As a youngster, there was one face in particular that ruined any chance of my walking down a dark hallway by myself. I knew her as the Hallway Girl at that stage in my life, and as I grew up, my appreciation for the film grew but my uneasiness about the Hallway Girl stuck with me.
I’m talking, of course, about the legendary horror flick THE EVIL DEAD and that Hallway Girl is no other than the lovely Betsy Baker, who played Linda in the film. As Ash’s girlfriend, Linda started off as the girl I liked most in the film. But once she popped in those contacts and started chirping that God awful giggle, I was fundamentally ruined.
Born in Iowa, Betsy graduated from Michigan State University with a combined degree in theater and classical voice. As she built her credentials, Betsy eventually moved to Detroit, where she really dug her claws into the world of TV, radio and voice over work.
Her list of films currently stands at twenty-one. Quite a feat for any actress, but even more impressive considering (according to her IMDB page) she took a 9-year hiatus between 1981’s THE EVIL DEAD and her role in a 1990 television drama film, and then took SIXTEEN years off before entering the world of indie films in 2006. A fun loving actress, Betsy has also produced two projects in her role a a Lady Of The Evil Dead.
Along with fellow Evil Deaders Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly, Betsy has created quite a cult following thanks to their escapades in the woods some 30-plus years ago.
The ladies tour the country, brightening up horror conventions across the United States while also keeping the integrity of the original film intact.
If ever there was a group of women in classic horror to celebrate, I found them and I had the chance to chat with two of them! (Back in February, I posted the interview I conducted with Theresa! https://mmwihm.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/a-lady-of-the-evil-dead-an-interview-with-theresa-tilly/)
So sit back, relax and keep the hall light on- Betsy Baker is here to chat!
1. You seem to fit the fun-loving indie actress persona to a T.. ambitious, determined, and willing to get messy.
To whom or what do you attribute your work ethic to?
I REALLY ENJOY WORKING; I ENJOY THE CRAFT; AND ESPECIALLY NOW THAT I’M OLDER, I ENJOY THE REAL CHARACTER ROLES.
2. Did you keep any props or keepsakes from ‘The Evil Dead’ set?
JUST MY ORIGINAL SCRIPT THAT I HAVE NOTES WRITTEN ( AND FAKE BLOOD) ALL OVER IT.
3. There is a ridiculous amount of negative myths about the filming of ‘The Evil Dead’. Why do you think that is?
I DON’T KNOW IF THEY ARE NEGATIVE AS MUCH AS THEY ARE EXAGGERATED. BEING COLD AND MISERABLE AND WORKING IN THOSE CONDITIONS IS NOT NEGATIVE, IT JUST HAPPENED. NO, WE DIDN’T HAVE LOTS OF FOOD OR
HOT COFFEE ON THE SET, BUT WE ALL SURVIVED!
4. Many people don’t realize the cabin in ‘The Evil Dead’ was a last-second replacement for a different cabin Sam
wanted. Fate works in mysterious ways, no?
What was it like rooming with Ellen and Theresa for three months, practically strangers to one another?
IT IS TRUE WE DID NOT KNOW EACH OTHER VERY WELL AT ALL WHEN WE CAME ONTO THE SET, EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF MEETINGS TO READ THROUGH THE SCRIPT AND HAVE SOME MASKS MADE, AND LOOK AT WARDROBE
SELECTIONS PRIOR TO SHOOTING. I COULDN’T HAVE ASKED FOR BETTER ROOMMATES – WE ACTUALLY GOT ALONG GREAT, AND EACH WAS A GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM TO THE OTHERS WHEN ONE OF US HAD A PARTICULARLY
GRUELING NIGHT OF SHOOTING.
5. Please tell me you have some horror projects in the works. As a legend of the genre, I’m shocked that you’ve said
you “didn’t get any offers to do any more horror”.
ACTUALLY, THOUGH BEING OUT OF “THE BUSINESS” WHILE MY CHILDREN WERE GROWING UP AND I WAS INVOLVED IN ANOTHER BUSINESS, I’VE ACTUALLY WORKED ON 3-4 HORROR/THRILLER/MYSTERY FILMS, INCLUDING
“WITCHES NIGHT”, “GLISTENING”, AND “2084”.
