Bruce Campbell debuted as Ash Williams in 1981's The Evil Dead, going on to reprise his role in two sequels and three seasons of a TV series, in addition to multiple video game appearances. The actor retired from the role earlier this year and, looking back at all he has accomplished with the character, he is still most proud to have seen the first film debut at his local movie theater.
"Really, the main satisfaction came way back, first Evil Dead when the movie showed, I went to see it on a Saturday afternoon at the Showcase Cinema at Pontiac, Michigan where I saw the Poseidon Adventure as a kid. It's where I saw all of my formative years' movies, in that theater," Campbell recalled to ComicBook.com. "To go there, middle of the afternoon, there's like 15 people there, I didn't care, to have our movie projected in the same theater, that was it. It was all gravy after that, because I never thought we could get to that. 'Have our movie showing in our movie theater? No way. No way.'"
Campbell partnered with director Sam Raimi to create the short film Within the Woods, which served as a proof of concept of what would ultimately become The Evil Dead. The duo found funding and headed into the the woods of Morristown, Tennessee in late-1979 to make a film that would become a staple of the horror genre, unbeknownst to them at the time.
"It was too much of a leap. Hollywood was too mysterious back then," Campbell said of the amateur production consisting primarily of friends. "So, to have that, I was like ... Because, we were even concerned, 'Well wait, if it's a non-union movie, will a union projectionist even project it?' I mean, we were so out of it, we didn't really know. So, that was it. That was the moment I went, 'Okay, did it.' And, that was 1982 or '83."
Over the better part of four decades, Campbell has been able to hone his craft and, more specifically, develop Ash even further. Much like Campbell is most proud of that first film being screened at his local theater, he notes that it's ironic that the film he might most be remembered for is one of his performances with the least prior experience.
"The only thing that is weird for me is I'll be best known for the Ash character back when I had the least amount of experience. So, I'm actually glad that we're able to update Ash in the modern world [with Ash vs. Evil Dead]," the actor shared.
You can grab a copy of the final season of Ash vs. Evil Dead on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on August 22nd.
Which is your favorite Ash Williams moment? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!