Danny Hicks revisits Intruder 30 years later: The interview

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Danny Hicks – Jake – Courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG), Renaissance Pictures

How to Become a Scuzz Bucket

1428 Elm: How did you get cast in Evil Dead 2? Did you audition?

DH: Evil Dead 2 was my first feature film. I had done industrial films before. I didn’t know Bruce (Campbell) or Sam (Raimi). I had met Ted (Raimi).

My agent called me and told me about this horror movie and the character description was “a scuzz bucket.” So, I made myself as scuzzy as I could that morning.  I put on these ripped up overalls that I had and combed my hair with grease and rubbed some gravel in it.

Then, at the audition, I popped my fake teeth out and smiled at the camera. Sam Raimi loved it. That’s how I got the part.

1428 Elm: Wow! You really did quite a bit of work to get cast!

DH: If you’re playing a character well, people are not looking at you. They are seeing the character. I could basically get away with murder.

1428 Elm: Making that transition from stage to film is always about learning that “less is more.” Did you struggle with that? Because as you know, on stage, you have to be a big presence so as the old adage goes, you can be seen and heard at the back of the theater.

DH: I knew from my work on industrial films that you had to be “small” for the camera. I continue to struggle with that. My face is still too expressive. It’s a constant battle.

1428 Elm: Did you find Evil Dead 2 to be a difficult shoot because we all know Bruce Campbell’s recollections of working on those films?

DH: Physically, it was a hard shoot because it was so very hot. If you watch the movie, you can see the sweat on the actor’s faces. That’s not sprayed on, that’s real. It was brutal.

Sam is very, very good at getting a performance out of an actor. He might like Bruce said, torment his talent but I felt it worked very, very well.  He is a marvelous director because he can relate to the actors.

1428 Elm: Do you have any anecdotes or behind the scenes tales from making that movie?

DH: There was so much physical work. We really beat the crap out of each other. I was so hot and sweaty that I actually slipped and I hit Bruce in the mouth. They used that take. You can see his lip begin to swell.

That was the first time I ever worked with him and I thought that’s kind of cool. You work with the lead guy; the star of the show and you knock all of his teeth out. That’s pretty damn good.

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