In the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead, Ash (Bruce Campbell) once again has his hands full trying to fend off the Deadites. But this time around, he also has to contend with Michigan State Trooper Amanda Fisher (played by Jill Marie Jones), who is out to prove that Ash was responsible for her partner’s murder. We had a chance to talk with Ms. Jones about her role on the show. [SPOILER WARNING: If you have not watched Episode Eight of Season One, Ashes to Ashes, stop reading]
When we spoke with you at the premiere, you stated that Sam Raimi really makes you feel like that you’re part of the process. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that a bit?
Well yes, I mean, he gets his shots. I mean, first of all, he’s a genius in my, I call him like, the genius with a heart of gold because you know, often times you meet someone, say that you’re like a fan of and you know, sometimes there’s disappointment. But like, to meet someone like him and that I look up to and that he just has just the kind of heart is amazing.
And you do feel like you’re a part of the process. He gets his shots, but you do, you do feel like you, it’s a collaborative experience and I guess that’s just what I was talking about at the premiere.
Can you talk about your stunt training to play Amanda and what it was like to shoot those fight scenes?
OK I don’t know if it’s crazy or not but I was actually quite surprised how much I loved blood and gore and how much I love the action stuff because that’s something that I’ve never done before as an actor and it’s just really beautiful to learn something new about yourself.And I do come from a comedy background as well which was a shock to me because I didn’t know that I was funny. So it’s always great when you learn something new about yourself.
And Stuart Thorp which is our stunt coordinator in New Zealand, in the beautiful New Zealand, he was amazing, and I’ve boxed for about 10 years, so I do have fight training. But we learned some MMA stuff and arms training. It was awesome.
Do you plan on maybe working more in horror, or are you going to explore other genres?
Well I definitely love it. I’m a huge horror genre fan in general, I was eight years old when my mom was letting me watch horror films. It’s a blessing to be able to work inside your fandom, I’ve been able to do that. So I would love to continue to do other projects in this genre.
I was wondering if you could talk about the differences between working on a network show like Sleepy Hollow versus working with Starz.
Well, both are great, but I think with Starz, you just have more freedom to tell a story because with the network there’s definitely lines that are drawn in terms of the way that you can express the art on screen. But with cable, you’re kind of able to stretch out your wings and fly. Starz has been amazing to the show, literally letting them just go and fly, wings unclipped. So it’s been amazing.
You had a pretty strong fan base coming into Ash vs Evil Dead, so what kind of reaction have they had to your role on the show?
It’s been all love and I mean, that’s really comforting to me because, yes, I’m an actor, but I’m also too a human being. I work really hard, so it’s great when you’re appreciated for your hard work and efforts. But they love Amanda Fisher.
One of the reasons why I wanted to enter into this journey in my life with Amanda is that I love that she was strong and she doesn’t like the word no. She takes no S-H-I-T and knows a way around a gun. But she’s one of the good guys and she fights for truth and she fights for good.
And so that’s one of the things that I loved about the project and then of course, to work with Sam Raimi.
You mentioned that you were drawn to Amanda because she was a strong character. There are a lot of strong female characters are this show, Was that a draw for you as well?
Well no. Because the script was so tightly held because of course, they didn’t want it to be leaked, so I only had Amanda Fisher. So I had no idea what Kelly was going to be and that was a great surprise, a joyful surprise to me that all the strong women on the show. They’re strong and they’re smart and they’re scrappy and I just loved that..
You shared a lot of scenes with Lucy Lawless. Can you talk about working with her?
I have a girl crush. I mean, she’s amazing. I love Lucy and we’ll be lifelong friends. Yes it was great. It was awesome. In the very beginning I was, kind of geeking out a little bit like in silent, like oh my God, that’s Xena, you know. No, but it was awesome. We clicked really quickly when we met because I am attracted to women who are strong in their in their convictions and they’re smart, so meeting her, it was just awesome and then she’s really funny and she has a dry wit that I, I’m a little bit off the sidewalk myself so I appreciate. So yes, it was great.
So did you expect that little spark between Amanda and Ash and did you think that it could have worked out between you guys?
Well who says it’s not going to work out? I’m just kidding. Did I expect it? You know what, Sam Raimi, he’s so funny. It’s like he would tease a lot like, whoa, like something’s coming. Something’s a brewing or whatever. I didn’t really know about the romance part,but it was kind of mentioned at my initial meeting that that might be something that they’re going to explore, but I didn’t really know 100 percent for sure.
The last episode (episode Eight, Ashes to Ashes) had quite a bit of emotion in it. Can you talk about filming the final scenes?
It was awesome for me. I’m an actor, you know, so I like great words on a page, so this is my favorite episode. I just felt like it just told a full story. Shout out to Michael Bassett. I just really want to dig in to something that’s good and meaty and great,and if you’re going to go out, go out big. I don’t want to slip on a banana to my death. Personally, I loved it and I felt it had all of the elements of the Evil Dead, and it had suspense which we don’t see in all of the episodes. I think there was more of a suspense element that we haven’t seen since the very first episode with Sam Raimi directing. At first, Amanda kind of slipped and fell and I didn’t want Amanda to go out like that. So the force was already in the cabin. And I wanted it to be more the evil force pushed her back on the antlers. But I really did want to die like Jesus though. I wanted to go out, I wanted to go out great.
What was it like filming on the cabin set?
I felt very privileged honestly. Bruce and I were the first ones to shoot our stuff there and I remember Bruce saying to me that he was totally freaked out because the attention to detail in what the amazing. What [our crew] did to recreate this iconic place was so on point. [Bruce] walked me through, so I had a first hand look with the amazing Bruce Campbell. So it was really cool.
How long in advance are you given the scripts and how long were you given any kind of advance notification or warning about this past episode?
Well, you don’t get the scripts well in advance, but I knew coming into this project that it was going to be a one season thing. But you never know, in Evil Dead, you never know. There might be some spell and you might see her again. Who knows.