the deal with the trailer?

Bruce Campbell: Well, that’s your own parallel. One is a movie and one is just Ash, but trailers are akin to, at least in people’s minds, low budget situations, and that was the goal there. So I wouldn’t draw too much into it.

Mark Krava: I was surprised to see that Ash still has the Necronomicon in his possession after all he’s been through. Will we find out why he had it, maybe in a flashback, and also, is this season self-contained in case there’s not a second season?

Bruce Campbell: Well, every show that’s designed as a TV show has to be designed for multiple seasons, it will feel contained. I think you will feel very satisfied by the end of the Season, but there’s no question about it, it’s designed for more. And as far as the Necronomicon, I wouldn’t get too much into why Ash did or didn’t have the book. I think it’s an Ash thing not to do anything, to chuck it away. e tried to burn it and it didn’t work anyway.

Derek Anderson: Ash Vs Evil Dead has the perfect feel for Halloween, and I was just wondering are there any favorite horror movies that you like to watch around this time of year?

Bruce Campbell: I like the original Exorcist, the very first one done by William Friedkin. It’s just so well done, it’s a professionally made movie but it’s really, really disturbing, and Linda Blair is just off the charts great.

IMG_0495Simon Larocke: After completing your first film, did you guys expect to get this big? And the second part of that question is, why now instead of ten years ago to produce this show?

Bruce Campbell: Well, no one can expect anything to happen. The film industry, the entertainment industry, it’s always, you never know what’s going to happen next. So, no, no one had any idea. We didn’t think we were going to finish the stupid movie. It took at least three years to finish the movie. Second part, well, because I think TV finally caught up to us. Until you had these premium services where they were not worried about content, our show wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t work as a TV show. This show would not work on cable, and this show would totally not work on broadcast. The only way it worked under these circumstances are now. Plus, we realized economically making a $200 million feature was not the answer here, if you want to entertain people continuously with Ash, it’s got to be in the form of a TV show.

Tony Collette: Bruce, speaking of the Necronomicon, it just seems like you have the opportunity to expand upon the mythology of it and kind of expand what kind of creatures Ash will face. Is that going to happen in Season One?

Bruce Campbell: Well, absolutely. You know, it’s not like we’re going to have a “Creature Of The Week”, but Ash is going to face many new demons and entities, and forces he had not encountered before. That’s the cool thing of doing a weekly TV show, you can hit him with a bunch of demons.

Chelsea Proboti: Do you think Ash has ever used his chainsaw for yard work and what do you think the recipe is for the perfect Evil Dead episode?

Bruce Campbell: Well, the recipe is the right mix. It’s like baking a cake. You know, if you use baking powder instead of baking soda, it’s a disaster, so in our case if our flour gets a little dark, we can lighten it with a little humor, and if we get a little loopy, we can hit it with some horror, you know? But pace and a sense of fun is also very important too.

Tony Simms: If you could expand on another character that you played, who would that be? Would you expand Briscoe, Ace, Boomer, Fantail, who would that be?

Bruce Campbell: I would expand Briscoe for sure, because you know, every actor wants to be a cowboy. That was a great year, it was one pretty much solid year of being a cowboy and promoting, and doing this stuff. If I never did it again, I’d be okay with it because it was a very fulfilling year, very hard working year. But I wouldn’t mind going back to that, he was a good character. He was really fun, and it’s probably the closest to an actual good guy, like a real heroic type who hopefully, you know, was smart enough to be interesting.

Ash Hamilton: Yes, you know, looking at the first episode we see Ash trolling for some last call ass and just happening to grab some Magnum condoms. Was that your personal contribution to the beginning of the episode?

Bruce Campbell:  No, mine was that he was going to take two condoms. He goes to take one condom, he thinks about it and he goes, “I think I might need two. It might be a two condom night”. The Magnum is what it is.

Laura Gallagher: Are you like Ash in every way?

Bruce Campbell:  Oh, Dear God. Every actor is going to have a little of something of them in any character they play, any actor that says they crawl inside their role and disappear, they’re not telling the truth. I think what you do is, with a character you take the worst sides of yourself and you amplify them, or you take the best sides of yourself and you amplify them, or you kind of mix it all around. Yes, there’s going to be a little bit of Ash in me and a little bit of me in him. No way to get around it.

Travis Dale: Bruce, it raises the stakes when there is something for the hero to lose. Is Ash going to have a significant love interest in the series or is he going to be satisfied with having two condom sex with the strange?

Bruce Campbell: You’re going to see. Ash considers himself an aging lothario, he’s not giving up on that. You’re going to see a little something-something from the old man. Thank you very much for all of you fine journalists for your time and attention. We appreciate it, we need your support. Some of you are our fans, and some of you don’t know anything about the series. Hopefully, you can find out and enjoy it. This is for the fans, it’s truly for the fans.

Well, you have heard it from the man himself, this is for the fans, and we welcome our favorite anti-hero with open arms.

You can catch the Series Premiere of “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” Halloween Night at 9pm est/ 6 pm pst on STARZ. Hail to the King, it is going to be a groovy Halloween weekend!

 

About Rob Dilauro

Rob DiLauro has been a massive fan of horror as well as cinema since he was a child, and with his passion for film and everything in between, began writing for a column in 2010, and quickly moved on to acquiring major interviews with nothing but drive and determination. He began his own social media page which became a hit with horror fans, and turned a podcast which had a top tier guest every episode into a worldwide hit radio show that was soon sought after by former Editor-In-Chief of Fangoria, Chris Alexander, with his lists of co-hosts including two Time Emmy Award winning makeup artist Thomas Surprenant, Dinah Cancer of the legendary horror punk band 45 Grave, and iconic Scream Queen, Linnea Quigley. After leaving radio, DiLauro published a book series and had written a script that had projected Executive Producers Bruce Harrison Smith and wife of pioneer metal band Slayer's vocalist, Sandra Araya, the series was self published and became successful through word of mouth and solid review from industry professionals as well as fans. Rob had become Head of Film & Media for popular music website Metal Onslaught Magazine as well as Lead Interviewer for site Terror Time, run by well respected director Tom Holland, creator of "Fright Night" and "Child's Play". Currently, he is planning a return to radio with co-host horror actress Tiffany Shepis in January, and his book series "The Binding" has been re-released as an officially published work. Rob continues to grow a respect and knowledge in the genre, and lives with his family, including his first son, Gabriel Vincent DiLauro, named after the late horror maestro, Vincent Price.

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