Interview with Bruce


Sovs Favorite Moderator
Sep 30, 2000
This was sent through one of the lists I am on and I thought it would be good to post it here..

"It's tough when fans see you out in person, say at a Denny's with mustard dribbling down your chin, just like everybody else. It can be disturbing for them. It's a "road-kill" scenario, horrible to look at, but you just can't take your eyes off of it," laughs Bruce (Icebreaker) Campbell.

And who can blame them? The granite chinned Campbell, besides being a sight for sore eyes, is an accomplished actor, producer, and writer. He is also one of the few stars that doesn't just tolerate his fans, but actually seems to revel in them. Dalton Ross from Entertainment Weekly explains, "It's his close contact with fans and his regular-Joe demeanor that keep folks wading through piles of god-awful movies just to see the cornball actor strut his stuff."

While Campbell is a good sport about the fans that he encounters, he does feel that there is a thin line between fanatic and lunatic.

"There are different levels of fans," Campbell says with a chuckle. "Right around the third level, you have people dressing up in costumes and going to conventions. The fifth level is the lawsuit level!" he laughs.

For the fans that dress in costume, Campbell actually has high regards,
"These people kick our asses. We actors do our job and go home after and relax. These people never break character."

Still, Campbell's amazed at the constant confusion between the actor and the roles he plays.

"The most difficult thing about some fans is that they expect the person to be like the actor or the people the actor portrays," Campbell says. "The fans have no sense of the separation. When I was in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. I got all these phone calls with offers to buy horses, and all these small rural towns would ask me to be the Grand Marshall at events."

Being a parade Grand Marshall was not exactly what Campbell had in mind when acting first caught his eye. Campbell found his passion at the age of eight after watching his father perform in local community theater. At the age of fourteen, Campbell landed his first acting job, when an actor playing the prince in The King and I became sick.

Campbell's career path took a fortuitous turn when while attending a high school drama class in 1975, he met future director Sam Raimi. The kinship was immediate and the two went on to made roughly fifty super-8 movies.

During the summer of 1976, Campbell volunteered to work as an apprentice at a summer stock company in northern Michigan.

"My first brush with celebrity was working as a theater apprentice. It was thrilling and horrifying, because you see what actors really look like, without the make-up. Like Doug McClure from The Virginian--he looked really old."

Before his start in Hollywood, Campbell attended Western Michigan University, where sampled some theater courses, but dropped out after six months. He ended up working as a production assistant for a production
company in Detroit that made TV commercials.

In 1979, Campbell changed gears and re-envisioned himself as a professional filmmaker. He teamed up with old friend Sam Raimi and a new associate, Rob Tapert, and the three decided to take the fate of their careers into their own hands. They created a short super-8 horror film, Within the Woods, to raise money. The film surprisingly netted them $350,000 and they used to the money to make the cult horror film Evil Dead. Campbell both starred on screen and served off-screen as a co-executive producer. Evil Dead marked the transition from happy-go-lucky amateurs to professional filmmakers when it became a best selling video for 1983 in England--beating out The Shining.

Raimi and Campbell have since worked together on films such as Crime Wave, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, and the third installment of the Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness. Campbell co-produced and starred in all three films.

"My hardest gig was probably Army of Darkness because it was low budget and every day counted. We had 103 days of shooting. Every day there was some new degree of torment for me. You have to work much harder on low budget movies which is why I have a kind of reverse arrogance about them. You have to do a lot more with a lot less. It's more of a challenge."

Most recently the duo worked together on Spider-Man, which will be released in May 2002.

"Sam Raimi gave me a pivotal role in Spiderman." Campbell laughs. "You may not notice me at first, but just look in the credits for the role of the 'Ring Announcer.' Actually, if it weren't for me, Spiderman would be known as the 'Human Spider.' As the Ring Master, I announce the fight between Peter Parker, who hasn't figured out that he's Spiderman yet, and some big ugly dude. I ask him what he wants to be called and he says 'The Human Spider' and I tell him that's a lousy name and announce him as The Amazing Spiderman."

Aside from his work with Raimi, Campbell's resume includes independent genre films such as Mindwarp, Maniac Cop, Moontrap, and Sundown.

"My easiest gig was probably Sundown, a movie about a vampire at a retreat.
It was shot in Moab, Utah and I only had to work two days a week for nine weeks so I was stuck there, forced to go mountain bike riding in one of the most beautiful places on earth."

If there is any place the actor has made a name for himself it is on television, where in addition to starring in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., he has guest starred on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and had a recurring role as Autolycus on both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

The actor has also turned author last June with the release of his book If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor. Campbell gives a detailed autobiography from his earliest childhood to the conclusion of the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

What's next for the energetic Jack-of-all-trades?

"I have a great role in The Majestic, a movie about blackballed Hollywood writers and directors. Jim Carrey plays a blacklisted writer and I play an actor in his films. Actually, Jim fears me and we're in no scenes together,"Campbell grins.

Fans can also expect to see Campbell playing the usual extraordinary character in an additional upcoming film.

"I'm in this great movie called Bubba Ho-tep. I play a 65-year-old ex-Elvis Presley impersonator who has cancer on his penis. The movie takes place in a Rest Home in Florida where this mummy is sucking the souls of the old people at night. I team up with Ossie Davis, who plays an old guy who thinks he's Jack Kennedy. He thinks his enemies dyed him black and are keeping part of his brain in the White House. We team up and kick the mummy's ass!"

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