Dana DeLorenzo interview: Perpetually graceful and gloriously candid

3 of 5

Dana DeLorenzo – Kaya as Kelly – Courtesy of STARZ

Leaving Kelly Maxwell Behind

1428 Elm: I want to talk a little bit about Ash vs Evil Dead. It has been a year since you said goodbye to Kelly Maxwell. She was such a huge and beloved part of the series and now the entire franchise. Did you have trouble leaving her behind?

DD: I am so glad you asked this question. I did get to bring a little bit of Kelly Maxwell to this role. Valerie is a used car saleswoman, but she is dangerously smart and brutally honest, just like Kelly. She doesn’t hold back from speaking her mind. Valerie is also kind of a badass in her own right, she’s just a quiet badass. She uses her fierce wit instead of weapons.

The best part is she also has a filthy mouth! I had a blast delivering some F-bombs, maybe a little too much, because I did slip into Kelly a bit. When I had to say “f***” a few times Steve’s note was “great, but a little softer.” I had a good laugh with that!

1428 Elm: Did Kelly open doors for you? Sometimes with an iconic role like that it can lead to typecasting. Have you found that to be the case or exactly the opposite?

DD: It is my first time going through something like this, and it was weird at first, not going to set everyday putting on my purple leather jacket and kicking Deadite ass! But what I learned on Ash vs Evil Dead has served me so much since then, especially on Perpetual Grace, LTD. where we moved pretty fast. And I had to drive an El Camino on day one with Jimmi Simpson next to me; it stalled, but I knew what to do thanks to my stunt rehearsal back in New Zealand driving Brock’s truck!

In terms of opening doors, I’d like to think it has. I took a little break after this whirlwind last few years, but was grateful to have jobs in-between with a few guest stars and working on a feature film, Friendsgiving.