Skip to main content

Talking With Ash vs. Evil Dead's Jill Marie Jones

I recently got the amazing opportunity to speak directly with Jill Marie Jones, one of the stunning leading ladies of this past Halloween’s big television premiere, Ash vs. Evil Dead. The series is directly related to the 1981 horror classic that started it all and spawned two favorable sequels. Much anticipation bubbled when the public was privy to the heavily central involvement of the trilogy's parents in writer/director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell.

The announcement of Jones' role as a star player put this series immediately on my radar. While genre television isn’t new to Jones with her appearances on American Horror Story as well as Sleepy Hollow, many remember Jones as the complex character of Toni Childs on UPN’s successful sitcom Girlfriends for six seasons.

Jones is fully aware of the impact Toni has had on audiences and admits to slight 'performance anxiety' whenever the character is brought up. But she's proven herself to be a skilled chameleon in her craft. Whether it's a sexually fluid southern belle or a reluctant mother, Jones has created a multitude of characters that are memorable and distinct. There's no doubt that her Ash vs. Evil Dead undertaking will present anything less.

Jones is Amanda Fisher, a law enforcement employee on a mission to put the pieces of her personal life and career back together with all roads leading to Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his pair of combat comrades battling the forces of evil in the form of deadites. Describing myself as "pumped" after seeing Jones in action would be an understatement. This tied in perfectly with why the role appealed to her so much, "One of the reasons I signed on for Ash vs. Evil Dead is because no one’s ever seen a TV show where all the main female leads are badasses. I was shooting guns and knocking people out and I just loved it. No man is coming in to try to save the day or help. They might try, but it’s like you know what, I got this. I just really love that."

But Amanda does some ass kicking and so much more. There was a lot put into the character coming to life on screen as a person audiences could identify with and root for. Jones explains,

"she believes in good and the good in people. Amanda has a sense of humility about her. I had two meetings with the amazing Sam Raimi before I left New Zealand which is where we shot. We just had these beautiful sessions about who did I see Amanda being and then he would tell me what he saw. I love that he gave me permission to be able to kind of create a little bit of her story. It was just a joy to be able to play.

My mom was a federal investigator and she taught me that you can be strong, you can be tough, you can be definitive in what you have to say, but you can still be kind and nice and have a heart and be sweet. So in a way, I felt like I was playing my mom. So there’s definitely an arc. You will see a lot of growth in Amanda in the first season and there’s always room for more. I’m trying not to give too much away but you’ll see her heading in different directions that all make sense for her character."

So far the series has a gore and comedic factor that's infectious, and Amanda comes out of the gate as a critical player as the series progresses. It's exciting to note that Ash vs. Evil Dead has secured an anticipated season two with a steady rise in positive reviews. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. It is an affirmative to Jones' personal investment in its success!

Popular posts from this blog

How MIDSOMMAR Utilizes and Subverts Horror Movie Tropes of People of Color

By Mary Kay McBrayer (@mkmcbrayer)

For a film that could have been easily white-washed, Ari Aster’s Midsommar does have an inclusive cast. Before our characters are even taken to Sweden where most of the film's dread fueled action takes place, we meet them in their college town. Dani (Florence Pugh) stresses about her sister’s scary email while her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) drinks at a bar with his buddies, only one of whom is black named Josh (The Good Place's William Jackson Harper).
I have watched enough horror movies to know—and I’ve been brown enough long enough to know—that this setting does not bode well for a person of color. The token minority, say it with me, tends to die first. Because of this ratio, I expected a few other established tropes of the horror genre in Josh’s character, too, and I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised that nothing played out the way I expected.

DARKLY: At The Heart Of Goth, Is Blackness

"Horror has always been used to illuminate cultural anxieties and gives a voice to our collective fears. So, what to make of the gothic in America, a place which by the very nature of its founding is predisposed to a culture of anxiety? The dread knowing the enemy at the gate is understandable, but in America the enemy has already passed through it, and has been brought inside. The call is coming from inside the house."
-words by Leila Taylor