Evil Dead: Jane Levy Interview

The Script

TF: It’s a dream part for an actress, how did you feel when you read the script for Evil Dead ?

Jane: I thought it sounded dope *laughs*, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun.

It’s so outrageous and so over the top. I think the main thing that jumped out at me was being able to be a villain and to be evil, that idea sounded fun.

And a junkie, and an action hero. I get my Bruce Willis moment in this movie.

So I wanted the part a lot and I thought it would be so cool to work on a horror film.

Horror history

TF: Had you seen many horror films before coming into this, had you seen the original Evil Dead for example?

Jane: I hadn’t seen Evil Dead , I hadn’t even heard of it actually which is weird, I don’t know where I was living.

I guess I watched horror films. I get scared really easily, I think I went through a phase as a young teenager when I’d go with my friends but it wasn’t something that I was a big fan of.

I didn’t know much about the genre but that’s what was attractive to me, I wanted to learn about it, I want to learn everything I can about movies and there’s just something fascinating and almost mystifying about the horror genre.

The fans are so die-hard and there has to be a reason for it.

Also it raises a lot of questions that I thought would be interesting to try to answer like 'why do people like to get scared'? Why is violence part of storytelling and is that okay and in what context?

Revenge is a big theme of horror films and it’s just so juicy, there’s a lot of potential, it’s a really rich medium and I liked exploring it.

I liked watching old classic horror films, I found their soundtracks to be the best music in films ever.

Audition process

TF: What was the audition process like for you?

Jane: It was so silly, I can’t believe they made me do some of the things they did!

Like, the scene they gave me was one of the first scenes of the movie where I see my brother, fine, that’s understandable.

The second scene, I was getting buried alive but I was sitting in a folding chair in a tiny 12 by 10 room with 5 other people. How can you pretend to be buried alive?

It’s something that I would never want to see, that audition is probably so shameful!

Not only am I getting ‘buried alive’ in the audition, I’m also slowly turning into a demon and so I was yelling perverse things… Jerks, they shouldn’t have made me do that but I guess it went okay!

The shoot

TF: What was your first day on set like? Did you shoot chronologically?

Jane : We did shoot basically the whole thing chronologically; of course we had to go back and forth sometimes but I don’t remember what my first day was, it had to do something with getting to the cabin, I’m not exactly sure.

TF: I know there were a lot of tough days but what was your most fun day on set?

Jane: The first day I got into make-up was so exciting. I mean, to look in the mirror and see that disgusting person was cool.

I liked a lot of the running through the forest with the demon POV following me because that was actually the DP either running after me, or there was one set up when our DP Aaron was on a zip line with the camera and I had to out-run the camera and it was flying through the trees and I like that stuff!

Toughest day

TF: What was the toughest day?

Jane: They were all pretty tough and at a certain point I became like numb to torture, which is so sad.

But being buried alive was really hard.

You know you’re filming a movie but your emotional response to physical things is really, really strong.

When you’re being tortured it affects your brain and so when you’re being buried alive, it’s just hard to stay calm and to remember that you’re actually just making a movie.

The other part that was hard was the final chapter in the film, with the blood rain.

Those were night shoots, it was the middle of winter outside, it was freezing, and all that stuff I was doing like crawling on the ground on my hands and knees all night long, that was really tough too.

Audience reaction

TF: How did it feel the first time you watched it with an audience?

Jane: It was really great, it was really rewarding. Thank god, I mean, it was such a hard film to make, it would have been such a bummer if it was a stinker.

But hearing how vocal the audience was is all you can really ask for as an artist.

The other thing that I’m pretty proud of, and that made me feel great was when people cheered for my character at the end of the movie. That was pretty cool and it’s validating as an actor.

Scary bits

TF: You made the movie but were you scared at any point watching the film?

Jane: No, I sort of like laughed the whole time because I’m saying ‘suck my dick motherfucker’ or whatever.

All that stuff is pretty funny.

TF: How did your friends and family react to that kind of stuff?

Jane: I think a lot of them get scared and I think they also find it comical to watch me in that make-up saying the things I say.

THE NEXT PAGE CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS, SO SKIP IT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM.

SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS.

Favourite bits

SPOILERS

TF: Watching it, what’s your favourite scene do you think?

Jane : I mean, the end look just looks so beautiful. I didn’t know how it was going to look on-screen and it’s cool, it’s not something that you’ve ever seen before or I’ve haven’t seen blood rain before and just to see the whole screen red and with the red dress, it’s just a great composition.

TF: And the shot with the chainsaw, that gave me goosebumps. It was beautiful, it’s a really lovely shot.

Jane: Really? *grins* When we shot that, it was like ‘What’s going on?’

There was like a sprinkler system set up in the trees with blood rain and then two men on ladders with huge hoses spraying me.

Also, when I’m killing the demon, there was blood coming out of the demon in my face.

There was so much blood and it lasted more than two minutes when I was sawing into that thing and when we cut the whole entire crew started cheering and clapping because it was so epic, that was a good moment!

END SPOILERS

Fan response

Jane: Whenever I’ve met fans, I’ve been at Comic-Con and I’ve been with Bruce Campbell so people kind of ignore that I exist because he’s such a hero to so many people, he’s a rock star, he’s a god!

So, I just enjoy watching people talk to him. I think it’s been positive, of course it’s been mixed but it’s had people talking and that’s good.

TF: Bruce got a lot of that rock star status from the second movie…

Jane : Really?

TF: It’s kind of where he developed the cult following.

Jane: I didn’t know that.

TF: Where would you like to see your character go in the second movie?

Jane: I don’t know, I’ve got to think hard about that. I really haven’t been thinking about it much. I actually just found out they were making a second one during press for this, I was like ‘What?’ So we’ll see!

TF: You’ll be in it, I’m sure.

Jane: Yeah, I will. I already signed my contract and signed on for three.

Evil Dead II

TF : Have you seen the second movie at all?

Jane : No I haven’t, bad girl.

TF : You’ll love it. They’re all so different to each other. The first one is intense and scary and the second one has a lot more comedy and slapstick. Would you be up for doing a bit of that mixed with horror?

Jane : Totally, yeah!

Future projects

TF : What have you got lined up next apart from this?

Jane: I’m signed up to a project that will shoot here in the UK and it’s a thriller but I’m actually not sure what the status is right now, they’re trying to figure out a start date and trying to figure out financing and stuff so mostly I’m auditioning a lot and reading a lot of scripts and for the first time in my life, I’m just being pickier than I’ve ever been because I really want to work on something different than what I’ve done so far.

TF : In a dream world, what director would you most like to work with?

Jane: Paul Thomas Anderson, he’s my favourite.

Evil Dead is in cinemas now. Here's a clip...