HorrorFix Exclusive Interview with Ash Vs. Evil Dead’s Ray Santiago

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Like any self-respecting horror fan right now we are absolutely LOVING Starz’s Ash v. Evil Dead. That being said, we jumped at the chance to speak to one of the show’s leads and most popular actors Ray Santiago, who plays Pablo. Ray was nice enough to sit down with us and wax all geek-like about the rather fantastic Ash vs. Evil Dead. We have included both the original transcript here for ya! Enjoy!


(Ash Hamilton): Hey, Ray. It’s a pleasure.

Ray Santiago: Hey. Thank you so much for being here.

(Ash Hamilton): You know, you’ve been talking about really being, sort of, like the heart of the show. And it seems like Pablo is being both aware of and blind to a lot of Ash’s fault at the same time. Is this a difficult dichotomy to keep up while playing the character?

Ray Santiago: Yes. It’s funny that you mentioned that because, you know, when you look at the show, you know, on the surface it’s like, you know, it seems like simple. It’s horror. It’s comedy. But, yes it was the fine balance of knowing, you know, what tone you’re working with. And that coupled with, you know, Pablo, sort of, being blind and aware of certain things.

I think it was really difficult for him. But I just, sort of, decided that what he needs is and what he wants is someone to sort of, idolize. And it’s not like he necessarily wants to be Ash but in idolizing him, he, sort of, finds the road to becoming the man that he wants to be. And so I think he chooses when he wants to see Ash’s faults or, you know, the pros and who he is and sees the inner hero in him when he wants to.

Because that way he can sort of get through the day a little bit easier. He just accepts the fact that he’s dealing with this, you know, just what Ash is. He is not going to ever – he’s not going to go so far. So he really just sees beyond people’s faults because he believes that they can be the best person that they’re supposed to be even if they’re not at the moment.

But, yes. It is difficult. And I think that I, sort of, enjoy it because I can, sort of, pick and choose when I want to go into those different things. But I think ultimately, I did find myself thinking like, wow. This guy’s really just always giving Ash a way to get out of jail free card. And, you know, he gets away a lot.

But as you see throughout the season, Ash is sort of spur of the moment gives him the love and acceptance that he’s sort of been seeking from the world. And Ash never really, you know, Ash sees past him being from Honduras and, you know, just being this immigrant.

And as you saw in Episode 4, he said, you know, you’re working at the Value Stop and Electronic Department and that’s the big guns. So, you know, he kind of gives him the support that he’s always been sort of searching for. Whereas with his uncle, you see that his uncle, sort of, like brings him down and is not really being supportive.

So we support each other and we just choose to see – I just see the hero in Ash every day even if he lets you down.

(Ash Hamilton) Bruce had mentioned that, you know, there is this push to try and approach each episode with a lot of death. It’s the same enthusiasm that Raimi approached that first episode put back the franchise. Do you find yourself in the cast also looking to outdo each episode in that same way?

Ray Santiago: Absolutely, we do. And, you know, the directors do as well. I think they all sort of have this like thing where they’re like, ‘okay my episode has to better than Sam’s.’ While it looks like its competitive, it’s good because it’s like nobody’s sitting back and just showing up and you know, letting one thing sort of do the job for everybody. Everybody is stepping it up.

We have an amazing crew but our (QE) crew is so tight and they’re so loving. They work so hard. Our camera crew, our special effects, our make-up team, our drivers, they all sort of united and became this amazing family that was trying to make something great, beautiful.

And we understand that is has somewhat of a, you know, work that is Sam Raimi’s legacy. So we don’t want to let anybody down. We want to make sure that we, you know, we’ve been given the opportunity to, you know, keep the Evil Dead alive. And we understand that we are, sort of, the future of the Evil Dead. So we just try to do what we can to make sure that each episode is a little bit crazier than the last.

