Bruce Campbell Interview: Evil Dead hero more than blood and boomsticks

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A Writer Is Born

1428 Elm: Switching tactics, let’s talk writing. In your ‘If Chins Can Kill’ chapter, “First Look Under the Hood”, you talk about maintaining a journal. You even did that when you were in Iraq with Jeffrey Donovan.  

I also remember you saying your mother is fond of writing. Thinking back, when did you discover you enjoy writing?

BC: I think with the first book because that’s when you are really stretching ideas out. You are writing full chapters. You are writing hundreds of pages. The trick is to get out of your own way.

The early drafts of the first book were overwritten because writers sometimes like to hear themselves write. So, it took a little while to get over that. It was much easier for this current book to be objective with my own material.

1428 Elm: When self editing, some people like reading aloud. What is your process?

BC: I don’t read aloud but I’ll definitely go back. I write without doing a lot of editing first. I just want to get it out on the page.

Anybody can go back and make their sentences look pretty and fix everything up. The idea is to get it out on the page. So, I’ll look at stuff the next day that I wrote the previous day.

A Jack of All Trades

1428 Elm: In addition to writing books and screenplays, you have also dabbled in other mediums. Did you enjoy writing the comics for ‘Man with the Screaming Brain’ and ‘The Hire’?

BC: Yeah! I come from Detroit where they have a thing called job rotation. On Mondays, you worked on fenders and Fridays you worked on mufflers. You sort of mix it up. It’s all entertainment, it’s all make believe so I like to try and push as many buttons as I can in that world.

Whether it’s comics or writing or screenplays or acting or producing or directing, it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’ve been touring with a game show recently so I’m entering my game show phase of my life.

1428 Elm: Last Fan Standing. I caught a few episodes on Con TV. Are you and Steve Sellery planning to do anything with that in the future?

BC: We got our first Hard Rock. We are going to do it in Vegas for the first time to see if we can’t try and interest some casinos. Because of the concept, the tourists and trivia, I think we would be a really good match in Vegas. I can finally wear the dumbest outfits I can find.

Dressed to the Nines

1428 Elm: Your outfits are rather colorful. Do you find that they help you with your persona on stage?

BC: What does that mean? I’m not sure I know what that means.

1428 Elm: Would you say there is a little bit of acting involved when you are on stage doing Last Fan Standing?

BC: Most performers I know when they are on stage they take themselves and amplify that. I don’t really analyze that stuff in the first place. I have always liked wearing silly outfits and when I became a young father I gave that all up for fanny packs, flip flops and socks. All style went out the window. I’m just bringing it back.

It’s All About Making Love

1428 Elm: We know the story behind ‘If Chins Could Kill’ with John Hodgman but I am interested in Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way. I like the way your mind operates. How did you come up with the premise?

BC: The book initially was an advice book for men. It was non-fiction and we couldn’t get any traction, myself and Barry Neville, who I was working with. Finally, we had a spitball session and we said let’s not put anything off the table. Anything is a good idea.

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So, we kicked around a couple of ideas and it dawned on us if we did what we were talking about story wise, it would become a fictional book. Once we made the decision to make it a fictional journey, then it made sense that I could make it a movie. You know, act one, act two, act three…

Then it was easy to write. For some reason, it wasn’t clicking. In the writing process, sometimes you never know where things can go and fizzle as well.

1428 Elm: Well, it definitely did not fizzle. I remember you saying it was the most expensive audio book ever.

BC: It is. $60,000. It’s the Cleopatra of audio books.

1428 Elm: Of course, Ted Raimi must have played a lot of parts.

BC: Yes.  We brought in a whole team of thespians. Each one plays two or three parts. So, nobody was off the hook.

1428 Elm: Did you play any additional parts in the audio book other than yourself?

BC: I don’t think I did. I think it was just me as me. I kept that simple and everybody else did multiple parts.