If someone told me I could interview, say, a Marlon Brando or a Tyrone Power or whoever Tinsel town has currently throned as king, I would wear a begrudged smile on my face, as it would be an honor and a cliché. If I could pick the brain of a Gregory Peck or an Audrey Hepburn, I very well might be overcome with a sense of achievement, gratification, and a dose of *yawn*, as the aforementioned are certifiable, if not obvious, beasts of cinematic royalty. Ironic for this “fly on the wall” observer of pop art, I find myself as giddy as a school girl at the notion of chatting with a fellow who, as I might so boldly opine, might very well be the most interesting man in the world.
Bruce Campbell, the man with a jaw line straight from a comic book and a resume that reads as a novel, is certainly an American original. Seriously, how many cats who hail from Michigan can say they have been the featured player in more flicks than Pacino?
The thespian/director/author/humorist/’who knows what’s next’ B movie God has dipped all ten toes into the mainstream (and shallow) Hollywood pool, all the while maintaining his status as THE premiere underground cult icon of motion pictures.
Immune to any recession that may infect the silver screen, Bruce is job security times infinite. Be it A, B, C, or whatever “list” the snobbish critics who judge but never indulge might dub him, Campbell endures as I described him in our exchange-the Cal Ripken of film. Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio and the rest of the glory hounds be damned, the Iron Man that is Bruce Campbell is as automatic as taxes and bad reality television. For us at the American Project, we are thrilled to rap with “The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz.” Apologies to James Brown.You have a reputation as a “B” movie star(Legend, actually), but in reality, you have appeared in numerous mainstream roles under the reign of A list stalwarts such as Sam Raimi and the Coen Brothers, not to mention scene stealing performances in TV shows ranging from Knots Landing to Burn Notice. Does the “B” movie legend moniker bother you or is it something you embrace?
I haven’t done anything to encourage or discourage the use of those terms. It has just developed over time. I guess it’s nice to be known for something.
Not to harp on the whole “B Movie” thing, as most hack publications probably do, but is there a grand separation from the ﬁlm making experience of a big budget ﬂick versus a cult ﬁlm? Obviously the catering is different, but what about the most important thing, the art?
I feel that B movies can do weirder stories and take more risks. They are also better at managing money. Actors in B movies also tend to work harder since more is asked of them. What’s not to love about B movies?
You are still relatively young by Hollywood standards, or at least supersede your age with youthful looks, yet you have appeared in more movies than most “Icons of cinema” can claim as a body of work. Basically, you are the Cal Ripken of the Silver Screen. Is there an end in sight, or can we anticipate additions to the Bruce Campbell legacy?
I like that analogy! That’s a good one. I’m gonna steal it. Well, I feel like the opportunities to act have not dried up yet, so I’ll keep chugging along. I have no desire to retire, so I’m sure I have at least a decade left before it all falls apart.
Given the sharp contrast as a brief, albeit standout, character in mainstream cinema versus your natural role as the leading man in cult classics such as The Evil Dead and Maniac Cop, which position holds more value to you, the oft talked about supporting role or the perhaps scarcely seen but revered headliner?
It’s all about the part. I did Bubba Ho-Tep because it was a good script and a great character. Same goes with being in more mainstream stuff like Burn Notice - the role stood out. That’s the only thing that appeals to me these days.
In 2007, you were the featured player and namesake of the amazing tongue in cheek movie “My Name is Bruce”. The masses may not realize that you were also the director. One shot deal, or is there a future behind the lens for Bruce Campbell?
It was my second ﬁlm and I had done a lot of TV directing before that, so it wasn’t new. I want to have control over the project if it’s going to be a really low-budget ﬁlm, so that’s why I will often consider directing.
I have to ask-the chin … you had a gig on “Lois &Clark” back in the day, and in a twist of irony, that damn jaw line is straight from the pages of a Superman comic … how do round faces like myself achieve such masculine bravado? It kinda kills the hopes for regular dudes …
Lose weight. (wink)
“Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way” and “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor” are two literary submissions, the ﬁrst a brush with comedic brilliance, the latter a New York Times bestseller…as we at Ee surmise, you have captured sci ﬁ, comedy, and honesty in your craft. Without blushing, we believe you to be one of the greatest performers of the modern era-Fair play?
I won’t go there. I don’t deﬁne myself as anything other than a working actor who has had the opportunity to do some fun things for 30 years now. I’ll leave all the labels to the media and the fans.
You have amassed a huge following, and our thirst only grows- How does Bruce Campbell quench this? What is upcoming?
A Sam Axe TV movie, based on my Burn Notice character. It will air on USA next year.
Lastly, I’ve read/heard varying opinions and critiques of Bruce Campbell the entertainer; without biting the existential styling’s of Greek philosophers, we inquire-Who is Bruce Campbell?
He is a guy from Detroit, Michigan. Current Job: actor. Hobbies: hiking, biking, lollygagging and dithering.