And as the scripts were coming in and as I was going to work every day, I was a little bit like, how are we going to top what we just did? But we do. Towards the end of the season, poor Pablo. You know, you’ll just see he goes through so much but there’s a bit of a – there was one episode where I was shooting a scene that was sort of written after we had already shot the episode and it was sort of what we were trying to bring that sort of moment to the episode.

And it kind of felt like the conveyor belt chocolate scene on (out) of Lucy except that perhaps, maybe, you know, I was Lucy, Pablo was dealing with some chocolates. It was like bloody dead-like situation. So.

(Ash Hamilton): Right. Just like out of Lucy.

Ray Santiago: Yes. It’s just like out of Lucy. But, you know, that’s just an example of like, what kind of reference is I was sort of thinking about in my head, when I was working. Something like what is this like, you know, because there’s scenes that are iconic and that you remember for the rest of your life. I think everybody remembers that theme with the chocolates.

And so that was what I was trying to do, just make sure that I could create something that everybody would even remember and love. And I think they would definitely do that on the show. So you have to tune in to see what happens.

(Ash Hamilton): Well I think that drive and enthusiasm definitely shows in every frame. So, we’re very happy about it as far as fans go.

Ray Santiago: And just off of this is that, you know, the executive producers, you know, Sam and Bruce and Rob, they love the Three Stooges and so as a kid, when I was in acting class, they would always say, yes. Everything you’re doing is great but it’s too big. And it’s too big. And I think the show sort of gives me an (out) with that.

And I could be, you know, within reason as big as I want because some of the situations that you find these guys in are very similar to the Stooges. So yes. We’re pooling from all different places.

(Ash Hamilton): Well, we’re loving you. So thank you.

(Ash Hamilton): You know, you had talked about iconography a little bit with one of the journalists and how it was important that is to horror and how – this is how, you know, the evolution of an idea, you know, with the Halloween costume. And then you have suddenly action figures.

I guess, do you feel that you’re prepared to go down the aisle of ToysRUs and see the action figure of you from Ash vs Evil Dead? Because we know it’s going to happen. And it’s probably going to happen pretty soon.

Ray Santiago: Yes. I’m very – I mean, I don’t want to sound cocky. But yes. No, I’m a very (excited). Like that’s like – that’s what, I mean you dream of these things. You’re like, oh yes, I want to have an action figure. And so, you know, I’m totally prepared.

And at Comic Con, when people were asking me about the character, it’s when I sort of started to really dive into this whole like superhero thing and being the first Latino sidekick slash, you know, part of the superhero team.

And Sam looked at me after the question-and-answer, he goes superhero, huh? And I was like, uh-hmm, uh-hmm. Who cares about Spiderman, right? And, you know, yes, I would love to have that moment. I’d like to take my nieces to ToysRUs and go find the Pablo doll or action figure.

All I’m saying is that it better I have it here that is soft as mine and I better have it here that it’s entirely as mine.

(Ash Hamilton): If you go to (unintelligible) there was like a (hair) action feature?

Ray Santiago: Totally. Or like a Pablo Mr. Potato Head with like an Evil Dead game where you’re like, you can remove my eyebrows and mustache and like, put like a deadite things on it. I mean I’m down for that.

(Ash Hamilton): Suddenly you get like the fetishes market there too. So maybe you’ll hit a wider audience.

Ray Santiago: Hey, I mean isn’t that the goal, yes. No, it would be – it’s you think you’d be really – you think it would hit you and affect you more. But honestly, like when I drove down Sunset Boulevard and saw this huge billboard, it sort of affected me, and I had a moment where it was like, this is so cool.

But it’s just – you think it’s going to hit you in a different way and it’s just sort of like, it’s cog. It’s within you. I went to (unintelligible) with my mom and shared it with her, that it really affected me. So, yes. A doll would really be a cool thing. It’s coming.

(Ash Hamilton): We know it. We’re just waiting. Thanks again, Ray.

Ray Santiago: Oh, for sure.

Written by
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of Horror-Fix.com, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.

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