Interview: Ash vs Evil Dead’s Ray Santiago is leaving his mark on the world

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The Student

RS: I learned how to hit my mark, technical things and how to get in and get out from Bruce. I learned how to be a sophisticated veteran and not a diva from Lucy.

She’s a beautiful woman, a great person to be around. She cares so much about the world and everything that is happening in the world. Yet she comes in with ease and does it and never complains.

Dana has always been my go to, my rock. She’s always been there and we have been going through the same things together. In essence, we are all there for each other.

We are a family. We were talking at a school once and we were asked what does Evil Dead mean to you? And Lucy said, “It means family.” Through Evil Dead she continued her relationship with Bruce and she met her husband Rob Tapert through the guys that made the Evil Dead and it’s true. It means family to us.

In a lot of ways, they have become my TV family. Bruce has become my Dad, Lucy has become my weird abusive aunt and Dana is like the hot stepsister that you want to sleep with but you know you can’t. So, we’re a dysfunctional family on camera but off we have always been there for each other.

Actually, we always love each other and that is why I love this show so much. I get to go to this alternate reality where I live in New Zealand and I shoot these ten episodes with people who are super fun.

Bruce has always looked after us. He charters boats and takes us on trips and takes us out to fancy dinners. He makes sure that we never feel homesick. The glue is all of us.

Becoming Pablo

1428 Elm: Thinking about the characters in the show and the dynamics that they share, Pablo is inherently a likable character. When the fans thought he was dead, the outpouring of love for him was overwhelming. How much of Ray is infused in Pablo?

RS: We both want to be remembered as heroes. We are pretty normal guys but we want to leave our mark on the world and we’re searching how to do that. I think I’m a pretty nice guy.

I can be as vulnerable as Pablo. The one thing I don’t share with Pablo is the ability to see past what an idiot Ash can be. That’s the one thing I struggle with. I think God, when is this guy going to get a clue? Why doesn’t he step up to the plate and do something or shit is going to go down.

For the most part, when I was a kid, I wanted to be a superhero. And now I’m one step closer to being that superhero by playing Ash’s sidekick. When I was a kid, I wanted to be on TV and now I am there. It’s about realizing what your dreams are, accepting who you are and trying to survive and make it.

To me those are the ties that bind Pablo and Ray to being similar.

Giving Back

1428 Elm: You are a mentor, correct? That must be incredibly fulfilling for you.

RS: I am. It is fulfilling. We didn’t have many positive Latino men characters on television. There were a lot of gangbanger and drug dealer characters. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Those are stories that need to be told.

But like I said as a kid, I didn’t really see the positive portrayals of characters on television.  I didn’t see a Latino character who was a role model.

I think just going into the room and talking to these kids and hearing what they have to say and assuring them that they can be somebody if they picture it. If they persevere beyond everything that is going on and believe in themselves the world will eventually give back to them.

That’s the only thing you have is believing in yourself. If I can pass that on to anybody, a child or an adult, then I feel like I’ve done my job. I’ve given back.

If I can reach one person who watches the show and they see Pablo who is an illegal immigrant save the world from evil then maybe they might believe that they can.

It’s cool to see kids dress up at the Comic Cons. When you see a parent bloodying up their child, combing out their hair and giving them a fake mustache, you can’t help but think, the world is a better place now!