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DANA DELORENZO INTERVIEW

Interview conducted by John Dowding

Dana Delorenzo is better known to fans of Ash vs Evil Dead as the ass-kicking sidekick of Ash Williams and Pablo Bolivar. Ash vs Evil Dead returns to TV screens on the 25th February 2018 and will be available in the UK the day after its US premiere. Ahead of the insanely popular and blood-soaked series' return, we had a chance to chat with Dana about her character, and where things are headed for the evil-fighting trio.

John Dowding: Tell us a bit about Season 3 of Ash vs Evil Dead and what we can expect and look forward to?

Dana Delorenzo: Well true to form for the Evil Dead universe, expect the unexpected. Every season we wonder how are we going to top the last and every season we all come together and somehow manage to better what we did the year before in every way from the horror in the last season, to the action in season three. I really feel like we’re raising the stakes with a bit of the drama, which is very exciting to be able to have that sort of aspect, especially with a character like Ash Williams, who we lost because he is a bit emotionally stunted, and now that he is faced with this long lost daughter he never knew he had that kind of brings out a whole different beast. And I’m very excited for fans to see how he grows into that and reacts to being father of the year [laughs].

But season three, as I’ve just given a broad overview, you can put it into two branches. Destiny and family; the family that is bound by blood and the family that is bound by bloodshed and what that means, when those two worlds come together. Pablo and Kelly and Ash have become their own little family unit and then when you bring in an actual family member of Ash Williams the conflict that arises or just changing up the dynamics is interesting and fun to watch.
And then also we get to bring in the mythology that we’ve seen with the franchise with Army of Darkness with the new character of Dalton, and we get to explore a little bit more into why Ash, why is he the guy that is the chosen one, why he is the one that is going to save the world and really get to explore that a little bit more which I’m excited about.

And the destiny part is, we’ve grown with Ash and certainly with Pablo and Kelly and watch their journeys unfold and we get to see what that actually means, why is Ash the prophesied one, why does Pablo have his brujo powers and why is Kelly here with her warrior status and will she get the revenge that consumes her. So I think that’s the broad overview but it’s more of what you know and love, and even more of what you never see coming.

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JD: In each season your character Kelly has evolved and got stronger, so what can we expect from him in Season 3 and if a Season 4 does happen what sort of direction would you like to see your character to go in?

DD: A great question, for season three for Kelly, it’s all about her forging her own path. She gets her own boom stick this season and she is ready to pump it. We have seen her be put through the ringer from the get go, watching her father getting eye-forked by her mother who was brought back from the dead and killed again. She was possessed, she had a battle at the cabin and a fight with a puppet. Everything that she’s gone through, every epic battle with evil, every skill she has learned every weapon she has used, will all come together for one single moment in season three where finally Kelly follows her own lead.

She sees an opportunity to take on evil, one on one, in a way that evil will never see it coming. And she’s willing to go down for the cause. She always has been, she’s always said, “I just want to go down swinging”.

I’m very excited that in season three, Kelly finally gets some agency, she’s been only one of the group that has never really gotten to call the shots which is kind of ironic because she is the common sense of the ghost-beaters. She is always the one trying to steer Ash in the right direction, saying things like: “Maybe we shouldn’t trust this bald guy” “Maybe this deal isn’t going the right way” and finally she listens to herself and just goes for it.

And I’m just happy that she has her day in the sun and the result of that would set off a chain reaction that continues to unfold throughout the rest of the season. And whether or not she is victorious is in the eyes of the beholder, because at the end of the day all Kelly wants is that chance to kick evil in the butt, and she does but I can tell you in the end of that battle she is never quite the same Kelly and that’s not in the way that it seems.

