Dinner with Leatherface: Michael Kallio’s saga to honor Gunnar Hansen

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Michael Kallio – Bruce Campbell Jazz Hands – Courtesy of Michael Kallio and Kim Simms


1428 Elm: After that movie, you did some shorts, videos and quite a few productions involving Campbell. From behind the scenes featurettes for My Name Is Bruce, promos, etc. Most people are only familiar with Bruce as an actor. How is he as a boss?

MK: He’s a great boss but he’s still the boss. He knows what he wants and gets it done. He doesn’t like dilly-dallying but is also pretty laid back and fun. Working on “My Name is Bruce” was a blast for ME because I was the fly-on-the-wall with my Director of Photography, Mark Elliott, a pal of ours from Michigan.

We just did our thing but it was also fun to be a “go-to” guy for BC. I felt blessed to have that role. I helped him punch up the script. He’d call me to set to rehearse scenes before he shot them… to run lines with him so he knew it was in his brain.

I helped out on a few scenes doing special FX. I’m in the movie a few times, once as a townie but my very pivotal role in the film is the “CaveAlien 2” director. Without my character, Bruce wouldn’t have been so frustrated and would have stayed on set and not gotten kidnapped by the kid who takes him to Gold Lick… at least that’s MY version of the story. Seriously though, he’s a great boss.

I work for him regularly on various things. He lets me be creative and he likes a lot of my ideas. He’s also not a micromanager like so many bosses can be, especially in this business. He lets me do my thing and makes notes accordingly. We then work together. It’s a fun, creative, collaborative working relationship.

1428 Elm: Can you share some behind the scenes anecdotes?

MK: As far as stories or behind the scenes anecdotes, readers should find a copy of “My Name is Bruce” and watch all the special features we did, mainly “Heart of Dorkness: The Making of My Name is Bruce,” the 60-minute documentary on the making of the movie. That’s got about all stories and craziness he had to deal with during that shoot.

About half way through filming, with all the production hiccups, I was inspired and came up with making our doc a spoof of Francis Ford Coppola’s wife, Eleanor’s brilliant documentary “Hearts of Darkness,” which captured all the horrible things that happened while making “Apocalypse Now.” That was probably one of the best summers of my life.