Interview: The King Of The Bs – Bruce Campbell Of ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’
By Dr. Zaius
Monday, August 29th, 2016 at 6:54 pm
I had the honor and privilege of interviewing one of my idols last week. Finding one of the only quiet areas in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I sat down shaking like a total fanboy as I was connected to Bruce Campbell, the star of Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead, and King of the B-Actors. When I say fanboy, I mean it. About a decade ago, friends and I waited 4 hours to meet him at a horror movie convention, and when the new series debuted at NYCC last Fall, I was there in the front row. Campbell is a legend since he, Sam and Ivan Raimi, and Rob Tapert borrowed money to make Evil Dead (1981). He reprised the role of Ash in 1986’s Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, and 1992’s Army of Darkness. After co-producing the 2013 remake directed by Fede Alvarez, the decision was made to turn the story of Ash Williams and his never-ending quest to vanquish Deadites and demons into an episodic television series on cable. Starz came calling and the rest, as they say, is history. I asked the King of Chins about the series, and his lengthy career dating back nearly 40 years.
Check out the full interview here below.
Geeks of Doom: It goes without saying I’m a big fan of you and the show. I’ve reviewed it for the website, and I can’t wait for Season 2. You’ve played Ash Williams for 30+ years, and the show Ash vs Evil Dead has allowed Ash to doing something he’s never done, which is interact with really tough, badass female characters. What is it like for you, as Ash the aging Lothario who is used to saving the damsel, to now having these tougher women like Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly) and Lucy Lawless (Ruby)?
Bruce Campbell: I will utilize their skills to help save the world. Ash is an idiot, but he’s not stupid. So if Ash can’t get it on with Ruby, he might as well use her to save the world. And Kelly wants blood anyway. In Season 2, Kelly spends more time with Ruby and they mentor up.
Geeks of Doom: When you, Sam, and the guys first made Evil Dead you guys were in your 20s. Now you’re in your 50s. In your wildest dreams, did you think you’d still be playing Ash Williams, and having gallons of blood thrown in your face at this point in your career?
Bruce Campbell: That would have been my worst nightmare. But the elements came together. We found a good partner in Starz, and realized we could get more mileage out of the franchise if it were a TV show. The fans could get more material that way, they seem to be insatiable, so why not give them more material instead of less? And that’s kind of how it came together. Rob Tapert is a great TV producer and he had a great set up in New Zealand, so we thought, “Let’s go down there.”
Geeks of Doom: Speaking of the fans, you consider yourself a B actor, but you have a fan base that is as big as any actor going. What is it like for you now to go these conventions like a SDCC, and see these fans of all ages? On the panel at SDCC, you were interacting with little kids, what does it mean to you that you’ve impacted so many lives?
Bruce Campbell: [Laughs] What’s nice is that the Evil Dead movies have been around long enough that now we have the second generations. There are fathers that are showing these ridiculous movies to their kids, and I’ve actually had some fathers tell me that they couldn’t bond with their sons except about the movies, so it’s a pretty strange scenario. But it’s been around long enough, I’ve met teenagers named Ash, so we’ve impacted families I’m sorry to say. It’s great that this second generation has come along, and they don’t seem to mind it. The kids enjoy it just as much, and I guess we’re getting a younger audience to start watching.
Geeks of Doom: You were the jack-of-all-trades on TV, but you actually are a jack-of-all-trades in real life. You’re an established actor with over 100 IMDb credits; you’ve directed, written, produced; you’re a published author, commercials, etc. What is Bruce Campbell’s favorite part of the entertainment industry?
Bruce Campbell: Well, the nice thing about the industry is that if you just apply yourself, you can actually do all those different crazy things. And I like it. You know, in Detroit where I’m from, in the factories they used to do rotation to keep the workers interested. So I feel the same way – you do a little directing, you do a little writing, do a little acting. I have a sequel to my first Chins book [If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor] coming out in 2017. I like to mix it up a little bit – that’s what keeps me interested.
Geeks of Doom: Well, when that comes out I’ll read it and put it next to the first Chins book on my bookshelf.
Bruce Campbell: Ha ha, excellent!
Geeks of Doom: I sat third row center for the Evil Dead musical in New York — I’m sure you’ve seen it — and there is a trend on TV for series to do musical episodes. Has there ever been a discussion between you and the guys about taking from that musical, and bringing it to Ash vs Evil Dead or in movie form?
Bruce Campbell: Well, with this series I would just say never say never. This was never designed to be a franchise, but a lot of things came together over the years, there’s more merchandising now, video games, etc. So it really makes sense to take that and consider developing it into something beyond that. But then you have to film it. So sure, I’d say anything is a possibility. We’ll see to what limits the Evil Dead fan will go.
Geeks of Doom: My last question is generic, but necessary. What can we, the fans, expect on Season 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead?
Bruce Campbell: You can expect unparalleled audacity. Because I’ve done things for this season, that I’ve never done as an actor or heard done before in the horror genre. And it’s better than Season 1.”
And with that my time with Bruce Campbell came to an end, leaving me in all-out geek mode for the rest of the day. One thing is for sure, Ash vs Evil Dead will continue pushing the envelope of gore and lunacy on television. The show returns to the Starz network on Sunday, October 2, 2016. And according to Bruce at SDCC, if the fan support is there, so will he… for seasons to come.
Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 Red Band Trailer – Comic Con 2016
Deemed too gory for Comic-Con to show, check out this bloody new look at what’s next when Ash returns.