And in terms of the second part of your question after season four what I would hope from Kelly, I hope that she would find another layer to give her life meaning and purpose, because right now, going through all three seasons, this is all she had, we’ve seen over and over, Pablo said it to her in that very vulnerable moment for her when she is in the park where he’s like “You don’t need anything” and Kelly has that moment of: “Oh right, I don’t have anything, I have nothing but this fight" which is why at the beginning of season three she is a warrior without a war who’s just looking for the next fight. Kelly is so excited that evil comes back as she kind of knew it would because it gives her purpose. And I hope that if there is a season four she finds some new way to take back to the next level so that she could be fulfilled in a different way, something else that makes her tick.

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JD: When Ash vs Evil Dead was first announced some hardcore Evil Dead fans were not happy with Ash having “sidekicks”, but now everyone adores Pablo & Kelly and you can’t imagine the show and Ash without them. How do you feel about the fan response for your character and did you ever expect that sort of fan base or for your character to become so big in the Evil Dead universe?

DD: You know what, I’ve said this over and over I was absolutely terrified at the beginning because I was a fan of the franchise and I knew this fan base and what a cult following it was. It was about one guy, hail to the King, baby. I was terrified that Ash having sidekicks wouldn’t necessarily work or be accepted by the fans but luckily Sam and Bruce and Rob and Greg the showrunner knew what they were doing. And we were in very good hands and I am so grateful that the fans not only didn’t reject us immediately but like you said have so lovingly embraced these characters as their own entities. It’s been so overwhelming wonderful because I’m just happy to be doing what I love.

I mean I was going on three auditions a day and then working 12 hours at a bar when I got this job. So just to be able to be on a show that gets to more than one episode was a thrill but then to be able sort of ride the coat tails of this franchise and then come in to my own as a character within it, I’m lucky, I’m so lucky.

And I have to say that it’s the fans that make me push myself harder every year just to get through the very, very torturous days because when I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many fans over the years at a convention and I get just as excited as they do. When they come to talk to me I think sometimes I even scare them a little bit, like not in the horror way, I scare them in my intensity [laughs] I’m more excited to meet them I think which catches them off guard [laughs].
I love the fans and this whole show exists because of the fans and I would happily continue to sign up to be covered in blood and viscera and get my head dunked in a bedpan by demonic puppets for them as long as they keep clamoring for it.

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JD: Being a main character in Ash vs Evil Dead comes with a lot of physical demands with the extreme gore and fake blood. How do you feel about constantly being covered in gallons of viscera and were there any big extreme gore scenes in Season 3 which where other a lot of fun or outright hell to shoot.

DD: [Laughs] You know what, when you get those insane blood days, they’re hell to shoot but it’s also fun. In season three, there’s the epic moment where it’s the pinnacle for Kelly and for Johnny when she has the one on one showdown with evil, there is a lot use of unconventional weapons, the best weapon is whatever is around in the room and that causes a lot of splatter matter… that was a lot of fun to shoot.

But then also in the finale, if I remember correctly, is when I got the worst of the season for me, in terms of blood. And that one was particularly awesome and torturous. When you get fake blood in the face and it sometimes feels like jet fuel in your eyes and you feel like you’re being stung by a million bees. It’s not necessarily pleasant, but when it happens everyone claps for you and it’s awesome.

The issue is that the blood dries within minutes and all of a sudden it feels and turns into a wax on every part of your body so that any time you move that body towards your hair or face, wherever if it’s under your clothes it’s like that scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin when Steve Carell is getting waxed and he just screams “Kelly Clarkson!”. Someone calls your name and you turn you head and it’s like [makes crunching noise] it still actually is genius because you end up begging to be covered in more blood constantly just so that it can maintain its viscosity and hurts a lot less.

But it’s all fun and man does it look awesome in the end and all you remember is “Wow what a fun day that was”, you never remember the pain of the bad stuff, you only remember the good.

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JD: Dana, thank you so much for your time.

DD: Oh thank you, it was awesome, and the UK has been especially awesome. I am so desperate to get out there, any conventions or anyone you know having a holiday, trade houses with me, I want to get to the UK! [laughs].

Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Premieres on 25th February on Starz in the USA and 26th February on Virgin Media in the UK.

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