Bruce Campbell – Burn Notice Press Conference Transcript 1

June 1, 2009

S. Lanoue I’m one of your big fans, ever since Brisco County.

B. Campbell You’re the one who watched that show.

S. Lanoue I loved that show. I was going to ask you, a lot of your work has been in the, sort of what we call genre shows; science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic book –

B. Campbell I don’t know what you’re talking about.

S. Lanoue And I was wondering if this was a planned effort on your part, or just sort of happened?

B. Campbell It’s a little of both. You are guilt by association, so when my first movie was Evil Dead, which is now 30 years ago …

S. Lanoue Wow.

B. Campbell … when we made the movie – so yes, you are all very old, all of you who are listening – that film was pretty successful and allowed a couple of others to be made and what it did is, it just sort of put me in the genre world, right from the go-get. I suppose if I had made a romantic comedy when I was 21 and that did crazy, then I’d be the romantic comedy guy. It’s kind of how Hollywood works. So, it’s material that I’m sort of interested in, though, too, at the same time, so part of me perpetuates it in that I gravitate toward oddball stories, some genre stuff, not all horror. I like fantasy and sci-fi and that sort of stuff, too, but for me, I guess it’s the combination of starting out in the genre and then being attracted to certain material that could also be considered genre.

Moderator Our next question is from BethAnn Henderson with Please go ahead.

B. Henderson Can you tell us a bit about what direction we can see Sam going in this third season?

B. Campbell Well, Sam by now is, we’re now past the point where we don’t trust him. He’s a hopefully valuable member of the team now, and so, like Michael Westen, Sam is taking the twists and turns as they come now. I don’t know that Sam is going to get married or any personal revelation. Sam is pretty much living in Michael’s mother’s house, a room in her house, so he’s just kind of a permanent loser, at least in this season. And he’s always there to help.

Moderator Next we got to the line of Emma Loggins with Please go ahead.

E. Loggins I watched the screeners and it felt to me like the third episode should have been the first episode, since it picked up right where the second season left off. Do you know if there was a reason that they were ordered that way?

B. Campbell Well, that is tough for me to answer, not being in on the big picture like. Actors, we’re always the last people to know anything.

E. Loggins Right.

B. Campbell So I can’t really help you there. I know that we shot them out of order.

E. Loggins Okay.

B. Campbell But they were meant to be screened where, Tim Matheson’s episode, I think it’s “Friends & Family” is the first one, and we shot them out of order because we wanted to kind of get up to speed for the new season before we let them have it with the big opener.

E. Loggins Right.

B. Campbell So we shot the first episode third, so I don’t know, maybe they gave it to you in some strange order.

E. Loggins Okay.

B. Campbell But it will hopefully make sense when it airs on Thursday.

E. Loggins Right.

A. Nepal Hi, Bruce. I was wondering, how is Burn Notice different from past TV shows you’ve done?

B. Campbell Well, the making of television is the same, it’s very fast. You’re doing between 6 and 11 pages per day, which is a lot. Features probably do three pages. Big features do one page a day. So that’s not different. What’s different, of course, is we’re in Miami, which is a completely out of the box thing for me because I live in Oregon, at the complete opposite end of the country. So it’s different in every way physically, and the dynamics are different. I’ve never really done a spy show before, so this is a first for me. I did a western show, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., and I did a – well actually, no, I did a spy show, Jack of All Trades, where I played the very first spy, but this is, I guess, you’d say sort of modern day, realistic approach where it’s not Hercules or Xena or something fantastic going on. What’s different is also the subject matter. It’s a fairly mature, adult sort of comedy/drama, with no fantastic special effects.

Z. Oat: Hi, Bruce. I wanted to ask about the Expo Center almost getting demolished recently, and it sounds like you got a one-year reprieve to stay there for a while longer.

B. Campbell We did, we got a one-year reprieve.
Z. Oat I was wondering A) how do you feel about that; and B) if the show had actually got up and moved, where would you have liked to have seen it gone?

B. Campbell: Hypotheticals are tough and I don’t ever want to give any impressions that I don’t like shooting in Miami. It’s good for the show. Miami is a character in this show, and if we moved it would probably be to California because it makes casting easier, all the writers live there, the actors, half of them live there. I live in Oregon, but it would be closer to my West Coast. I have kids there, too, so a lot of personal reasons.

