Interview: Bruce Campbell

by Bob Sassone

Bruce Campbell is an old friend of ours here at Professor Barnhardt’s Journal and one of our favorite people. He has contributed to some of our special issues, and I interviewed him back in 2003. Bruce was nice enough to chat with me while filming the second season of Burn Notice down in Miami, where it’s, well, really, really hot.

Hey! How is it living in Miami for filming of Burn Notice? I imagine it being very hot and very sticky, lots of tourists, with the occasional girl walking by in a bikini.

It’s all that, but the evenings are spectacular and balmy, and there is almost always a breeze. Miami is as much as character in Burn Notice as any of us. It’s exotic, old-fashioned, multi-cultural and all-American. It’s a good setting for a show, because anything goes there.

So you seem to have a beer in your hand in every other scene you’re in. What’s really in those bottles? Water? Fresca? Real beer? Whose idea was it to have you drink a lot of brews?

The “drink” thing came with the role – that’s who Sam is. To do it, we use colored bottles filled with good old water. In Miami, water has more value than actual beer, so it comes in handy on hot shooting days.

I heard you hurt yourself? Are they going to write that into the show?

I injured my hamstring while shooting. We will not be writing it in, just shooting around it while I heal.

Yes, I can imagine beer making one rather sick in a climate like that. So any secrets you can tell us about the second season? I mean secrets you can tell that that won’t get Matt Nix on your case.

The secret of the second season is that the heat gets turned up a bit, so things are even worse for our dynamic trio!

That’s a very sneaky way of not getting specific about the new season, So I noticed that one of the bad guys in season one, one of the agents watching Michael, was named “Bly.” He wasn’t after some magic orbs, was he? Was that just a coincidence or a wink to the audience?

You are asking me questions that only the writers can answer. I am not
responsible – directly – for any of the “in” catch-phrases, but the writers may be giving their own nod.

Tell us a little about My Name Is Bruce, the plot, how long you’ve been working on it, when it will be released, etc. Sounds like it could be an unofficial Evil Dead sequel that could get fans off your back about another ED film.

Tons of info at my site.

So tell us something about Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar that fans of Burn Notice probably don’t know.

Well, aside from Jeffrey’s occasional Gout and Gabrielle’s case of Lupus, they’re just like everyone else!

Ah, I can’t wait for that “very special episode” where we learn about Michael Westen’s gout…

So how is it working on a weekly series again? Do you prefer it over doing
movies, the steadiness of the gig? I think I heard you had to actually move to Miami for filming?

Like any gig, it has ups and downs. Good news: it’s a great role on a successful show that I enjoy
doing. Downside: the gypsy life. I miss my home in Oregon.

How did you end up in Oregon, anyway? It seems like a part of the country I’d like. Does living there mean you can’t do some of the movies/tv shows you’d like to do because you’re not in L.A. or are you at a point where you can do what you want and wouldn’t want to give up that life

I love Oregon for obvious reasons: air that you can’t see, water that you CAN drink.

I also like the fact that there are no phonies in Oregon. Most folks are the real deal there. My job is fantasy – I don’t want it in my personal life. LA is full of freaks, liars and losers.

Work-wise, I won’t let anything interfere with my quality of life, so it’s more important
to live where you want and make the work adjust.

So let’s say there’s someone out there who hasn’t seen Burn Notice yet. Tell us in 50 words or less why their lives are lesser for it and why they should watch.

Burn Notice isn’t the same old mish-mash of tired ideas. Matt Nix created a show that reveals the human side of spies, and yet they still kick ass every week. I like that it’s not a cop show, a doctor show, or a lawyer show, but every week we deal with life and death situations, legal issues and old-fashioned “buddies” doing stake-out.

(Burn Notice airs Thursday at 10 on USA.)


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