Women in Horror: Arielle Carver-O’Neill – Warrior in Training


As our Women in Horror coverage continues here at 1428 Elm for the month of February, I was particularly excited to speak with one of the newest cast members of Ash vs Evil Dead. Arielle Carver-O’Neill who plays Ash Williams’ feisty daughter, Brandy Barr.

“Mom, what’s the chainsaw geek doing here?” – Brandy Barr

The Prophesized One’s Heir Apparent


Ever since Bruce Campbell made the announcement last summer at the Saturn Awards about Ash Williams having a daughter, Ash vs Evil Dead fans all over the world were clamoring to find out more about Arielle Carver-O’Neill.

Brandy Barr is a headstrong, unruly teenager who we first encounter in the show’s teaser trailer. What is she doing? Cleaning up rather graphic graffiti with her friend Rachel (Ellie Gall). You can definitely tell this isn’t her first time in the detention rodeo.

So, let’s get to know the engaging Arielle as we go behind the scenes of her AVED audition, learn about her on camera dynamic with Bruce Campbell and find out whether or not she could hold her own with Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) if there is a season four!

Becoming Brandy


1428 Elm: What was your audition like for AVED? Did you do it with a casting director or did you do it opposite the cast? What was that whole experience like?

Arielle Carver-O’Neill: It was exciting and terrifying! I got flown to New Zealand and I met Rob Tapert, Moira Grant who is one of the producers and Rick Jacobson who directed the last two Season 3 episodes. They took me on a tour of one of the stages.

And I just remembered thinking I got introduced to all of the production staff that were already there, if I don’t get this, this is going to be so awkward. I met almost everyone and toured the whole set and I thought I will be so embarrassed if I don’t get this.

They would introduce me as “Hi, this is Arielle. She’s auditioning for the role of Brandy.” They were like “This is great!” I thought, “Please hire me!” I was quite nervous.

My audition was with the casting director in New Zealand. Rick was there directing me through the two scenes I had. We tried them in many different ways.

I had a reader there as well. It all went very quickly in a blur of adrenalin. But I guess I did okay because I got the part!

1428 Elm: They did a great job of casting you because you do resemble Bruce Campbell.

ACO: I am a lot paler than Bruce is so I had to spend forty-five minutes every morning getting makeup put on my arms to look tanner to match Bruce’s skin tone. It was crazy!

It’s Complicated


1428 Elm: How does Brandy “see” Ash? Most teenagers think their parents are annoying and lame but he is not your typical parent. Ruby does her best this year to drive a wedge between the two of you. Does part of Brandy want to get to know her Dad and eventually love him?

ACO: I don’t want to spoil which direction Brandy goes in. Whether she goes with Ruby or whether she stands by Ash. I will say most kids do think their parents are lame. I happen to think mine is a psychopathic serial killer.

A part of her does want to get to know him because she has always been missing that ingredient growing up. She has never had a father or a father figure. She has her mother and then Ms. Prevett, her guidance counselor at school.

So, she has had two mothers but never the Dad ingredient. She wants that connection to a part of the world that she never thought she would have access to. Brandy wants to know what she and this guy could possibly have in common.

At first, she doesn’t see anything. She wants knowledge, I think. Not quite a relationship just yet but that evolves into something else.

A Matter of Trust


ACO (Cont.): She does end up seeing a lot of similarities. They share the same sense of humor and they are both stubborn as hell. Both of them are not very trusting of other people.

Ash isn’t really trusting of Brandy because when he first meets her, he thinks she is evil. Brandy is kind of similar in that way that she doesn’t trust from the get go. She needs all of the facts and she needs to find things out for herself.

Brandy needs to figure out this guy’s deal all on her own. She doesn’t just believe everything Ms. Prevett says even though it sounds incredibly logical and rational.

1428 Elm: Ash has always told you the truth. Even if it sounds crazy.

ACO: What Ash says sounds nuts. Brandy doesn’t think Ash has the brainpower to make all this stuff up. He’s not very imaginative.

Kick Ass Females Unite


1428 Elm: Brandy has the potential like Kelly to be a strong, capable female. Since this is Women in Horror month, do you foresee your character forming an alliance with Kelly in the future if there is a Season 4 or a spin off?

Because at first, Kelly is like who’s the kid? She is Ash’s “adopted” daughter and when Brandy comes into the picture, there is a little bit of friction there. Do you see this alliance with Kelly and is it even possible?

ACO: I would love that! Their relationship is a whole storyline on its own as well. Of course, there is that friction between the daughter figure and the actual daughter.

Eventually, they find out that they have more in common than they thought! Brandy is like why do I need a babysitter? Why did they stick me with this woman who is always giving me the side eye? What have I ever done to her?

Of course, Kelly is like, “Why do I have to be the babysitter to this new kid? I should be out there fighting the demons not looking after the child.” Their relationship evolves past that when they first start talking to each other.

An Unstoppable Force

ACO (Cont.): They start communicating and they realize they have been through the same traumas. Brandy has lost her family and the world she had around her. Both Ash and Kelly have had the same experiences.

They were both dragged into this fight against evil. Their families were sacrificed in the process. They bond over that.

There is a camaraderie and an almost big sister, little sister dynamic. I think that could be extremely powerful in the next season. Elk Grove has completely changed after our finale.

I’d love for their relationship to have been strengthened even more where they empower each other to create this unstoppable force.

Just imagine the endless possibilities if Season 4 does become a reality and Brandy joins forces with the Ghostbeaters as their equal. Deadites beware!  Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 starts February 25 at 9 p.m. on STARZ.

Next: Women in Horror: Dana DeLorenzo is forging her path as Kelly Maxwell

Could Brandy and Kelly be an unstoppable force? What are your thoughts on Ash’s daughter? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.