Sam Raimi on Dragging Alison Lohman to Hell
05.13.09 by REELZ
Legendary curse or urban legend? Neither, says director Sam Raimi in an interview with Movies Online. The details of Drag Me to Hell are, he confesses, "complete fabrication." But the story behind it is a classic morality play:
What we really have at the core here is a timeless story concept ... the idea of a character that commits a sin of greed and has to pay the terrible price for it.
In this case, it's a bank loan officer who is willing to throw an old woman out of her home. Certainly a familiar enough theme nowadays. But to make the movie really resonate with audiences, he wanted to create a morally bankrupt character that he could, nonetheless, get the audience to identify with. Enter Alison Lohman. Raimi thinks she did a brilliant job, but he has qualms of his own about what he had to do to her along the way.
I had to do some pretty awful things to her. I mean, I choked her all the time with that old lady character played by Lorna Raver, grabbing her by the throat. I threw her out of a car, threw fake candy-glass at her, put her in a harness and whipped her around a room for hours on end, buried her alive under 800 pounds of mud. And that was just the first week.
He explains that he wanted to tell her in advance what she would be facing, but he couldn't tell her everything because he was afraid she wouldn't take the part.