With the recent news that Bruce Campbell would be reprising his role as Ash Williams in a new video game, we simply had to learn more. So when I got the chance to interview Ash Vs Evil Dead star Ray Santiago, who plays Pablo, earlier today, you better believe I set aside a few questions to learn more about that title, if the game would solely follow Ash or if it involved any of the other characters from the show, and what kind of game it would end up being. We also spoke about his upcoming work with Blumhouse and his first sex scene, which includes The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Ann Dowd! Read it all below.
Season 3 of Ash vs Evil Dead comes out on Blu-ray and DVD August 21. You can pre-order your copy via Amazon.
Dread Central: Hey Ray, how are you doing?
Ray Santiago: Hey man! Just, you know, living the dream. How are you?
DC: Trying to live the dream! You’ll have to tell me how you do that!
RS: You just have to wake up every day and pretend like you’re sleeping but walking through a dream. Just wake up and act like you’ve just gone to sleep so that it’s all a dream!
DC: That’s dangerous because I barely sleep as is so I’ll just sleep all the time!
DC: I know you’re busy, so I’ll cut right to the chase. What’s it been like for you now that Ash vs Evil Dead is over?
RS: It’s been kind of interesting to see how many people, how many fans, are bummed that it’s not coming back. It took a while to get adjusted to the fact that I was no longer going to be living in New Zealand. But, you know, Pablo hasn’t died. He’s not dead. He lives forever. We never know where we might see the Ghost Beaters or Bruce.
But, for me personally, things have been really good! I’ve been back in the States. Living in New Zealand for a while I sorta started to feel like I was in a crazy bubble living in the bottom of the world. It was heaven! But I’m back in Los Angeles and I’ve been working on a couple of projects. I just finished a project with Hulu and Blumhouse, an anthology horror series called Into the Dark and each episode is 90 minutes, so it’s feature length. I’m in the first one and it’s a really great episode. It’s a totally different character [and a] horror comedy, so I wanted to keep that going but try to play a different character. Really great cast and director!
I also just finished doing a movie with Ann Dowd from The Handmaid’s Tale where I play her boyfriend and I got to do my first love scene. Basically, I had to eat Ann Dowd out! [laughs] To tell you more about the movie, it takes place the night that David Bowie died and a rift in time and space opens up and this couple has a fight and I fall into it and disappear for twenty five years. I fall out of it and try to piece together my life and my relationship with my girlfriend, who is Ann Down, the older version of my girlfriend. We try to figure out how David Bowie’s death created this world and what to make of it. It’s a weird movie but it was super fun to make and I was so happy to be working with her.
DC: It sounds like you’re staying in genre work but staying open to really interesting opportunities.
RS: Yeah yeah! There have been other horror opportunities that have come my way and I just sorta try be a little selective in what I do because, you know, when you work with such a great franchise like Evil Dead, you don’t want to disappoint anyone. I think the Hulu and Blumhouse thing will make people really happy. I’m hoping to find a home in a more single-camera comedy situation in the next year or so. I’ve got two movies and a TV show in the works and the rest? We’ll see what happens!
DC: If you could write the story for Pablo, for his future, what do you think he’d be up to?
RS: I think what happens is that Pablo was gunning to be the head of the Ghost Beaters when we left him and he was going to try and fight evil and find Ash and I think what ends up happening in the future is Ash find’s Pablo with a buzzed head, he’s a drug addict and a drunk, he’s not a nice guy, he doesn’t care about saving the world from evil and it’s almost like this reverse role thing. Now the Jefe has to talk Pablo into coming back into the Ghost Beaters and I feel like there’s a little baby Kelly and Pablo running around with Pablo’s hair and Kelly’s voice. But yeah, that’s my weird idea!
If the show had gone on, I think we would’ve seen him become more badass as he finds his own way of being a hero.
DC: With the news of an upcoming Evil Dead video game, will Pablo be in the game?
RS: I would say that we stick together in everything that we do. We’re the Ghost Beaters, so I would say yeah! We’re all going to be part of this!
DC: Can you tell us anything more about it? We’ve heard speculations that it’s going to be VR.
RS: Uhhhhhmmmmm… God, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to answer these questions. I feel like you’re warm. I feel like you’re really warm! I’m at the beach right now and it’s really, really hot. Like, really warm! [laughs]
DC: [laughs] Alright, let’s stop there and let the anticipation train ride until more information comes out!
RS: Whatever it is, just know that the three of us, or basically everybody on the show, has to approve whatever sort of character they come up with, so it’s gonna be legit!
DC: We’ve spoken about the future of your own projects, what you hope the future of Pablo would’ve been, but what about the past? What’s the most important experience you had over the past three seasons?
RS: Wow. I would say just being able to get off the plane and go to work. Just being able to exist and know that you got to a place that you were always meant to get to and being surrounded by people who are such icons but also such great people. I think the most important part of that whole experience was the family that I built, the family that I walk away with. Lucy, Bruce, Dana, Jill, every single person that came out to New Zealand for that show, we had to abandon our lives! So we really just gave it our all. I gained so much knowledge from working but the relationships, the family, were the best part.
DC: I heard about a movie called Tone-Deaf. Can you tell me about that?
RS: Oh yeah! So Tone-Deaf is a dark comedy…it’s this horror writer, Ricky Bates, who put me in this movie called Suburban Gothic and ever since we worked in that movie together, he put me in a bunch of things. I kind of play this asshole who works at a fashion startup and is kind of a womanizer and is really disgusting and is a prick, something really different from what I normally do. Rick was like, “I think you can do this!” and I jumped onboard. He’s one of those people who puts a lot of the same actors in his movies, so whatever he asks me to do, I just jump onboard because it turns out to be really good.
DC: You spoke earlier about your professional career moving forward but what about you, Ray? What are you yourself going to do next? Aside from enjoying the beach! [laughs]
RS: [laughs] What is next for me? I’m pretty happy! I just bought an Audi! I’m chilling on the beach! I’m looking for love and happiness! I’m just kicking it, living my life, living the dream!
DC: Ray, thanks so much!
RS: Hey, thank you so much! Lovely talking with you!