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Interview: Bruce Campbell
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By The Senator

Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe in USA's Burn NoticeWidely known for his character, “Ash,” in the occult classic Evil Dead series, Bruce Campbell is currently playing the supporting role of “Sam Axe” in the new hit drama, Burn Notice. Burn Notice, an original series on the USA network, is about a recently disavowed spy (Jeffrey Donovan), who uses his special ops training to help those in need.

As part of the USA network’s release of their summer line up and their Character’s Welcome branding initiative, Geeks of Doom was invited to take part in a round-table interview session with Campbell.

During this candid discussion, Campbell shares about the taxing life of an actor and quashes internet rumors, while discussing his supporting role on Burn Notice and his headline appearance as himself in My Name Is Bruce.

Question: It’s been rumored that you’re going to be playing Brice in the “Vacation.” Is that true?

Bruce Campbell: No!

Q: No?! Okay.

BC: No. That’s an internet rumor.

Q: Internet rumor, ok. So how did you like playing Autolycus from Xena and Hercules?

BC: Um, I liked it a lot. I can’t remember, it was a long time ago.

Q: So what’s next for you?

BC: Burn Notice for USA, that’s why I’m here.

Q: I know. Besides that…any films?

BC: Yeah, I just finished directing and writing a film called, My Name is Bruce. It’s about a small town that’s having problems with a monster and some fan thinks that having Bruce Campbell help fight the monster will be a good idea. So it turns out to be a terrible idea because Bruce Campbell is a jerk and an idiot. It’s about how a movie hero has to learn how to be a real hero.

Q: Is that still in production?

BC: No, it’s done. It’s complete. I just completed it. It’ll be out this year…to a DVD player near you.

Q: What’s new for your character on Burn Notice?

BC: Burn Notice, I have no idea, I wish I knew. I mean, I’m back, that’s why I’m here; but I don’t know what we’re going to do.

Q: What would you like to do?

BC: More of the same.

Q: Do you enjoy working on the show?

BC: Yeah I do because I’m not the lead. TV’s a grind. It’s a tough gig. I’m happy to let Jeffrey Donovan do all of the work; and, I show up and crack jokes.

Q: How did you get involved with Burn Notice?

BC: Ahh, they just contacted me. It wasn’t a doctor show or a lawyer show or a cop show, so I thought okay.

Q: You haven’t done TV for a while.

BC: I haven’t done TV for about 10 years.

Q: So what attracted you to this show?

BC: It was just different. It was very smart. It wasn’t a derivative show. But it’s got classic aspects. It’s…I like the fact that it’s a big, fancy trained, worldwide spy who’s helping his mother fix her garbage disposal. I like that aspect. It’s taking a hugely inaccessible character that Jeffrey Donovan plays and making him accessible. And, that’s important. You’re lead character has to be accessible. If people don’t give a shit about that lead character, you’re dead…Character’s Welcome! What’s up with that?! [laughs].

Q: What do you find most challenging about your role on Burn Notice?

BC: Learning your lines is always a challenge. Every year that goes by it gets harder to do.

Q: Really?

BC: You’d be surprised how many actors show up and don’t know their lines. A lot.

Q: Does that happen with you?

BC: No, I always know my lines. I don’t know much more than that [laughs].

Q: Do you find yourself bringing your past characters into your present character?

BC: Every actor is attracted by certain material. I like stuff that’s a little more smart ass, a little more irreverent and I always will. I like my character to be a little more a jerk, because if you’re a little bit of a jerk and an idiot then you’ve got somewhere to go. You know what I mean?!

Q: Right.

BC: [With] my character Sam Axe, at first you can’t really trust him. You don’t know if he’s going to turn in Michael Westen, you don’t know what he’s going to do. But now by the end of the first season he’s a completely trustworthy character. If you need him, he’s reliable. But he’s an idiot still and drinks too much. But, you know…

Q: Who doesn’t?! [laughs]

BC: Whatever! Yeah! [laughs]

Bruce Campbell was a great guy to talk to; he was nice to the Geeks and he didn’t take himself (or us!) too seriously. We suggest you definitely check out Burn Notice. Season 2 premieres on July 10, 2008 on the USA Network.

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