Interview: Ray Santiago on What’s Next for Pablo in ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 3
The home video release of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Season 2 is just around the corner. In celebration of that fact, we got to speak with the cast who let us in on their characters’ respective journeys during this season and in the season to come. Warning: There is a slight spoiler warning for those of you who have yet to catch up on Ash vs. Evil Dead, for some reason.
In Season 2, Ash and the gang are forced to leave Jacksonville and travel to Ash’s home town of Elk Grove, Michigan. There, they confront Ruby, only to find that she too is now a victim of evil and in need of Ash’s help. Former enemies become reluctant allies as Elk Grove soon becomes the nucleus of evil.
Throughout Season 2, Pablo’s connection with the Necronomicon becomes even stronger, as well as his brujo powers which he inherited from his uncle in Season 1. It all comes to a head when he becomes the key to banishing a new evil back to hell.
In this article, Ray Santiago sits down with us to talk about Pablo’s journey up until now, and what’s in store for him next in Season 3.
Legion of Leia: Okay, so I was a little confused about the whole time-travel rule at the end of Season 2. Ash and the gang go back in time to prevent certain things from happening, but nothing seems to have changed except for the fact that you’re alive again….
Ray Santiago: Season 3 will sort of tackle your question. At the same time, I think — and I quote — “It’s time travel, don’t overthink it.” It’s one of the beauties of our show; we kind of get to do whatever we want. [Laughs] But yeah, there will be things that are off, and some things that are not off.
It’s funny. We oftentimes look at the script and go, “Wait, what?” And then when we’re shooting it, it’s like, “Eeehh, it all makes sense in the end.”
LoL: I’m glad that’ll be addressed next season, but yeah…overall good choice on the “don’t overthink it” rule.
RS: Yeah. The more we dive into the Evil Dead world, the more and more we start to understand that it has this sort of cartoonish, graphic novel sort of feel to it. This season in particular, we ramped that up a bit.
LoL: Let’s talk about Pablo’s journey. He starts out as this store clerk and, during Season 2, he’s becoming more and more of an asset to the team as he’s slowly gaining his brujo powers.
RS: Yes! I love that you were able to pick up on that! I as an actor, the writers and the whole team, really, have pushed for that, and it all sort of evolved naturally. I think what’s beautiful about that is he did start out as this random guy whom people underestimated, and thought that he was just naive. In the past few seasons [Editor’s note: Ray is including Season 3 in this statement], we see him grow into his own as a hero.
In the world that we’re living in now, it’s nice to see [laughs] this Honduran guy traveling around with a racist white guy trying to save the world!
One of my things as a kid, I always wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to be the guy saving the chick from the monsters, and I wanted to be the guy being chased by the monsters. On Ash, I’m one step closer to being the person that I’ve dreamt of as a kid. It’s a really great thing that some of the people at Starz wanted to push for Pablo embracing his brujo powers and his family and where he comes from, what lies underneath all of that.
In Season 1, he starts out as running away from it. Then he starts embracing it later on. In Season 3, you’ll definitely see Pablo as his own separate hero, and he brings a lot to assist the Scooby Gang.
Pablo sees things differently [in Season 3], and I’m super stoked with the journey that I had. There has been no other job or a character where I’ve been able to die, come back to life, lie around and have a birthing scene with demons coming out of my mouth, and laugh about it all.
For me, I really feel like Pablo has evolved naturally on the show; it has inspired me to get up in the morning and go to work. When I was a little kid, there weren’t many Latino sidekicks for superheroes, or any positive representations of Latinos on television. Again, I go back to the world we live in today…Even though our show’s a 28-minute horror comedy, there’s a potential to inspire a little boy or little girl who might want to watch it and go “Hey, Latinos can be heroes!”
LoL: During Season 2, we’ve had flashes of Pablo wearing the Necronomicon mask. Are we going to see more of that? Is he going to somehow adopt that as his heroic costume?
