To follow in the footsteps of Bruce Campbell is a pretty tall order. To be doused in a constant blood bath is another. Jane Levy said she was up to the challenge when she met with Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. Mania had the chance to catch up with the newest scream queen about her Evil Dead experience.
Mania: Any pressure on being in a film titled Evil Dead?
Jane Levy: I actually don’t feel any kind of pressure. Well, I feel pressure on every job that I take. I could think about all the people that are going to hate it, but you have to choose not to do that. People are going to like things or not no matter what. I really don’t think about it.
Mania: Did the practical effects wear on you?
Jane Levy: Yeah. This was the worst thing I have ever done in my life. I am not kidding. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, by far. It’s extremely physical. I did a lot of my stunts. It hurt. It was scary and I just wanted to go home. I (smiles) I didn’t have to act that much.
Mania: Can you tell us about the Necronomicon?
Jane Levy: Yes. Mia [her character] never really encounters the Book of Dead. Lou Taylor Pucci [who plays Eric], it is his fault, pretty much, that the entire night goes the way it does. It is his fault that he resurrects the devil. Our book is a little different, for one, but it opens the same door.
Mania: Had you ever seen the original Evil Dead?
Jane Levy: I had never seen the original when I auditioned for it. I had never seen the original until I got the part.
Mania: So, afterwards?
Jane Levy: I loved it. Actually, I really did and I didn’t think it was funny. I didn’t understand why anyone thought it was funny. I was really scared. I thought Sam Raimi proved himself as a promising filmmaker as a young man. It was so simple, but it was a perfect idea for a horror film. Ours is very different. It’s not the same characters. It’s the same situation, kids in a cabin, and here comes the devil. It’s different characters, so I didn’t have to feel the pressure of being Bruce Campbell.
Mania: Did that prepare you for an Evil Dead film?
Jane Levy: Mostly, they just warned us. In my audition, Bruce was there and he asked me if I knew what it was like to be buried alive? Do you know what it feels like to have a tube stuck down your throat so you can vomit? Yes, yes, and I want to do it! But nothing could have prepared me for it. We had the original producers involved and they talked to me at the beginning. Most of their advice had to do with how taxing it was going to be, physically and emotionally. Rob Tapert sat me down and said there was going to be a moment when we are shooting in the next 4 months that you are going to break down. You are going to be covered in blood. You’re going to be freezing cold. You’re gonna want to go home. When that moment comes, don’t worry. Go to your trailer we’ll stop and you can have your moment. I had a couple of those (laughs).
Mania: Will you be a modern scream queen after this?
Jane Levy: This was a pretty cool role for a very young woman to play. I got to go everywhere. I start off as a junkie, I’m addicted to heroine. Then, I... I don’t wanna give too much away, but there are three main stages I go through and they are all completely different from each other. One of which includes killing people. I do scream a lot in this film and I’ll tell you I have a pretty good scream. By the end of it, the sound guys had to wear ear plugs. It was pretty loud and I’m proud of it. The reason I did this was because I didn’t know a lot about the horror genre. I don’t know if I really ever want to do it again (laughs). I have a new found respect for the actors and directors that do it. I would work on the Evil Dead again, but I don’t know if I’m ready for another horror film.
Mania: Where you given any horror homework?
Jane Levy: Fede [Alvarez, the director] definitely did and I watched a lot of horror films.
Mania: What films?
Jane Levy: I watched The Exorcist. I saw Bram Stroker’s Dracula. I saw a lot Dario Argento films. I had never seen the original Halloween. I watched that. I really hadn’t seen anything. I realized that a lot of iconic filmmakers start off in the horror genre. Their films are usually about outcasts and basic level storytelling that people want to watch. They are usually stories about survival and the basic instincts. I really hope people enjoy our film.
Mania: Having seen all those other horror films now, why do you think audiences like this Evil Dead?
Jane Levy: I don’t know. I was so far into the movie, I forgot we were making a movie after week one. I was so immersed in this world, Fede would bully me into doing everything, that I would do what he wanted me to do. I’ve seen it and it looks amazing. It looks like nothing I have ever seen before. You can see that Fede has been inspired by old horror films, but it’s definitely very modern. You’ll have to see it for yourself.
Check out Mania’s Interview with Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez. Look for Mania’s interview with Evil Dead alumni Bruce Campbell.