6. As a convention pro, what has been some memorable gifts fans have given you?
GOSH – WE’VE BEEN HONORED WITH SOME GREAT GIFTS AND COLLECTIBLES – GAMES OF ‘EVIL DEAD’, SNACK PLATES WITH OUR FACES ON THEM, RARE “EVIL DEAD” POSTERS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES,JEWELRY DEPICTING THE
BOOK OR THE NECKLACE THAT ASH GAVE ME, ART RENDERINGS AND PAINTINGS, AND EVEN OUR FACES ON ARMS
AND SHOULDERS AND LEGS AS TATTOOS!!
7. ‘The Evil Dead’ was an independent horror epic, in every sense of the word. You ladies even had to mix your
own syrup-blood mix!
What are your lasting memories of ‘The Evil Dead’ filming process?
THOUGH WE ALL HAVE MEMORIES OF BEING COLD AND TIRED DURING WINTER NIGHTS OF SHOOTING THE FILM, IT WAS ALSO AN INCREDIBLE ‘GROUP’ EFFORT OF WORKING TOGETHER IN A SMALL, INTIMATE GATHERING, AND WORKING TOWARD THE SAME GOAL. MANY ACTORS DO NOT HAVE THAT LUXURY TODAY WITH LARGE FILMS – THEY ARE TOLD WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO STAND. WE WERE ABLE TO DISCUSS, ARGUE, NEGOTIATE, AND OFFER
SUGGESTIONS ON MANY OF OUR SCENES AND CHARACTERS.
8. All three ladies have expressed a willingness to re-group for ‘The Evil Dead 4’. What are your thoughts on the
remake and have you been contacted for a cameo or anything?
WE’RE STILL WILLING AND WOULD LOVE TO ‘RE-GROUP’, IF THERE’S ANYTHING IN AN ‘EVIL DEAD 4’ SCRIPT THAT WOULD CALL FOR 3 OLDER LADIES TO BE WALKING DOWN A COUNTRY ROAD, OR DESTROYING A BRIDGE.
9. ‘The Evil Dead: Musical’. As singers and dancers, when are you three ladies hitting the stage?!
I’VE DONE ACTING ROLES ON STAGE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, INCLUDING MY OWN ONE-WOMAN SHOW IN
BOTH LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK. BUT I THINK I’LL LEAVE ‘EVIL DEAD” THE MUSICAL” FOR THE YOUNGER
10. Are you a big horror fan?
NOPE –I’M NOT A REAL BIG HORROR FAN. I STILL JUMP AND SCREAM WHEN I SEE “EVIL DEAD” – AND USUALLY AT THE SAME EXACT PLACE IN THE MOVIE!
11. What do your children think of your fame and the movie itself?
MY CHILDREN KNOW ME AS THEIR ‘MOM’, AND I’M GLAD FOR THAT. THEY ARE HAPPY FOR ME, AND HAPPY THAT I FIND ENJOYMENT IN ACTING..
12. With The Ladies Of The Evil Dead flying high, would you ever consider doing another super-indie project?
(Perhaps in a heated place with plumbing? Heck, I even offered my first crew Rice Krispie Treats and Coca-Cola!)
I’VE NOT ONLY CONSIDERED IT, I’VE DONE THEM! SOME OF THEM HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE AWARD WINNERS AND FESTIVAL PARTICIPANTS – AND I LEARNED A LOT AND GAINED NEW FRIENDS FROM EACH AND EVERY ONE OF
THEM… EVERY PROJECT REAPS BENEFITS OF SOME FORM OR ANOTHER!
13. What ever happened to that awesome eye sore of a necklace Ash gave your character in the film?
I THINK SAM STILL HAS IT. I’VE BEEN ASKED THAT QUESTION A LOT — AND I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO IT. WAIT – DIDN’T IT BURN IN THE FIRE?!?
14. For your troubles, you earned numerous scrapes and bruises, and an everlasting legacy in horror.
What words of wisdom would you offer a young woman aspiring to join the ranks of horror acting?
ACTUALLY, TOO MANY SCRAPES AND BRUISES TO COUNT, BUT
FORTUNATELY, NO SCARS!
I WOULD TELL ANYONE THAT IF THEY HAVE THE ENERGY AND THE DESIRE – TO GO FOR IT – BE SAFE – HAVE FUN – USE COMMON SENSE – AND NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGREE TO LAY ON A TABLE WITH A REAL CHAINSAW RUNNING
OVER YOUR NECK. NEVER.
Talk about a nightmare come true! I greatly appreciate Betsy’s contribution to this blog and it was my pleasure having the chance to interview the woman who brought to life one of my favorite characters in horror!
Be sure to check out the Ladies Of The Evil Dead website for all news, convention dates and merchandise!