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Exclusive Interview with Ash vs. Evil Dead’s Jill Marie Jones

MV5BODM5NTczMjE0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjczOTMwMjE@._V1._SX290_SY415_I recently had the pleasure of talking to Jill Marie Jones, soon to be seen in the upcoming Ash vs. Evil Dead series on Starz.

What can you tell us about Amanda?

Amanda is a Michigan state trooper and she’s an all around bad-ass. She does not take the word no and she knocks people out. She fights for good and believes in good and she’s just a kick-ass woman. Which is one of the reasons why I signed onto this project. I loved her.

That’s sounds really exciting. I can’t wait to see that. How does Ash vs. Evil Dead compare, horror-wise, to the movies?

I think they did such an amazing job! Fans are going to be so happy. We respect the originals so well in the show so fans are going to get the stuff, ya know? And I think new fans who have never seen the movies before I think, I hope, they’ll be just as entertained. I think they did a great job.

What was it like working alongside legends, like Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless?

Let’s start with Bruce. Bruce is incredibly amazing, of course. Of course he does Ash so good because he’s done it for so long, of course. He’s so funny. I was shocked at how funny he is in life. Like, he’s so funny and witty in real life. I’d just met him on this project. I’d never met him before. He was our leader and he’d ride us. I love that he opened his arms to us. He’s like, “you know what? We’re going to respect what we did before but we’re going to do something new.” So I didn’t feel the pressure of having to live up to something but you know, of course I wanted to respect what was already done. It just kinda gave us the freedom to kinda just go. Which was awesome.

Excellent.

Oh, Lucy! Lucy is like, oh my god I have a girl crush. She is so super amazing. We had the most amazing time. One of the things I love so much about Ash vs. Evil Dead and the producers on this project is that you’ve seen girls kick butt in shows and movies. But I don’t think I’ve seen on a television show, like all the main female characters on this show, they’re all bad-asses. Like, a man doesn’t come in to save you. In fact “you know what? We can handle this.” And I loved that about it. So yeah. I think I tried to say two things in one, but yeah. All that.

That is my type of lady! I love watching any kind of show that has a lady where she doesn’t need saving. So that’s really good to hear.

Yeah! It’s like “yeah, we got this.” Like, thank you, but we got it. It’s really cool.

I admit, I also have a bit of a girl crush on Lucy Lawless. (laughs).

I think we all do by the way.

IMDB lists the series as “action, comedy, and horror.” What makes the show comedic?

Okay, so I’ll just tell you a little story. So of course there’s this amazing cult following of Ash. They didn’t release the script when we were auditioning. So I only had my pages. I thought it was a drama because Amanda Fisher is about the business! I thought it was a drama. The thing is, I really don’t like the fact that they call it a comedy. I would think of it more as a “witty drama.” It’s quick, it’s witty, it’s funny, but it’s scary still and it’s really bloody in Evil Dead fashion. I think the comedy thing makes people think “ha ha.” But I think it’s really like a witty, comedic drama. And I just hope that people don’t think that, like it’s whatever comedy people are watching. Does that make sense?

Yeah, so not like a “true” comedy.

Yeah, it’s not a sit-com. What’s so great is Bruce Campbell is so hilarious in his wit, like he’s so quick. So it’s definitely witty. I would call it a witty drama, but I know it’s considered a comedy. Like, when I tell you that I’ve never seen anything like this on television, I’m really super proud.

So, how does Amanda compare to other roles that you have played?

You know what’s crazy is, for a long part of my career people saw me as that funny girl from that show. I was on a show for six years, Girlfriends. I’ve done a lot of other work but of course if you haven’t seen those things, you know me from “that thing.” I did American Horror Story and Sleepy Hollow, I did Sleepy Hollow for two years. And now I’m on Ash. So drama is something that I think people are like “oh okay, like this is new for her” but it’s not really new for me. I’ve studied drama, I never even knew that I was funny, by the way. Girlfriends was actually a shock for me. I was like “oh I’m funny.” I never knew that. I never studied comedic acting at all.

I think the most surprising thing for me, is how much I love stunts! And action! I was like “let’s do it again!” I don’t care if I break my arm, let’s do it again! (laughs). I was so excited about the blood and the gore and doing these stunts. It was so awesome. So that’s what was the most surprising thing for me. And how much I love shooting guns, by the way I would never own a gun. That’s just not my thing. But I felt like a bad-ass with a gun and I totally get it. Fighting and the training and all this stuff with our amazing stunt department. It was awesome.

What kind of relationship do Ash and Amanda have with each other?

Well, they’re at the routine stop, because Amanda’s a Michigan state trooper. There’s a routine stop, last stop of the night, she goes into this house and in Evil Dead fashion some stuff gets started. It changes her whole trajectory and her journey. Her life is changed. So there’s different things that happen around town and Ash’s name just happens to be a part of all of that. And so her mission is like “I’ve gotta go get Ash.” So I’m on his trail.

You said if you haven’t seen an Evil Dead move that you’ll still enjoy the show. Are there any references to the movies for like, hard-core fans?

Oh that’s the whole point. Throughout, it there is. The Evil Dead fans who have been rocking out for all of these years, they are going to be so happy. Because they respected them and the way they shot the TV show. They’re going to be very happy. And I hope, but I also think, that new fans will love it just as, if not more, as much.

Okay, last question. Do you think people who don’t regularly watch the horror genre will enjoy the series?

Absolutely. Because one, it’s a ride. It’s like a ride at Six Flags or Disney World or whatever. It’s a ride. I mean, it starts out with a bang and it’s just go go go go go and you’re just like “what? What happened? Oh my god.” So I definitely think people will get it and I think… I call the first episode “Evil Dead for Dummies” because you know those books? I feel like it’s like Cliff Notes. I feel like if you’ve never ever seen an Evil Dead movie, they explain it so quickly. Really quick in the pilot episode, that if you’ve never watched an Evil Dead movie, you got it. You understand, you’re right on board with everyone else. You know? It’s pretty awesome. 

 

Ash vs. Evil Dead airs Halloween night on Starz. And as Jill-Marie says, “watch it before or after your Halloween debauchery.”

 

Written by Jenni Bradley

Jenni Bradley

I spent my days in the library and my nights on Netflix.

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