Bruce Campbell is exactly where he wants to be (Exclusive Interview)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Bruce Campbell attends the Ash Vs Evil Dead Panel during 2017 New York Comic Con - Day 3 on October 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Bruce Campbell attends the Ash Vs Evil Dead Panel during 2017 New York Comic Con - Day 3 on October 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) /
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Bruce Campbell
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 10: Bruce Campbell attends STARZ’ Ash vs Evil Dead At New York Comic Con at Jacob Javits Center on October 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for STARZ) /

Death of the Cinema

1428 Elm: This saddens me but eventually are theaters even going to be around anymore?

Bruce Campbell: That’s an existential question. Its hard to say because they debated that back in the 50’s when television came in. So, movie theaters said, okay. We’re going to do Cinemascope. You can’t see that on TV.

Now what they’re doing is you can have your Barcalounger; we’re going to bring your cocktails to you and you can book your ticket online and you can book your seat…we’re going to make it kind of like going to the theater.

I don’t know. They’re still grasping. They’re still duking it out with television 50 years later. I think its hilarious.

1428 Elm: In a sense, I think that it feels like we are almost in a studio system again so if it is all cyclical, then eventually like in the 60’s we will move back to indies again.

Bruce Campbell: Hollywood will always be Hollywood. A-pictures will always be made kind of the same way. A little herky-jerky, the scripts aren’t quite ready, fighting with talent, fighting with directors, there’s a lot of shuffling around and stuff like that.

They’re always going to make movies for the mass market and they’re always going to make sequels. That was Hollywood from day one. So, you can’t really blame the industry. Hollywood has never been the bad guy because even during the 70’s they made mainstream movies like The Poseidon Adventure.

However, the 70’s also made weird independent movies like stuff from Bert Schneider. Blockbusters will always be blockbusters, they will always be treated the same way, they will always get the name brand actors. Because if you are going to make an expensive movie, you’re not going to put Joe Blow Nobody in it. It’s just not going to happen.

What’s cool though is entertainment is still available on so many levels. You have little B movies, you have indies you can find for days, you have old movies you can go back and watch, there’s live theater, there’s still plenty to go and watch.

There’s no point being disillusioned with Hollywood because its just what it is. It’s the nature of the beast.

More from 1428 Elm

It’s a commercial industry that happens to intersect with the arts. Sometimes, amazing s*** comes out of it and sometimes its absolute dog s***. It’s like any art form.

Its like watching executives trying to have conversations with actors and having actors trying to create conversations with executives. Neither of us know what to say to each other.

1428 Elm: You have quite a few projects in the pipeline. Do you see yourself doing what Sam is doing like 50 States of Fear, his series for New TV? It is specifically crafted for mobile devices and will have a run time of 15 minutes.

Bruce Campbell: I don’t know. They are throwing a lot of stuff up on the wall right now to see what sticks. The industry is thinking that 10 minutes is better for the modern-day attention span.

So, they may be right. Sam is directing a total A-list cast. I think he is directing very soon up in Canada.

I don’t have many 10-minute ideas lying around, I have 90-minute ideas.

Bruce Campbell
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 21: Actor Bruce Campbell speaks at the “Burn Notice: The Fall Of Sam Axe” Panel during Comic-Con 2011 on July 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) /

Book Smart

1428 Elm: Changing subjects, when can we expect to see your book of essays on the market? Will it be any time soon?

Bruce Campbell: Not necessarily because I’m going to self-publish so there’s no deadline. I’m back in movies right now. I am going to focus on the paperback tour going to about 10 cities and that will be my last hurrah of traditional publishing.

Then I self-publish and the touring will take on a different aspect now too. I think the days of going to the local Barnes & Noble are just about done. It’s becoming less desirable.

In that stores are getting pinched. The bookstores are either 100 square feet or they’re 20,000 square feet. You either do a bookstore signing where you have to step outside to change your mind its so small or you’re in a mega bookstore with a Starbucks and a P.A. system going off.

It’s not your quaint bookstore in New England where you have a reading in the wood paneled store, those days are gone. I’m not complaining, its just reality. That’s not appealing to me.

1428 Elm: In the future, what are you envisioning with your books? Will you do convention signings?

Bruce Campbell: Now, I’m going to tour with the movies. It would be nice to hook up with the Landmark chain, the Alamo Drafthouse chain. Like I would tour with any one of these projects.

Instead of a book, it will be, “Hey, folks! I got a new movie.” Start with Alamo Drafthouse in Texas and kind of roll out from there.

None of these movies are going to be expensive so to do this, you need the schtick. The books will fall off the truck like they do. I love the writing process because I love the freedom and the lack of chefs.

Bruce Campbell confesses in Requiem for Ash (Exclusive Interview). dark. Next

1428 Elm: What steered you toward self-publishing?

Bruce Campbell: The numbers. If I’m doing most of the leg work, writing and promoting, I should get most of the money. It doesn’t work that way in publishing.

If you do a different paradigm with the Amazon’s of the world, you can sell half the number of books and make the same amount of money. Because I don’t have a partner, Amazon takes a very small service fee.

Everything else is yours, they cut you a check. There’s no 26-year-old executive to hassle you. Its amazing. So, the next book will be completely self-published probably through Amazon.

1428 Elm: If you are veering toward more intimate venues like Alamo are your convention days winding down?

Bruce Campbell: No, no, no! I’ll do those till I croak. I’ll be there with Shatner. It will be me and Shatner. He’s got a few years on me but Bill will still be around.

There’s always a new city to go to, always a new promoter to work with, always new fans to meet. It’s still market research. It’s still helpful to see if you have had penetration with anything else other than Evil Dead.

I’ll be busy as long as I am able. Its an exciting time period, I feel. I’m kind of ready to finish out that Act III approach. I’m looking forward to it being a very creative time.

You have to start taking care of yourself. At some point in life, you’ve put in your time. You’ve done your 10,000 hours of whatever your job is, you have to do things to pay yourself back for the times that you didn’t want to show up for work.

Now is the time, you’ve earned it. You’ve earned the down time to do the stuff that you really want to do.

Next. Bruce Campbell reveals a return to the silver screen (Exclusive Interview). dark

To order Requiem for Ash, go to Catch Bruce’s new Netflix series, The Last Kids on Earth on Sept. 17!

What’s your favorite Bruce Campbell book? Will you be watching The Last Kids on Earth? Let us know in the comments.