Bruce Campbell confesses in the Requiem for Ash edition of his paperback reissue of Hail to the Chin 2. Ahead of the book’s release on Sept. 17, we sat down in Part 1 of an exclusive epic interview with the actor to discuss leaving Ash Williams behind and the beginning of his “Act III.”
Bruce Campbell is heading into an exciting phase of his life, what he terms “Act III.” On Sept. 17, he will be releasing the paperback issue of his New York Times bestselling novel, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor.
This isn’t your ordinary reissue. The actor has added over 50 pages of new material in this “Requiem for Ash” edition. In it, he discusses why he left the character that started his career behind after 40 years and some of the highlights of his European tour.
I sat down with the actor for an epic catch up chat. This will be the first part of what will be a series of articles. There is quite a bit of story to tell.
Now, it’s time for Bruce to talk frankly about his decisions and the future of the Evil Dead universe including news on the upcoming feature.
Time to Let Go
1428 Elm: It’s always a pleasure to speak with you, Bruce. Let’s talk about the Requiem for Ash edition of Hail to the Chin 2. When we last spoke you said that fans can expect, “A full, personal explanation of why you retired Ash Williams that will never be satisfactory.” Why did you feel compelled to write about your decision to leave him behind?
Bruce Campbell: There’s always going to be people who are going to be tormented or uninformed so it never hurts to just say it or explain it. Because people might go, “I didn’t know you felt like s***,” or “I didn’t know you pulled your hamstring,” or whatever you know?
Its also part of the story so it would be included either way. If you make a decision like that as part of telling your life story, you would explain that. Its not necessarily for fans its just for the story.
1428 Elm: I can only imagine when you have spent four decades playing a character there is an emotional attachment there because you gave him life. While you didn’t enjoy the day to day grind of physicality required for Ash vs Evil Dead, was it hard to say goodbye? Any sentimentality there?
Bruce Campbell: No, not at the time. There might be a few years from now but not right now. Here’s the good news. We were able to exploit the character and the story to the extent that a corporation would let us do it. So, that’s why I have zero regrets because we really left it on the table.
We’re like okay. This is probably going to be our last shot at doing any form of this idiot again. Features take a long time to set up. They would have to be R-rated so this was a chance to kick out basically 15 hours of new material, unrated.
I think by the end of it, I felt we didn’t have that much more to tell. Everybody wanted 4. But guess what? If we did a Season 4, then they would want a Season 5. We feel that Ash was reborn, we set up the legacy, not as much as we could have. I mean, a fourth season would have absolutely been a blast.
Essentially, we would have done something along the lines of Ash in another time period battling the final evil and then you would do something huge. There was more in the tank, no doubt.
You can’t fight city hall. If the funding for the show is going to end, what the hell are you going to do? Who cares if you have eight more years of material? Its not going to happen. It was just a reality check.
And thankfully, we smelled trouble early enough in the ratings that we were like okay, last season is coming. 90% we ain’t coming back so let’s wrap this up even if we had to do it in a truncated fashion. Lets still do it.
I feel that we did. There are always going to be those who aren’t satisfied. I appreciate that. Then, there was a lot of people saying, “Thanks for that last episode. Thanks for that.” He came back, got his s*** together, you know he’s not a complete and utter loser, he’s off on another adventure with a hot, robot chick. That’s enough for some people.