Why Drag Me to Hell's physicality took star Alison Lohman by surprise

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Alison Lohman, who stars in Drag Me to Hell, told reporters that director Sam Raimi conveniently downplayed the film's intensity when he offered her the part. Lohman plays a young woman who falls under a violent curse in Raimi's trademark Evil Dead style, and the role required a lot of physical stunts, fights, mud, water, bugs and being hung upside down for hours on end.

"At the very end [of our conversation], he said, 'I just want you to know, I hope you're up for this,'" Lohman said in a group interview last week in Beverly Hills, Calif. "I vaguely just thought, 'Oh, does he mean because it's a horror movie? He must mean because it's a horror movie.' I hadn't seen Evil Dead, so I just didn't know what he meant."

Lohman walked into the carpeted hotel room barefoot, carrying her shoes and shoving them under the table. She knelt in a chair, sitting on her bare feet. Having just been through the wringer on a Sam Raimi horror film, she relaxed and tossed out answers, knowing nobody could really understand what she's survived.

The following Q&A features edited excerpts of Lohman's interview. Drag Me to Hell opens May 29. (Possible spoilers ahead!)

So Sam didn't warn you he would be ripping out your hair and pouring things in your mouth?

Lohman: It's funny, because when he told me the story on the phone, it was about three hours long. He could have had time to tell me all that, so it turned out to be that it should've been a bigger part of the discussion.

Have you seen Evil Dead now?

Lohman: Yes.

Do you see your character as a female Ash?

Lohman: A little bit, mm-hmm. Maybe a little bit, yeah.

How do you prepare to say lines like "Take that, b-tch" that could be cheesy?

Lohman: Well, the good thing is that I never really think negatively about any of the lines, so I don't think, "Oh, this is going to come off cheesy." I guess if I did think that it might have a chance to, and if it does, I don't really care. I don't mind if it's cheesy. The only thing that I care about is just that I have a strong sense of who I play. If I have that, then I don't have any insecurities. I can say any line, and it's just coming from the character.

Was it fun to play more of wink at the audience than a straight dramatic performance?

Lohman: Yes. Oh, but the wink to the audience, I don't think I knew that. I didn't know of that aspect, because I was learning about Sam's style as I was doing it, and then I never even really had a grasp of it until I watched the movie. ...

Would you do a sequel?

Lohman: No, but I would work with Sam.