“Ash vs Evil Dead” star Bruce Campbell has found that jumping back into the shoes of zombie fighter Ash Williams is not as seamless at 57 as it was when he first played the role at 23 in the original “Evil Dead” movie.
“Stepping back, you step tenderly, cause you’ll blow your knee otherwise,” the actor told TheWrap in an exclusive video shot with “Ash vs Evil Dead” executive producer Craig DiGregorio. “A lot more hot ointment rubs, I gotta stretch more.”
Campbell poked fun at his role as the aging hero, comparing Ash to a Vietnam vet, a tough guy who’s been through the wringer battling the Evil Dead.
In the new Starz series, which premieres Saturday, Ash surfaces from a two-decade-long hiatus from saving the world, working in a shop and ignoring his fate as a hero.
Ash is surrounded by some fresh, young blood including Kelly (Dana Delorenzo), Pablo (Ray Santiago), and State Trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones).
“These are all beautiful, young, talented actors who I surround the creaky old Ash with, that’s the model that we’ve gone with,” Campbell said.
The actor also noted that the Starz production is considerably safer than Sam Raimi‘s original 1981 film, in which he carried and fired a loaded shotgun — and that wasn’t even the craziest aspect of the first shoot.
“I held a real, live, running chainsaw over an actress’s neck, it was just dumb,” Campbell said. “But now we have rubber chainsaw blades, we have better harnesses that won’t snag… guns that don’t have real stuff in it.”
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the look of the series. Campbell credited the New Zealand crew for re-creating the sets so perfectly that not even a door is out of place.
“Ash vs. Evil Dead” premieres Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.