CA: Explain to me your relationship to the Raimi's.
BC: Sam Raimi and I met in high school drama class. I was
making super 8 movies with some other guys at the time. Josh Becker
(director of Campbell's latest film, Running Time) was one of them.
I've known Josh since 1971 actually... I've known Sam since 1975.
And then we just kinda started making super 8 movies together, and
then after high school was over we realized that we had to do something
for a living. So we formed a partnership in Michigan and made the
first Evil Dead movie.
CA: So are you happy about the re-releases?
BC: I'm ecstatic, the main reason is because of preservation.
We shot Evil Dead 20 years ago and elements get lost. The negatives
end up lost when companies get bought and sold. Like with Army of
Darkness. It's the most recent one that we're going to be putting
out on DVD. We made that movie in 1991 which wasn't that long ago,
and we couldn't find the original director's cut elements. There's
a lot of things we should have done, but now we know, keep that
stuff under your bed. It's a lot better than assuming someone else
is going to take care of it. When companies get bought and sold
they just trash stuff.
CA: Oh yeah, Universal is always taking flack for throwing
out it's classic horror movies.
BC: No one wants to keep a warehouse full of stuff, but
you think they would at least call somebody and say "do you
want to take these elements off our hands, cause we're going to
throw them out".
CA: Let's talk about your characters: You're probably most
famous for Ash, the Evil Dead character, then there's Brisco, from
the Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., I loved the show by the way,
did you enjoy doing it?
BC: I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.
CA: And currently, you play Autolycus, the King of Thieves
on the Hercules and Xena shows. What's your favorite out of the
BC: I like them all for different reasons. I like Ash because
I like having a main character, particularly with the second two
movies, that a studio would never approve of. I mean my character
in Army of Darkness, the last of the three, is responsible for the
deaths of hundreds of people and yet he's your hero. He's a braggart
and he's a fool.
CA: But he's got a great fan following.
BC: Yeah, because he's irreverent. My feeling is that's
why it connects to the college crowd. Because college kids are just
looking for who they can give the finger to, and that's what the
character of Ash is basically doing. He's even giving the finger
to the audience and I think they like that.
CA: He's even flipping off the genre he's working in.
BC: Of course, he despises everything. It's fun to play
that character, because normally if the studio had financed the
film directly they would have said, "no you can't do this and
no you can't do that. Let's make him more sympathetic", and
all that crap.
CA: Why do you like Brisco?
BC: I like Brisco because I felt that the writers were smart
enough to write a good guy that was as interesting as the bad guys
The bad guys always have the better roles and the good guys suck
because they don't know what to do with a good guy. They can't give
him any personality. So I thought that that was a really smart move.
CA: And the King of Thieves?
BC: With the King of Thieves it's always fun playing the
reluctant hero. He's the guy who's a criminal but he'll always do
the right thing. And again, I can have scenes with Kevin Sorbo,
the Hercules character, and torment him and nothing will happen.
I don't have to give the money back to little Billy. I don't have
to make sure everything will come out alright. My character can
be bored, my character can be arrogant and obnoxious. There's more
freedom when you have a character that's not by the book.
CA: All those roles are pretty physically demanding. Do
you do a lot of your own stunt work?
BC: I do as much as the insurance companies will allow.
CA: And is that a lot?
BC: That's more than the average actor. In New Zealand we
do most of our own fight scenes.
CA: What about the first EVIL DEAD?
BC: Oh yeah, there were no stunt guys, we would just hurl
ourselves into cabinets and bookshelves. I was covered in Karo Syrup
for twelve weeks.
CA: So it was a twelve week shoot?
BC: Yeah, and for a $350,000 movie that was absurd. It was
only supposed to be a six week shoot which we thought was a long
time, but once we got down there we really didn't know what we were
doing, like how to plan your day or schedule your shots or anything.
So we had days where we only got one shot a day.
CA: What are some of your comedy influences? Because you're
BC: I like Bob Hope, and Danny Kaye. And I think Bill Murray
is really funny too.
