SXSW 2013: EVIL DEAD interview with stars Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez

SXSW 2013: EVIL DEAD interview with stars Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, I had a chance to sit down with some of the actors and the creative team behind the new EVIL DEAD movie.  In the next few days we’ll be posting snippets from those interview sessions, but we continue our posts with actress Jane Levy and actor Shiloh Fernandez.  It should also be noted that the remake of EVIL DEAD, which premiered at SXSW, went over very well with the audience… which put a lot of the naysayers into quiet mode.  Here’s my questions and Jane and Shiloh’s answers to them.  Please note, this was part of a roundtable interview with other journalists, but what’s presented here is solely my questions to them and their answers to me.


Mark: We were just talking with the boys about how this is obviously… probably going to be one of the goriest movies ever made, and has so many practical effects, which nowadays you just don’t see that anymore in movies. Was it kind a great experience to be able to come to a set where they were implementing all that, and it wasn’t like “Oh, we’ll just do that later on the computer.” They were actually doing it all for real around you there.

Jane Levy: It was really fun.

Mark: That’s got to be a totally different experience.

Jane: Absolutely, yeah. When I first got there I was so excited about it, and by week four I was like “Okay, get me out of this shit.”

Mark: Yeah, I’ve seen the fake blood, I get it.

Jane: No, it was really cool. Because stuff is actually happening and we’re reacting to things in real time.

Mark: Well I would imagine it enhances the acting experience, because you’re reacting to something that’s right in front of you as opposed to a tennis ball or something.

Jane: Yeah, and also, I love making movies, and that’s really making a movie. Looking at a wall and imagining something… it just isn’t… it just doesn’t feel like the same thing. And it’s also really fun to learn about this art form. I haven’t been doing it that long, and mostly working on a television show that works really quickly and it is it’s own beast. But to work on a horror film, learning how to work with that stuff, seeing how films are made, that was, I think, the most important thing I take away from this movie.

Mark: Well Shiloh, you’re no stranger to horror films. You’re in one of my favorite horror films of all time with DEAD GIRL. Making a movie like this that comes from obviously such an iconic franchise, was there any kind of pressure attached to that? Especially considering it’s also a remake and seeing how the fans react and that sort of thing…

Shiloh Fernandez: Yeah, remakes do sort of get under my skin… it’s a scary thought to then join one. And obviously the fans of EVIL DEAD seem to be more die hard than anything else.

Mark: More vocal.

Shiloh: Yeah, it’s crazy. And so yeah, there’s pressure and it’s a little bit scary, but James keeps reminding me that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert were the ones that made the film. I mean Fede was directing it, and Fede was amazing. Meeting with him and speaking to him about what he was going to do, it was sort of a no-brainer. But I think having the support of the dudes people who made the other movie, it’s like you’re just making another EVIL DEAD. So it was like we were just making another EVIL DEAD with the guys that made EVIL DEAD. It was fucking awesome.

Mark: Well it’s like old school horror.

Jane: But also not. I think that’s what so cool about it. There’s something old school about but also something very contemporary.

Mark: Like Bruce was saying, nowadays there’s that tendency to just release torture porn, and this is very much not that. It’s a throwback to the good old days of horror, while at the same time doing new and interesting things.

Jane: Totally, I mean not to be a cynic, but I feel like a lot of movies that are being made right now are being made by formula by these uncreative, unsophisticated assholes in suits that just go by mathematics. And this movie, because of the producers behind it, they had so much freedom to do whatever they wanted that they made their own movie. That’s pretty much all it is, like real filmmakers making what they want to make and not being chastised by a studio that has no idea what they’re talking about. I think that’s a big reason why it turned out so good.

Mark: Now because you had Bruce and Rob and Sam behind this thing with you, was there any words of advice or words of wisdom those guys were able to give you to put into your performances or just to put into the overall thinking of how to approach this?

Jane: Bruce was like “Just don’t try to do anything like we did, you guys are better actors than we ever were” which was a very humble and nice thing for him to say.

Mark: Everybody forgets the original EVIL DEAD was like a college movie.

Jane: Right, right right.

Mark: It wasn’t intended to be like a big, cult classic.

Jane: Something that Rob Tapert said to me that stuck with me and made me feel really good… he sat me down like right before we started shooting and he said “There’s gonna be a day, and you’re gonna lose it. And when that day comes just tell me, and it’s okay.” And that day came. (laughter)

EVIL DEAD is now playing everywhere

Be Sociable, Share!

About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.