This weekend over in London’s Kensington Olympia, the third annual Walker Stalker Convention took place. The event allows fans to interact with stars of their favourite show, The Walking Dead, as well as a smattering of other familiar faces. One such face was that of the brilliant Bruce Campbell, of Evil Dead fame.
Campbell spent the weekend posing for photo ops with fans, signing copies of his book – Hail to the Chins: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, and hosted a one man panel during which he shared a treasure trove of anecdotes. Despite his very hectic schedule, Bruce Campbell very kindly agreed to sit down with The Hollywood News for a quick chat about his career thus far:
So you’re here in London for a few days, am I right in thinking that you have a book signing on Tuesday?
Yes, yes, at Forbidden Planet. We’ve been signing books at the convention, sort of a hybrid event of sorts. Then we go onto Manchester and beyond.
Now, thirty years ago when you were making Evil Dead, did you ever think that all these years later you’d still be talking about it?
Yes. Yes. Yes, we knew along (shakes head), no because the first movie we almost didn’t even finish. There was no George Lucas trilogy here. We made the first movie, it did well, Ash is dead. We made a second movie [Crimewave], the movie died we went – ‘well maybe Ash shouldn’t be dead’, so this was a franchise out of practicality.
What do you think it is about it that makes its popularity so timeless?
Well Sam Raimi is a great film-maker for one. Two, Ash is the every-man, he has no special skills. So I maintain, if he succeeds in his mission to rid the Earth of evil, then he will be the ultimate hero because he has no Millennium Falcon. He can’t web-sling his way out of there. He can’t hide in a Batmobile or be beamed up to the Starship Enterprise. He’s a mortal, he’s just like you. He has horrible habits and temperament, limited intellect, a lot of instinct. I think when people watch it they go – ‘You idiot I could do that!’
With Ash Vs Evil Dead, how much fun has it been to go back and play Ash?
Good. Yeah it was fun to go back with experience. I then plied my trade as a better bricklayer towards that character.
In your career you’ve had a lot of cameos and supporting roles. are there any that stick out as a particular favourite and are special to you?
I like the first three Spider-man movies. Since I named Spider-man in the first one, I defeated Spider-man in the second one, I teamed up with Spider-man in the third one. What else do you need?
Personally I like you in Congo, the whole bit with ‘you throwing things at me now?’ and he looks and it’s an eyeball – that’s literally one of the only things I remember from the film, it’s a very strong image.
Well I went there to work for two weeks in Costa Rica and came back a month later. It was one of those shoots where my character was slogged through the jungle, they’d filmed that, then I’d have a week off while they shot the main second expedition where they get attacked by gorillas. That would take a week where I’d take tours. I saw all of Costa Rica thanks to Paramount Pictures. It was awesome.
You’ve spent the bulk of your career covered in fake blood and gore, and you know Greg Nicotero, how then have you never appeared on The Walking Dead?
I know Greg, but that shouldn’t be crossed over. I’ll never do Stan Versus Evil, I’ll never do The Walking Dead, I doubt I’ll do any of those. It’s too.., they gotta stay precious.
I spied on IMDB that you have a new show due next year, Lodge 49?
That’s a show produced by Paul Giamatti, I just did a little guest star thing on that. It will be out this year or next.
So is it the book that you’re focusing on for now?
It is absolutely. We got to number eight on the bestseller list in the States. I’ve sold books in Europe, but I’ve never do a tour for books so I want to see what that’s like. As soon as this show [Ash Vs Evil Dead] is off, it’ll be time to do other stuff so I want to write more books.
You can catch Bruce Campbell in person on his book tour, details can be found here.