RS: [Laughs] I gotta be careful not to give away all the wonderful jewels you’ll get to see in Season 3. The Necronomicon and I have an undeniable relationship after what has happened in the first two seasons, and for sure; it will forever be a part of [Pablo]. It will evolve into the next step of whatever that can be in Season 3, and there’s going to be a constant battle — Is this person good? Is this person evil? Who are they, dead or alive? We might see Pablo getting tortured, yet again, by the Necronomicon.
I thought I had escaped it once I burst those demons out of my mouth. Then in Season 2, it was like, “Hey, just kidding! This thing’s a part of you now!” We don’t put that to rest; it continues in Season 3 in a really cool and beautiful way, and I think that the fans are really going to dig it.
The Necronomicon is like that ex-girlfriend you just can’t get rid of. [Laughs]
LoL: Before you officially bonded with the Necronomicon, your brujo powers were already starting to develop. You were getting visions and you were trying to interpret them. Will the bond with the evil book boost or inhibit your new abilities? Do you know, can you tell us?
RS: [Laughs] I would say that I definitely know…. Both my relationship with the Necronomicon and my relationship with my brujo powers — and my inner brujo will — will definitely continue to be explored. Whether or not one is better than the other, we just don’t know. But I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. I go back again and say that Pablo sees things differently…and the Evil Dead sees Pablo differently. There’s a lot that lies beneath the two possibilities of where this character could go, and I think it’ll be really a yummy and beautiful entree for the audience to feast on.
LoL: During Season 2, your character gets kicked around…like…a lot. Eeeeehhhhhh…
RS: It’s okay, I know what you’re hinting. Is he finally going to kick some ass? [Laughs]
LoL: Yes! Exactly! Is he finally going to kick some physical ass?
RS: I teased last season that Pablo was going to either live, die, or get the girl. I think that of all the things you wouldn’t think Pablo was capable of are going to happen this season.
LoL: Speaking of getting the girl, what’s the deal between Pablo and Kelly [Dana DeLorenzo]? Are they just friends now? Will Kelly eventually reciprocate Pablo’s crush? What’s going on? People wanna know!
RS: Yep yep. Pablo has always had a thing for Kelly. He would die for anybody on that team, but most importantly he would do anything for Kelly — as we saw when she got possessed in Season 1. I think for sure that he will never give up on the love that has for Kelly. In fact, perhaps, this season we may introduce some characters that will maybe help make somebody’s mind up about the whole Pablo and Kelly situation. We may throw another girl or guy in there for somebody to wake up and realize that you want what you can’t have.
Fans, I think, are definitely going to be intrigued. Um….I don’t know. Fans might be disappointed, or may not. Definitely we tackle what you’re asking. Pablo has always wanted to just save the world and get the girl, and be a hero. Those are three things he fights for everyday. For him, “that girl” will always be Kelly.
LoL: Final question. In Season 2, what was your favorite scene to film, and the most pain in the ass?
RS: My favorite scene in Season 2 was where I die; when we put Baal on the table. Things are flying across the room, I’m speaking in Sumerian, and then I die. Really, any scene with Lucy Lawless is my favorite scene. I’ve learned so much from her. She’s such a sophisticated beauty, and is not a diva ever. I spent a lot of time with her because she tortures me.
I really loved the levitating scene in the middle of Ash’s bedroom. I was suspended in the air for, like three or four days. I was also hogtied. Season 2 was just so much fun for me.
I would say the one I hate the most was…y’know what? I hated it and loved it… Being in that car with the actress who plays Lacey [Pepi Sonuga]. I love her, but we were in that car for soooo long. I’m breaking movie magic here, sometimes that car is not moving and you’re just basically throwing yourself from side to side all day long. And there’s not a lot of ventilation in that car; it’s pretty old. The doors don’t lock, and the doors don’t unlock. There’s a lot of things we deal with. Yeah…I was tortured by the Delta. I’ve never been tortured by a car before, so I kinda hated that. [Laughs]
The home entertainment release of Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 will be available Tuesday, August 22, 2017 on Blu-ray and DVD for $43.99 and $34.98, respectively.