During the recent Ash vs Evil Dead press event held during last weekend’s 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, Daily Dead sat down to chat with returning co-stars Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, as well as the iconic Lee Majors, who joins the series in Season 2 as Brock Williams, Ash’s estranged father. The trio discussed how their characters fit into the second season’s storylines, dealing with even more blood during this time around on Ash vs Evil Dead, and their experiences working alongside co-stars Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 premieres this October exclusively on the Starz Network.
So, Ash kind of saved the day, but at the same time, things got pretty screwed up by the end of Season 1, so things didn’t wrap up so perfectly. How do we see your characters respond to the events of the finale in Season 2?
Dana DeLorenzo: I can say from Kelly's point of view, yes, it’s great that he saved Pablo and Kelly, but he made a deal with the devil. My character says at the end of Season 1, "Okay, great, well, evil's going to take over the world... but let's go to Jacksonville, have a great time!"
So I think at the beginning of Season 2, Kelly is just ready to pop, where she's a jack-in-the-box. She's been wound up, she's anxious, because they've just been sitting there in Jacksonville. Pablo and Kelly are working at a bar while Ash is cutting open kegs with his chainsaw and parties it up. Kelly wants to stay on the mission, [and] out for revenge for her parents and what she went through.
Also, it's her purpose. Ash just keeps pulling the reins and avoiding responsibility, so she starts to struggle with “should she keep following Ash or should she forge her own path?” Eventually she sort of teams up with Ruby, because at least Ruby has a plan and Ruby admits that maybe Kelly was the one she should be looking for all along. We'll see where that goes. It's a very interesting journey
Ray Santiago: I'm just glad that he made the deal to save my face [laughs]. At the start of Season 2, we find Pablo still dealing with the trauma of having birthed some demons out of his mouth. He's still undeniably connected to the Necronomicon, and he's happy that the deal was made so that he's alive, but he's still struggling to make it through the day, and he knows that this isn't over. What happened is going to come back around, it's just a matter of time. We'll just have to see what happens, then.
Does the premiere episode feel like a direct continuation of the Season 1 finale?
Dana DeLorenzo: Absolutely. I highly recommend binge-watching before the premiere of Season 2, because the characters are really in that mode where their mindset was when we just last saw them. The fans will have a lot to look forward to how [we] cleared the bar from Season 1. Double the blood and gore, to the point of insanity. I got eighty-five
liters—which is twenty-six gallons—of blood. I asked, that's why I know that number, I asked how much in the first scene alone. That was just me, because then, also Ray had a ton of blood, and Bruce had a ton, too. We got blasted with a cannon of blood, each of us, and then got it dumped on our heads on top of all that.
But I think we had to top it from Season 1, because it was such a fantastic season. We had to give the fans more of what they want. We have great guest stars, like Lee Majors and Ted Raimi, to have more of what the fans love. Think about it, when you got Ash's dad in the show, you’ve got double the amount of quotable one-liners, and that’s pretty rad.
Your characters do a nice job of balancing out Ash, and we really see them come together as a real team by the end of Season 1. Can you discuss how that might play into what we’ll see in Season 2?
Ray Santiago: This season, we have our own individual paths and journeys with the evil forces, and we're all forced to go in different directions and maybe come back together. For Pablo, it's him finding the hero within himself that he never thought he could possibly be. And that might be relating to the past of the Brujo, or what's happening with the demons at the end of Season 1.
Listen, we're a motley crew of individuals and we're dysfunctional like family, but together we form this ultimate monster fighting squad. We all switch our hats at some point, but we always have each other's backs.
Dana DeLorenzo: Also, it's great to have Lucy's character, Ruby, become part of the squad, too. It just creates a different dynamic, and different ways that now she can clash with Ash and can clash with both Pablo and Kelly, as well. It's going to be a lot of fun. We have a lot more supporting characters, so there [are] a lot of people to be tortured besides just Kelly and Pablo and Ash. I think fans will love that.
Is that family feel, that unity, reflected behind the scenes, too? Do you feel more comfortable going into Season 2 than you did at the start?
Dana DeLorenzo: I have to say that we really are such a family. It's so interesting because there was a built-in history and relationship with Bruce and Rob and Sam and Lucy and Ted, and then there's Ray and I. Yet, it's just [how] it works outside of the show, too, because we were shooting six-day weeks a lot of Season 2. And yet, every single weekend, we had some outing, as the cast, after already spending every other minute of that week with those people. That just shows how much we actually enjoy each other's company, that we always want to be around each other even when we didn’t have to be.
Ray Santiago: If we shot the show in LA, we might still hang out, but there's something nice about being removed from America and being dropped into New Zealand together. We sort of go on this journey together, the same way that the characters do on the show, and it definitely helps. I feel like I got a whole new family with my colleagues.
Lee, this seems like a perfect fit, with you as Ash's father.
Lee Majors: Yeah, it's been great. The chemistry is very good between us. Bruce is a very underrated actor and he's really pretty good at everything he does. We get along great.
How privy is Ash's dad to everything supernatural going on and the role his son plays in it all? Is he oblivious?
Lee Majors: He doesn't know anything about it. He thinks that Ash was responsible for the death of his daughter, Ash’s sister, and he left in a lurch when that happened in the town. He left his dad to clean up the mess, so to speak. Of course, he lost his business because nobody wanted to do business with the father of “Ashy Slashy,” so there’s an animosity they have against each other. He doesn't really like him. When he shows up, he doesn't want him around. He says, "Do your business and do what you got to do and get out."
Then he stays around and we get a little more competitive, and then it goes into a little more softness with I'm kind of understanding what he does, but I don't believe him at first. I have no idea what he's doing here.
What was it like getting hit with the blood?
Lee Majors: Well, that was my first experience with blood, ever. They had this tray under this rotating thing and I didn't know what it was—a pipe or something, I wasn't paying any attention. But then the chainsaw starts up and then all of the sudden that thing starts going crazy. I didn't know. I think, “They all must know by now when it's going to happen, because I’ll blink right before it happens.” I saw it coming and I didn't have a chance to close my eyes, so it was in my eyes, it was up my nose and it went everywhere. It was a sticky mess, and to be in that all day long walking around, your shirt dries up and it feels like cardboard, it’s so stiff.
Rob Tapert mentioned that your character is like Ash cranked up to 11, which is something very different than we’ve seen from you before. How was that experience?
Lee Majors: You know, now as I get further along in my career, I've been able to enjoy a lot of different characters, and that was just another good character that I could get my teeth into. This was just a fun role to take on right now.
Plus, this cast is really good. The two kids are great and I was surprised at how they were both very disciplined, very good actors. Lucy is just great to work with, too. The scene I had the most fun filming for this season is where I was trying to pick up Lucy in a bar—with no success, as you can imagine. There’s also a great scene between Bruce and myself that has to do with a bull—fun stuff [laughs].
In case you missed them, watch the Ash vs Evil Dead panel and cabin booth tour from this year's Comic-Con, and read Heather's roundtable interviews with Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, and Rob Tapert: