While Ash was a Deadite-killing expert by the start of the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series, Kelly is in a very different place from when the series first began, and is now a blood-soaked veteran Deadite slayer in her own right. Continuing our interview series leading up to this Sunday's season 3 premiere on STARZ, Dana DeLorenzo and I talked about her joining the Evil Dead family in the first season, playing off of Ash's antiquated views, and going big in the new season:
When the series was first announced, fans really didn’t know what to expect from Ash vs Evil Dead and its new characters. You and Ray [Santiago] have been such great additions to the Evil Dead family, and I watch the show for Pablo and Kelly as much as I do Ash.
Dana DeLorenzo: That's very generous of you to say, and thank you. I was truly terrified. Not in the horror way. I was terrified having been a fan of the franchise, and knowing that there's this passionate cult following for the Evil Dead franchise, and knowing it's about one guy. Following that one guy, it's Bruce Campbell, the most awesome guy of all time. That's a tall order to ask these fans to accept two sidekicks.
Luckily, that trio of Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell knows their stuff. They knew what they were doing. It’s a testament to our showrunner at the time, Craig DiGregorio, and the writers, because everybody came together and really knew what the show needed in order to maintain what everyone knows and loves about Ash Williams, while also coloring in the world and expanding it.
They have continued to do a phenomenal job bringing new characters into the mix. Of course Lee Majors playing Brock, to now this season with Brandy [Arielle Carver-O'Neill], Ash's daughter, and Dalton [Lindsay Farris]. It adds to the world in a seamless way while not changing what the lifelong fans have loved about this show or loved about the franchise, so kudos to them.
Everybody does such a great job of just being able to keep it comfortable while still making changes and moving the story forward. Really, there are very few franchises—TV or otherwise—that can do this, especially with so much of it leaning on Ash.
Dana DeLorenzo: He’s such a flawed human being. He's ignorant and emotionally stunted and has these antiquated views and says highly offensive things. In this day and age, it's almost surprising when you hear those descriptions rattled off. You're like, “How does that work right now?” But it does because he is surrounded by these characters that bring out the best parts of him, and he also has this heart of gold, where ignorance is bliss. Also, he just happens to be this badass. Fail enough times and you succeed at saving the world from evil. I think it's so great.
I love that with characters like Kelly or Ruby [Lucy Lawless], calling him out on his shit is the best way to let this character be who he is in all of his glory, and not apologize for it, but still have the voice of reason and the voice of the audience calling him out. You're like, "Do you realize you just said that?” He's like, "Said what? Huh?" That's a testament to how well Bruce plays this role, and there's no one else that could do it.
I also find it interesting that Kelly is, in many ways, stronger than Ash and more capable of shooting and fighting Deadites.
Dana DeLorenzo: Oh no, you didn't. Oh no, you didn't. You can go ahead and print that. You can quote yourself, I encourage you to. Print that bold. I'm sorry. I did not mean to cut you off. My jaw just hit the floor.
She's definitely more capable. She's still has flaws, obviously, but Ash kind of bumbles through things, right? If he didn't have Kelly and Pablo to help him, I don't see how the world gets saved.
Dana DeLorenzo: I love that. I'm just going to relish in the fact that you said that. But I do see your point. Kelly has become a warrior on her own. She has more than proven her capabilities, and yet, she now has the skills and the brains. But we would be remiss if we ignored the fact that the reason she has gotten here is, yes, because of who she is as a character, but also from what she learns from Ash. She learns from his mistakes. I think that it actually helped her, because when he's giving his options for a plan or an idea, it's not that hard for a character who has some common sense to be like, "You know what, maybe we should think a little harder than throwing a party and giving a bunch of people ketamine in order to get even with them. Maybe there are a couple other ideas."
But I do think that because she has now become strong on her own, she's become frustrated with the situation. She loves Ash, she loves Pablo. That's her family. She's very similar to Ash, actually, in a lot of ways. Neither one of those characters would admit it, but that's why it's fun to watch them butt heads and bust each other’s chops. But then also, when they're working together, it's like a tango. It's fantastic.
Having seen the first half of Season 3, I’m dying to check out the next five episodes. Can you give us a tease of where Season 3 is headed?
Dana DeLorenzo: What's crazy is that I feel like every episode after 6 could be the finale, in that we keep pushing it to the point where I almost feel like watching it as an audience member, you'll be saying, "Oh, I hope this doesn't happen," or, "That's not going to happen. They're never… oh, they did it."
Then you go to the next episode and you think, "Where are we going to go from here? Oh, but they can't. No, they wouldn't dare." And we dare. Every episode is kind of magnificent in that you think it can be the end and we keep outdoing it every time. By the finale, nothing will ever be the same. So, if there is a season 4, great, it's going to go in a whole different direction. But if there's not a season 4, you will be left satisfied in a way that it could just be the end, and there it is. It's not one of those things where you're like, "I want to know what happens!"
Stargate did that. They didn’t knew if they were going to come back, so they went all in. They just put it all on the screen, and I think they ended up doing that for three or four seasons, because they just never knew if it was going to be the last one, and they didn't want to end on a cliffhanger.
Dana DeLorenzo: Cliffhangers on shows that I watch, that's the worst. How terrible could it have been, especially if the show doesn't come back.
Then you're just stuck. It's like ALF.
Dana DeLorenzo: That's funny. Maybe that's the secret. I didn't know Stargate did that. Maybe that's the secret, then, is to just go out everyday like it's your last. Go out every season like it's your last, and then you'll go on forever.
Yeah, that's a good way to live.
Dana DeLorenzo: It's a pretty great tactic. We have to. This whole show exists solely as a bloody love letter to the lifelong fans, so we have to go that way, we have to go big. We have to go big every episode, we have to go big every season. We have no choice, because we're just as passionate as they are, and we want to keep you guys entertained. I think we do that again this season.
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