The Chin bat­tles Dea­dites once more with chain­saw and... man- gir­dle?!

SFX - - Contents - Words by Joseph McCabe /// Pho­tog­ra­phy by Maarten de Boer Ash Vs Evil Dead airs on Starz in the US from 31 Oc­to­ber. UK broad­cast is TBC.

Bruce Camp­bell does jaw jaw – in­volv­ing his chin, of course.

Few genre stars have won the kind of fan love that Bruce Camp­bell has en­joyed through­out his ca­reer. Since cre­at­ing the role of the fear­less, cluess Ash­ley “Ash” J Wil­liams in the orig­i­nal Evil Dead, he’s brought his charisma, wit and phys­i­cal prow­ess to count­less projects – not to men­tion the leg­endary jaw­line that inspired the ti­tle of his 2009 memoir If Chins Could Kill – Con­fes­sions Of A B Movie Ac­tor. Now he’s back in his sig­na­ture role, re­ac­ti­vat­ing his long­time col­lab­o­ra­tion with di­rec­tor Sam Raimi and pro­ducer Rob Tapert, in TV’s Ash Vs Evil Dead. The new show also teams him with fel­low Xena vet­eran Lucy Law­less in a hor­ror com­edy that con­tin­ues the saga he be­gan in 1981, while in­tro­duc­ing it to a new gen­er­a­tion of gore­hounds. As he tells SFX af­ter wrap­ping pro­duc­tion on the first sea­son, play­ing the heroic but id­i­otic Ash is as much fun as ever… In the years since Army Of Dark­ness, did you have any ideas as to what you’d like to see Ash do on a re­turn?

No, no. I ac­tu­ally had to put him in a lit­tle box and put him up on the shelf, be­cause there wasn’t much of a like­li­hood that he’d ever come back. So there’s no point in tor­tur­ing your­self about what you could and couldn’t do. But now that he’s back, I’ve been en­joy­ing play­ing the char­ac­ter again very much. It’s very fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory. It’s a very loose play­ing field. Ash can get away with a bunch of weird shit, and I like that as a lead­ing guy. Is that why an older Ash can still en­ter­tain au­di­ences? Other fran­chise icons, like In­di­ana Jones and The Ter­mi­na­tor, re­ceived mixed re­ac­tions from fans when they re­turned af­ter long ab­sences...

That’s al­ways a risk. But we’re not hid­ing the fact that Ash is a mid­dle- aged guy now. The guy’s got den­tures and wears a hand­made man- gir­dle. So this is not your typ­i­cal hero. This is a guy who could barely keep his shit to­gether 24 years ago when we did Army Of Dark­ness. He was barely qual­i­fied then. Now he’s com­pletely un­qual­i­fied. He re­ally would just rather hang out at bars late at night, pick­ing up chicks and ly­ing about how he lost his hand. But now be­cause of his own stu­pid­ity he’s forced back into sav­ing the world at the worst time ever… I love the fact that Ash isn’t trained in any­thing. That’s why peo­ple can re­late to him. The orig­i­nal films didn’t use CG. Will the show con­tinue their aes­thetic?

Oh for sure. I lopped off some crea­ture’s head not long ago and I doused the en­tire crew with blood. I didn’t get hardly any on me. But when pres­surised blood is flow­ing through a tube and you’re cut­ting into it, you re­ally don’t know where it’s gonna go. That’s the awe­some part. Dig­i­tal blood, they know ex­actly where it goes. Bull­shit. How does the gore level in Ash Vs Evil Dead com­pare with the movies?

This is an un­rated TV se­ries. The first two Evil Deads were un­rated. That’s re­ally the way these movies func­tion best. Army Of Dark­ness had to be com­pro­mised be­cause con­trac­tu­ally we had to de­liver an R- rated movie. This is nothin’, man. The blood’s gonna flow. It’s gonna be car­nage and may­hem on pa­rade. We can do what­ever we want. The pair­ing of you and Lucy Law­less looks like a match made in geek heaven.

Yeah, it is heaven. I’ve been around a while and Lucy’s been around a while, and we met on Xena when she was first com­ing out. You would think it’s her first day on set when­ever she walks on. She’s the most un­af­fected per­son on the set. Sheena Eas­ton, the singer, was a guest star on Brisco County Jr, the show I did 20 years ago, and she turned to the cam­era­man and said, “I can only be pho­tographed on this side.” He laughed in her face [ laughs]. He said, “Sheena, I’m gonna make you look good from ev­ery side.” We don’t have time for that horse­shit here. We’re mak­ing tele­vi­sion. Lucy un­der­stands the pace and the grind of it. That’s who you want to sur­round your­self with. Do you find it strange that at this point in your ca­reer you’re gen­er­at­ing more hours of Ash than ever be­fore?

Oh, it’s daunt­ing. Be­ing num­ber one on the call sheet, there’s a lot of ac­tors who would hap­pily knock me out in a back al­ley and take my place for that type of priv­i­lege, to star in a TV show. But about half­way through the shoot you go, “Oh, I’m such an idiot. Why did I say yes to this?” Just be­cause of the grind of it… It took 12 years to gen­er­ate four and a half hours worth of ma­te­rial. In four months, we’ve gen­er­ated five hours of ma­te­rial. So it’s com­ing. Peo­ple are gonna get their Ash, they’re gonna get their Evil Dead, they’re gonna get their Sam Raimi on. And god bless the fans. I’m here be­cause of them. There’s no other rea­son.

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