Interview: Arielle Carver-O’Neill talks Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3

Photo Credit: Starz - Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 3 Marketing Shoot
Photo Credit: Starz - Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 3 Marketing Shoot /

Arielle Carver-O’Neill shares her thoughts with Hidden Remote about joining Ash vs Evil Dead for its upcoming third season.

There a list of new shows worth checking out this month but the returning series are just as notable. The third season of Ash vs Evil Dead is quickly approaching as it is set to air at the end of the month. Fans had to wait a bit longer, as the typical October premiere date was moved to February for the upcoming season. According to the plot details and footage for the new season, the wait definitely seems worth it.

The horror-comedy based on the classic Evil Dead films  follows the life of unlikely hero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his fellow deadite-slaying friends, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). For the third season, evil is back and bigger than ever but much of the focus revolves around the revelation of Ash’s daughter.

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Australian actress Arielle Carver-O’Neill is playing Brandy, the teenage daughter of Ash, who gets swept up into the drama. We spoke to the newcomer about her character and what it was like joining the show.

Hidden Remote: What has it been like joining a show like Ash vs Evil Dead?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: It’s been incredible, I mean, the fantastic thing about Ash vs Evil Dead is that it has almost every single genre. So it’s the place to go if you want to learn new skills and what it’s like to work on a job. Basically, there was drama, there was comedy, horror, special effects, and then there was CGI. We had to work with little crosses and marks on the walls with the stunts and fighting. It was incredible. I’ve learned so much and I’m very grateful. It was a fantastic American series to be on.

Hidden Remote: Were you a fan of the Evil Dead movies growing up?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: I hadn’t actually seen them before. I’ve known about them. When I was a kid, I saw Scary Movie and I got nightmares for a week. That being a comedic spoof, like that’s it, I can’t handle horror. Clearly this is meant to be fun and I got nightmares *laughs*.

So from then on I kind of avoided it and then when I got the audition for the show, I was like ‘well now I need to do research and sit there and watch horror…oh god this is going to be so terrible.’ But from the first episode of Season 1 I could not stop watching, it was so good. It made me laugh out loud and cry, it was fantastic, I loved it so much. It made horror watchable for me and basically gave me commission to like horror again.

From then on I’ve seen the original movies of course and they were great. Now I know what all the fuss is about and I’ve been missing out all this time. I’m a new fan of horror now because of Ash vs Evil Dead.”

Hidden Remote: I love that you brought that up because I feel like a lot of people watch this show or it appeals to them, because it’s not just one genre. So even if you aren’t a horror fan, the comedy element can still keep you watching even if the blood and gore might be a little too much. That comedy is like no other.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: Exactly and it can be so ridiculous, there’s limbs being ripped off and heads being decapitated, the comedy and the ridiculousness and the originality of it all just makes it so entertaining in a way that I don’t think any other show is.

Hidden Remote: What was it like being drenched in blood? I feel like it’s an ignition process for new cast members.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: *laughs* It is. Being the new kid on the block, I pretty much got everyone’s share of blood this season. I got eight blood cannons during filming, which is just one way of getting blood on the actor, there are many others. But a blood cannon is probably the most intense because they use a high pressure tank and a big tub with gallons of blood connected to a hose. Essentially when they turn it on and shoot you with it, it feels like getting a high pressure hose to the face but with sticky cold blood. And it tastes disgusting–but it’s a lot of fun actually. I do highly recommend the experience, it’s quite the adrenaline rush.

Ash vs Evil Dead season 3
Photo Credit: Starz via Starz Media Room /

Hidden Remote: Your co-star Bruce Campbell did bring you up when I asked him a question if he has gotten used to the fake blood. He brought your name up and said the first time you ever got the blood cannon, your reaction made for great TV because it was so real. It wasn’t a character reaction, it was a genuine reaction.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: *laughs* It was! You can’t act while getting hit with a blood cannon. You can’t control what your face and body does. There’s no preparing for it because it’s different every single time so you can’t get used to it. You can’t think be like ‘oh I know what it’s going to feel like’ so you have to  surrender and let your body or face do whatever it needs to do to react to the situation *laughs*. So it was very real, it was very genuine.

Hidden Remote: What else can you tell us about Brandy besides her finding out that Ash is her father? The big revelation this season.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: It is a big revelation. When we meet Brandy she has one goal, which is to get out of this town where she feels like an outcast. She’s never felt like she belonged, she doesn’t have a place in it, quite similar to Ash. Her one goal is to get out of this town and find that place she belongs in and make her life there. She knows it needs to be far away from [Elk Grove].

But then evil has other plans for her so she gets dragged into this fight against evil in a very, it’s entertaining, but in a traumatic way. From then, of course, she finds out Ash is her father and her entire sense of reality is completely shattered. Everything she’s know previously is gone. She is the kind of girl who needs to find things out for herself and find her own answers. So not trusting Ash right away, going out there and figuring out what’s real and what’s not, what it means to her and whether she wants to be a part of it at all, she needs to figure all of that out on her own.

She is very independent like that. and you know of course, over time, there are similarities between her and Ash. Their sense of humor, they’re both incredibly stubborn. They’re also both not quick to trust. Poor Brandy has a pretty rough ten days because each episode is a day.”

Hidden Remote: So what do you think is harder for Brandy – finding out Ash is her father or coming to terms with the fact that evil and demons are walking the earth and killing her loved ones?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: I think they actually go hand-in-hand. With Ash comes that evil and the first time she meets him is because she is being attacked by evil. Everything that comes after meeting him is sad and traumatic, and terrifying for her. So I think they are one in the same. She believes he brings it with him in a way.

Hidden Remote: Is it possible that Brandy is part of the Chosen One prophecy?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: It is very possible indeed. You’ll have to wait to find out! *laughs*

Hidden Remote: Awesome, a little tease!

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: I don’t want to ruin it for the fans!

Hidden Remote: So in the trailer we see Brandy make a deadite kill, so does she jump right into the fight or is she reluctant at first? Once that shock passes.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: I think she is reluctant at first simply because she has to be. First of all, she’s grieving and also trying to make sense of her life which has done a complete 180. She does eventually fight, as seen in the trailer. But it is kind of similar to when Ash started to fight. Most of it’s just adrenaline and luck.

It’s kind of how it goes in the beginning, I mean she’s quick and certainly smart, I guess that’s the big difference between her and Ash, *laughs*, she does get very lucky with fighting in the beginning and then she starts to get a feel for it. I guess that’s part of what she gets for being Ash’s daughter–a knack for killing demons.

Ash vs Evil Dead season 3
Photo Credit: STARZ via STARZ Media Room /

Hidden Remote: Was there a lot of training involved for stunts?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: There was quite a bit of training. I was very fortunate to have an incredible stunt double. She’s amazing. because there were a lot of things I wasn’t allowed to do. And she did them brilliantly. I watched her and was I just thought yeah, there is no way I could do that as well as she did, she’s amazing. But there was stunt training that happened, it was such a busy schedule filming on set. When it did happen, it was quick, we got a lot done very fast.”

Hidden Remote: Was there any injuries? I was talking to Lindsay Farris and he said nobody comes out unscathed on these shows.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: No, I actually didn’t get any injuries. I got sick during filming but I never got injured. I got off too easy there. If and when we go again which I hope we do, I’m sure I’ll make up for that.

Hidden Remote: I think we need another season, so you can get back in there.

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: Exactly! I didn’t get injured, that’s not right!

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Check out Arielle Carver-O’Neill’s series debut when Ash vs Evil Dead returns for its third season, February 25 on STARZ!