This past Saturday, The TV Addict found himself trapped inside a cabin in the woods alongside 400 blood-soaked strangers. What force was enticing enough to get me to abandon my TiVo and venture out on a Saturday night? One word: Ash. Or, as his driver’s license refers to him, Bruce Campbell.
Campbell, who can currently be seen on the small screen in the hit USA show BURN NOTICE was kind enough to take a break from his busy shooting schedule to come up to Toronto and attend EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL. The show, currently playing to sold out houses in Toronto, is based on the cult classic films which share its name — sans the singing — and which helped turn Campbell into erhaps the most recognizable B-movie actor in the world. Oh, but don’t tell him that.
“Have the three [EVIL DEAD] movies pigeon-holed me?” pondered Campbell when asked about the B-movie curse. “Let’s see… I’ve played a cowboy, a daring Dragoon, Elvis. Here’s what I would say. Audiences tend to pigeon hole me much more that the industry does. If your little pea brain sees only Ash, well that’s what you get. If you watch cowboy movies, you see me in that too. EVIL DEAD simply got me in the business. And the last one was 16 years ago!”
Needless to say, it was well worth the TV Addict’s time to trek down to the Diesel Playhouse. Armed with cups full of fake blood to throw at audience members who asked stupid questions [see photo above] — a tactic which by the way should be fully implemented at next year’s San Diego Comic Con — Campbell was on fire, touching on everything from the “Ash vs [insert bad guy here]” series of comic books (“I think they’re making a lot of money for somebody”) to to his thoughts on Lindsay Lohan (“You don’t really want me to give a shit about LIndsay Lohan do you?”).
Now at this point, you’re probably wondering, “Why is the TV Addict even talking about Bruce Campbell? This isn’t the MOVIE addict [or say, theREELaddict!] Well it just so happens, pea brain (sorry, just channeling Bruce!) that Campbell starred in the brilliant-but-cancelled series BRISCO COUNTY JR. And, not surprisingly, I wasn’t the only fan of the show in the audience. When asked what happened to BRISCO, Campbell responded, “You slept through the decade that it was on the air and you didn’t watch it when it was on the air. That’s what happened!”
An honest answer from a Hollywood actor? Talk about unexpected! But that’s the beauty of Bruce Campbell. He tells it like it is, and that’s why fans love him.
The evening ended on a more serious note, with the actor thanking audiences for having supported the EVIL DEAD films. “Without them, I wouldn’t have a career,” he admitted before asking that fans continue to support quality entertainment. “Any entertainment. Whatever you support there will be more of. If you don’t like seeing DIE HARD 7,8 & 9 don’t see them”, he said. “If you like small, creative, indy films, go see small, creative, indy films. You have the purchasing power to influence Hollywood. Your money matters.”
And so with that powerful message — and the autographing of an enormous belly featuring an EVIL DEAD tattoo [see photo below] — Campbell showed himself to be exactly the type of actor Hollywood could use more of. B-movie star? Cult classic actor? Call him what you will, but we’re going with class act.
For more Bruce Campbell Fun, check back tomorrow for Bruce’s Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions from Saturday’s Q&A!