Jane Levy Talks EVIL DEAD, the Practical Effects, Easter Eggs, the Rating, the Violence and Gore, and a Lot More

by     Posted 1 year, 311 days ago

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When I first heard Screen Gems was remaking Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead, like many of you, I was extremely nervous.  But then I found out the original creative team (Raimi, producer Rob Tappert, and star Bruce Campbell) were very involved in the remake and they were the ones that picked Fede Alvarez to helm the project.  Shortly after the project wrapped, Raimi told us the remake will definitely be rated R and it’s “so bloody it will make your head spin.”  Needless to say, this calmed my nerves and after Matt said that he loved the NYCC footage last week, next March can’t come soon enough.

Shortly before the Evil Dead panel at Comic-Con, I got to sit down with lead actress Jane Levy for an exclusive video interview.  We talked about what fans can look forward to, why the movie is on the edge of an NC-17 rating, what it was like to film in New Zealand, Easter Eggs, the experience of shooting such a violent movie and the physical toll it took on her, how it’s mostly practical effects and not CGI, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Finally, before getting to the interview, Sony just released the first footage from Evil Dead here.  Check it out.

Jane Levy:

  • 0:14 – What’s it like being at New York Comic-Con
  • 0:56 – If there’s anything she collects.
  • 1:44 – What can fans look forward to in the Evil Dead remake.
  • 3:03 – Why the movie is on the edge of NC-17.
  • 3:49 – The experience of shooting such a violent movie, the physical toll it took on her, and the mix of practical horror with CGI.
  • 6:29 – The involvement of original director Sam Raimi, producer Rob Tappert, and star Bruce Campbell.
  • 7:42 – Since they shot the movie in New Zealand, where would she go if she returned.
  • 8:18 – Easter eggs fans can look forward to.
  • 8:39 – What she has coming up.

Here’s part of the interview transcribed.

JANE LEVY: [Fans] can expect a lot of horror.  It’s a pretty violent film.  There’s lots and lots of blood.  It’s a beautiful movie—visually, actually, it looks so fucking cool.  I saw a little bit of the end of the movie when I was in New Zealand and I was like, “Whoa!”  Because Fede didn’t let me watch playback—he’s a big bully.  It’s a really cool looking movie.  Really, really, really cool.

There are a lot of studios that make these PG-13 movies that pretend to be R.  And then there are the R-rated movies that are borderline NC-17.

LEVY: That’s us.

I think that’s what fans want to know.

LEVY: Totally.  I hate censorship, man.  I really do.  The thing is, we don’t have any sex, which I love.  It’s not gory porn, which is often what makes a movie NC-17, which it doesn’t need to be.  But I always like when it’s either a “sex movie” or it’s a “violent movie.”  I’m not a fan of the two.  There’s some people that are… not me.  So if we are edging toward an NC-17, it’s because of all the violence, and the gore, and the blood—not because of anything else.

When you’re in a movie like this, there’s a lot of blood, there’s a lot of violence.  When you’re doing it day in, day out, it takes a toll on you as an actor emotionally, physically.

LEVY: Yeah, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It’s the hardest thing I probably will ever do.  It was horrible.  I was totally miserable.  There was so much blood that I got a terrible ear infection because it all got stuck in my ear.  A doctor there said it was the worst ear infection he’d ever seen in his life.  I couldn’t hear for three weeks.  My balance was all off.  My head hurt.  I was so tired.  I got buried alive.  I had tubes stuck in all these orifices so I could projectile vomit, so I could projectile bleed.  Ninety percent of the movie I’m soaking wet.  It was the middle of winter.  We shot outside.  It was so, so, so tough.  It made my job a little bit easier because I already looked like the scariest person you’ve ever seen with all my prosthetics.  And I was really wanting to go home all the time, just like my character.  I was wet and tired.  I was crying because of that.

A lot of our effects—I think most of them—are practical effects.  There was actual vomit in my mouth.  The windows are actually breaking.  I did shoot a gun.  There’s not much CGI.  The makeup artists are incredible.  I did all that.  I was strangled.  I was hung up on the harness.  I did it myself and I think you’ll feel that in the movie, and it will make it that much scarier, and that much more authentic.  It’s a fucking cool thing.  It really is.  From what I’ve done and what I’ve seen, it’s a combination of… there’s horror nostalgia in there.  Maybe that’s not the right word.  You can tell that Fede is influenced by old-school horror movies and how they make old-school horror movies.  In one scene I’m actually holding a cup.  I could have just had the vomit in my mouth and spit it out, but I’m holding a cup, using really old-school tricks.  But at the same time it’s really modern: amazing cameras and incredible technology and awesome wardrobe.  So it’s this cool mix of a horror film today with all the technology we have and the money that they have from the studio, made with the feeling of a horror film forty years ago. 

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