You’ve mentioned fans. Can you differentiate between fans and the filmmakers who appreciate your work inside or outside the genre?
I think Tony Hickcox, a director that I’ve worked with way back on a film called “Sundown,” he was a big fan of Evil Dead. Bill Luxton was a fan of Evil Dead. John Carpenter, I think, was a fan of the Evil Dead movies. He and I use the same effects company, and that happens a lot. Filmmakers and fans all blend together. I mean, that’s how casting gets done. A filmmaker is a fan of a person. Usually.
Let’s talk about your book (If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor). You’ll be doing the book signing here in Columbus, correct?
That’s right. It’s the paperback. I’m doing the paperback tour right now.
What can your fans expect to read in the book?
Well, they can get the inside scoop on what it’s really like out there in the big H. Readers will follow me as I go through this, and I try to explain it to the reader as I discovered it. So hopefully, it’s a very acceptable approach. It’s about the side of Hollywood that you never hear about – sort of the B-movie side. They all love to hear about Bruce Willis and Charlton Heston. But what about the 99 percent of the industry?
Since you’ve done both, do you prefer working in the B-movie side or the studio side?
I kinda like the B side of things because it’s a lot purer. Your motives are purer. Your goals and things like that tend to be more pure, so it’s not entirely commercially based. ‘Cause B-movies encompass a whole range. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a creature movie to be a B-movie. A B-movie is anything that is independent.
Since B-movies no longer exist in the original sense – in the drive ins – you define B-movies as anything independent or outside the mainstream.
Pretty much, yeah.
Let’s talk genre-wise. Not horror or sci-fi, necessarily. What are some of the genres you like working in?
I don’t really have any favorite genre. I base it on the story and script and the whole setup. It all has to have a decent character, you know. And my criteria today is different from what I had when I was doing “Maniac Cop.” Then, as a young actor, I’d take anything. People would go, “Uh, gee, didn’t you know that’s kind of a shitty movie?” It’s like, “I don’t care. I got a chance to be in a movie. Blow me!” I mean, seriously, as an actor who wants to be in a movie, I mean, oh my God, that’s your dream come true. No one strives to make a shitty movie, it just comes out that way.
And there are a lot of people who just don’t take roles, and their career goes nowhere.
You know, the whole career thing I think is a slippery slope anyway. I think people really get caught up on that. These days, I just act. I don’t think about any long-term ramifications to anything. This movie Bubba Ho-Tep that I’ve been traveling with, sort of on part of this tour, I’m really proud of that movie, and that was one of the weirdest scripts I’ve ever read. And if I were Tom Cruise, I wouldn’t have done that role. You know, you’re playing Elvis at 68 and he has cancer on his penis and he’s dying. No one would let him do that. I feel very fortunate in that respect. I don’t have those problems.
How often are you offered scripts, and do you have to audition still for them?
I don’t really audition these days. I looked back the other day, and in thirty-some-odd movies, I’ve gotten roles by auditioning twice, so for some reason I wind up getting roles by not auditioning.
Is it because of the name? Do people just want “Bruce Campbell” in the role?
Well, it depends on what it is. If you’re making an independent movie, the hell if I’m gonna audition for it.
That makes sense.
I mean, seriously. That’s the way it is. I mean, you want me? Put the offer on the table. In the A-movie side, yeah, I go out for auditions. But I don’t live in L.A. anymore. I’ve been out of there for four years, so I don’t really play that game. Man, is that nice.
You’ve mentioned coming in and out of L.A. Do you think that L.A. is a necessary factor for filmmakers?
It is for a while, yeah. You gotta make an appearance out there. But maybe not as a filmmaker. I don’t know, it’s weird. If you can find financing independent of L.A., I wouldn’t go. The downside of the independent world is distribution…until we have an underground network of theaters that will consistently show it. What’s cool is that I’ve been discovering them on this book tour. There’s a good probably two dozen theaters in this country – probably a lot more than that – that really specialize in funky midnight showings and things like that. Independent filmmakers would thrive if they could find an outlet for their films.
What about the Internet?
I don’t know that it’s ready yet. Until everyone has this Ethernet shit, it’s not worth it. We’re not gonna try to download a million byte thing and have it take hours and hours and hours. Plus, I think the Internet is too scattered. How are you going to let people know? I think until technology catches up, that’s not going to work.
Get the rest of the interview in part four of BRUCE CAMPBELL: HAIL TO A B-MOVIE LEGEND>>>
Posted on October 24, 2002 in Interviews by Kevin Carr
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- A KEY TO INDIE SURVIVAL
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