CA: So Ash, Brisco, and the King of Thieves walk into a
bar, who gets the girl?
BC: The King of Thieves.
CA: You think so?!
BC: Oh yeah, oh yeah! Cause Ash is too stupid. Ash would
start a fight somewhere and Brisco's too noble. He wouldn't do that.
CA: I don't know Brisco is pretty good.
BC: He wouldn't go in to pick up a girl though.
CA: That's true.
BC: They would meet under different circumstances. Autolycus
would go there looking to pick someone up.
CA: Tell me about your new movie. Running Time.
BC: Running Time is a movie I want to get the word out
on because I find it to be very ambitious. It's an extremely low
budget movie but there's a lot of really cool things in it. It's
all done in one shot.
CA: That's what I understand: that it's all in real time
with no contrived sets or lighting, and it's in black and white
BC: Yeah, black and white. I think it's one of the best
things I've been involved with.
CA: Is it an action film?
BC: No it's a crime drama. You see a heist unfold in real
time and fall apart in real time. And there's no let up because
there's no editing per say.
CA: How long is the film?
Josh Becker with Bruce.
BC: 70 minutes.
CA: Wow. That must have been intense to film. Was there
a lot of ad-libbing?
CA: Really. And how big is the cast?
BC: The cast is 3 main characters, myself Jeremy Roberts
and Anita Barone and then there are a few people that we interact
with. All of them are from Michigan so it was a great little group
CA: Do you live here in LA?
BC: No, I don't live in California anymore.
CA: You say that with a certain amount of venom in your
BC: No. Glee. Never mistake glee for venom.
CA: Where do you live?
BC: I live in Oregon
CA: Oh. Where in Oregon. Do you live in the boonies?
BC: Yeah, I am in the boonies. South Central Oregon.
CA: Did you move there so you wouldn't have to pay state
BC: I moved there so I don't have to live in Los Angeles
anymore. I only came to Los Angeles for the film business.
CA: Really.. but you were born in Michigan.
BC: Yes. I consider myself a Michigander or a Michiganian.
CA: How do you feel about your cult status?
BC: I think it's great because I can go and have a normal
life. I can't imagine a guy like Bruce Willis, what his life is
CA: No grocery shopping for him.
BC: No, and I can go into any store at any time and do anything
I like. Some people, with me, they point at me and say, you look
like someone I know, and they can't place it, which is great.
CA: That's one great thing about LA. Everyone here looks
vaguely familiar. You don't know if you went to high school with
them or they were in the movie you saw last week.
BC: Yeah, but that's one thing I like about where I live.
My neighbors are ranchers and they don't give a rat's ass about
the film business, they never have and they never will and that
is so refreshing. So when they come up and talk to you and want
to strike up a conversation it's because they want to strike up
a conversation not because they want to get something out of you.
And you don't compare resumes. You meet someone at a party you go,
hey, how you been? They'll immediately launch into what they've
been working on to make you understand that they've been really
successful. It's all bullshit. If I go to a gathering where I live
now, you're gonna talk about the weather, you're gonna talk about
crop rotation, you're gonna talk about cattle.
CA: So are you ranching?
BC: (defensively)I have lavender on my farm.
CA: But you'll talk about it, ranching?
BC: Yeah, you talk about regular stuff. You talk about taxes
or the government, stuff that has nothing to do with entertainment.
I like going where people are not infatuated with the film business.
It's very healthy.
CA: So speaking of the film industry, what's the last good
film you saw?
BC: I can't really remember. I laughed at Austin Powers,
but that doesn't make it good.
CA: What do you want everyone to know about you?
BC: I think all actors want to avoid leaving a particular
impression. You know, you get type cast. I think I've managed to
get out of the raw horror element and move beyond that, but people
always latch on to the most obvious thing. All roads to me, lead
to Evil Dead. Evil Dead was responsible for everything that came
after that, and as a result I'll never deny it. You have a lot of
actors that try to crop crap off their resume. Well, bullshit! You
did it. I maintain that every decision I made was right at the time.