"Even though with Ash, we're never gonna know his deepest, darkest fears and thoughts, we got to know him a lot better," he says, a nod to the decades he's spent as Ash's flesh and blood proxy in the real world. "Before that, I was known as the guy from Evil Dead, where I was 21 years old, and never had any acting experience. You know, the first half of the movie, I would throw out," he reflects. "I like the second half because we were all figuring out what the hell we were doing. So the irony is that I'm sort of best known for when I was the least experienced, so it's great to come back now and go, 'Okay, suckers, let's do Ash now with a different point of view.'"
Damn right, we're seeing Ash from a different point of view. Ash vs. Evil Dead's third season added fresh, compelling depth to Ash's swaggering everyman persona. One such element was the introduction of his kid, Brandy (Arielle Carver-O'Neill), which he cites as one of Ash vs. Evil Dead's best gestures. "The fact that it gave him a daughter for Season 3 was perfect. It brings out a whole new side of him. We got to flesh them out and make them as three dimensional as you could." Brandy's dynamic with Ash, the dad she never knew, lets the viewer experience the show's end-of-humanity-as-we-know-it, world-gone-mad scheme from the perspective of the teen saddled with her absentee pop, who just so happens to be the world's unlikely savior in the eternal battle against evil. Hell of a family reunion.
The other facet at play is Ash's PTSD and sheer, frustrated reluctance he's built up over the course of the series' lifespan. Ash is just a normal guy, not the kind you'd pick as savior if you had a choice. Take his moment of despair in "The Mettle of Man," the show's final episode, where Ash, witnessing global Deadite armageddon in full swing, lowers himself into a chair and cracks a beer, reminding Brandy and his trusty sidekick, Pablo (Ray Santiago), that he warned everyone about the Deadite threat -- and no one listened. "It's a big moment," Campbell affirms, "because you realize he's like, 'I don't want this fucking job.' That was the last take that we did. So I just went a little crazier. Because Ash was losing his mind."