But for the sake of the show Miami is a good spot. It’s an unexploited city. Even CSI: Miami doesn’t even shoot in Miami, they shoot in California, so we’re it. We’re the only show that is currently shooting in Miami, and the governor even came, Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida. It was great palling around with the governor for a day, trying to bend his arm a little bit, saying, “Hey, Gov, why don’t you help us out here?” Because producers tend to go where it’s the least expensive, and that’s nothing against producers, every producer does that. So we have to see, as long as we can get incentives to stay in Florida, we’ll stay. But there’s also the reality of, if we don’t then we’ll leave and fake it. Television is fake, so if we had to fake Florida we could.

S. Wilson: It’s interesting, the first episode that’s showing up Thursday night, the way it was constructed, that it really ends up with Madeline talking to all three of you saying that as characters that you all three needed to work together to watch each other’s back, and it seems like Michael has the biggest target. Is that pretty much the whole theme as the season seems to evolve?

B. Campbell I think so. It’s going to get worse for Michael Weston this year, because of a couple of things that have happened as a result of the last two-parter. So his world is a little more unstable this year. He’s not necessarily under the thumb of Carla any more. She was the evil temptress of the last season.

She’s out of the way, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. His sort of veil of protection has been lifted by these shadowy figures, so now anybody who wants to put a bullet into Michael Westen, which is actually a lot of people, I don’t know – so yes, we do have to stick together. In order to pull through, we’ve all got to be on the same page and watch each other’s back, including Madeline. So, yes, the interpersonal dynamics will get theoretically tighter because if things get worse, you’ve got to know who you can count on.

Q: I have a question that’s going to be the most simplistic answer you can probably come up with. I notice on the show you drink beer, and I’m a huge beer fan; I write about beer for the site. My question is just simple, what is your favorite beer in every day life?

B. Campbell I gave up beer last March.

S. Miller Really?

B. Campbell Yes.

S. Miller Well, I guess I’m proud of you for that.

B. Campbell Well, I was only using it to wash my tequila down.

S. Miller: Oh, well, see, now I wish …

B. Campbell: I’m just a tequila guy now. But on the show, obviously, it’s a fake brand, but we were actually introducing Miller Genuine Draft 64.

S. Miller: Oh, yes.
B. Campbell : And there, I think they’re doing a product tie-in, so Sam’s generic labels in some cases will now go to MGD.

S. Miller: Very cool.

B. Campbell Now what do you think of that beer?

S. Miller: What do I think of it personally?

B. Campbell Yes.

S. Miller Swill.

B. Campbell: Awesome. Okay, I’ll be sure to tell them.

S. Miller: That’s just my opinion, though.

B. Campbell: No, that’s okay. It’s not going to change the product label.

S. Miller: Yes, I didn’t think it would. I appreciate it, thank you.

J. Iaccino I’m doing good, although I do have to say I’m a bit offended that you think that only old people like the movies like Evil Dead here. Come on, come on.

B. Campbell No, I’m poking fun because I’m older than all of you.

J. Iaccino All right, all right. In fact, you mentioned on, I think it was the commentaries for Evil Dead II that Sam Raimi stands for just like, sort of, beat you up and smack you around.

B. Campbell : Yes.

J. Iaccino And other than that, how do you think that Sam compares to your other roles, and what is your favorite part of playing him?

B. Campbell : Boy, I like Sam because he’s my age. He’s, when I got the original script for the pilot, it said Sam Axe, who’s 50.

J. Iaccino Yes?

B. Campbell: I thought it, okay. I’m finally playing a mature adult who doesn’t have to, he’s an ex-Navy Seal, he’s tacking around now, he’s trying to get laid and drink beer. And I love the fact that all three characters on this show are sort of damaged goods.

J. Iaccino Yes.

B. Campbell: Sam has his issues, Michael has his issues, Fiona has her issues, mostly anger issues. And he’s a character that, to me, feels like an old slipper. He’s not stiff. He doesn’t use all the same terminology. He uses slang. He’s a little bit laid back. He’s wearing Tommy Bahama all the time. And to me, I love the fact that there’s a character who’s that lackadaisical. But at the same time, he can look up anybody; he’s got friends for days, he always knows a guy who knows a guy. So hopefully it’s just a guy that you’d want to pal around with, but yet these guys are very tactical when they want to be.

Look for part two

Tags: bruce, brucecampbelltranscript, burn, campbell, notice


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