Interview with Theresa Tilly

Theresa Tilly is best known for her role of  Shelly in “The Evil Dead”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Theresa about looking part on the cult classic film and also what she has been up to since.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your greatest memory working on the set of “The Evil Dead”
Theresa Tilly: Remember we were a bunch of kids, just out of college, some still in college, and all of us loved movies and acting. So the fact that we were leaving town to go and shoot a movie, our first feature film, was just a dream come true. Once reality set in, that it meant performing in the freezing cold with karo syrup all over you and not having slept for 24 hours, etc. well, it became more of a nightmare. Still the collaborative aspect of it was incredible. Even though what were shooting seemed crazy, we all had faith that Sam knew what he was doing, he just had a lot of confidence.

MG: How do you feel that the movie has been so successful and become a cult classic since it release almost 30 years ago?
TT: It is really fun to be part of this legendary film. I’m not really a horror movie buff and its embarrassing that I don’t know that much about the cult itself but nonetheless, I really have fun meeting people who love this movie and chatting to them about all the details, they often know more than I do about it.

MG: How was it revisiting “Evil Dead” for the “Ladies of the Evil Dead” documentary?
TT: It feels like a high school reunion every time we all get together. It was one of those things that you just don’t know how you ever got through it and so the memories are still there, it’s fun to share that with those who went through it with you.

MG: Shortly after “Evil Dead”, you took a break from acting, what was the reason?
TT: It was more of a change of style. I actually began doing sketch comedy at the local comedy club The Comedy Castle. That evolved when my partner quit and I had to either quit too or do it myself, which is what I did. I performed as an opening act all over the Midwest for the likes of Tim Allen, Gary Shandling, Bob Saget, Mike Binder, Paula Poundstone…I must say I had a bit of a bad taste for film making and thought it might be fun to be my own boss for a while. I then started commuting to Chicago to study at Second City and do stand-up at night. I landed a pilot while there and that is really what brought me to Los Angeles. The pilot was never picked up but it made me believe I had to follow this dream. I spent many years doing voice over work and working a DJ as I wanted to be a mom that raised my own child. That allowed me the chance to have a little of both. Now that she is grown, I just can’t stay off the stage. I’m about to do my second play in three months!

MG: How was it reuniting with Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Parker in the horror comedy, “Brutal Masacre: A Comedy”?
TT: You mean after they were out on parole?! They’d like that one…I love traveling around with two ole pals and talking about the good old days it’s been a real blast.

MG: Will there be any more seasons of the webseries “Dangerous Women” with Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly?
TT: It’s a great little series and I WISH it would get picked up, then we could work together again, wouldn’t that just be so cool!!!

MG: What else do you have planned for the coming future?
TT: I’m about to put a little acting program into the local school system for kids who might not other wise have the chance to do a play, that’s keeping me busy.