Bruce Campbell On The Future Of Pizza Poppa, Evil Dead Rise, And His Upcoming Tour [Exclusive Interview]

The man. The myth. The chin. Bruce Campbell is one of the most beloved cult TV and film stars in existence, and he's going to be bringing his special brand of bravado to 22 different U.S. cities starting Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The guy behind Ash Williams of "Evil Dead," Elvis of "Bubba Ho-Tep," and Brisco County, Jr. himself, Campbell will be touring with BRUCE-O-RAMA, a two-part evening that's sure to be a bigger blast than a boomstick to the butt. The shows will start with an interactive game of "Last Fan Standing," a game show where everyone in the audience gets to play and test their knowledge of all things fantasy, horror, sci-fi, superheroes, and gaming. After that, they'll show a cult film of Campbell's and do a pre-screening Q&A. 

Tickets are available on the BRUCE-O-RAMA website, with special fan packages available that include a chainsaw autographed by Campbell himself. Now that's a neat keepsake. Fans who attend are also able to win cash prizes, and if it's anything like Campbell's Comic-Con appearances, he'll be handing out the bills himself. 

I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Campbell via Zoom and chat about BRUCE-O-RAMA, "Evil Dead Rise," the original ending of "Army of Darkness," and even his favorite kind of salad dressing. The actor, writer, and producer's career may be prolific, but he's not slowing down any time soon. 

Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. 

'Spartacus Ash Versus The Robots'

You've said before that you preferred the original ending of "Army of Darkness." Can you tell me a little bit about why, and if you still prefer it?

Well, I always respect the filmmaker's choice because while it may not be the most popular, I think it was very appropriate. Ash is a big enough idiot to forget the amount of drops he was supposed to take, and he lost count, slept too late for 100 years, the world's destroyed. It makes perfect sense for the character Ash, and it also sets up a sequel to that, which would be sort of a "Spartacus," "Ash versus the robots" kind of deal. Could be a really, really cool survival, Charlton Heston, end of the world-type movie. That's why. But then when we tested it, because studios always have to put forth endings that are happier, so it was deemed sort of a bummer ending, so they wanted an ending that was happier. It's okay. It's serviceable, but it's kind of silly. This ending is much more logical, actually.

'It's Not Your Father's Evil Dead'

You've retired as Ash, but we do have a new "Evil Dead" movie coming out. Can you tell me about the new movie and what you hope for the future of the franchise?

The movie is "Evil Dead Rise," coming out, I think, on [April] 21. It's not your father's "Evil Dead." We're out of the cabin. We're out of the woods. It's a high rise. It's a struggling single mother and her family, and it's kind of a child's worst nightmare come true when mommy goes bad. It's a pressure cooker, same sort of situation as a cabin, very isolated location in its own way. And Lee Cronin, who wrote and directed it, he cleaned its clock, as they say. I mean, he really brought it. He really brought it.

'I'd Be All Over That Like A Cheap Suit'

It feels like a lot of things from the '80s and '90s, and the '90s especially, are coming back in a big way. You were a part of a lot of big '90s shows: "Lois and Clark," "Xena," "X-Files." Is there one that you would like to see come back and maybe do a cameo on?

I think Xena's been decapitated, so that'd be tough to bring her back unless it's a prequel. Those would've been fun to revisit. "Jack of All Trades," potentially. Actually, no. I would go for Brisco. "The Adventures of Brisco County" is ... you would bring him back following the death of Lord Bowler to find out who killed Lord Bowler, and you have potentially a Brisco son with Dixie that we don't know about, and maybe a Bowler's son that we don't know about, and maybe those guys team up. With me being a successful San Francisco lawyer, maybe he's got to saddle up again at some point. But you'd have to take a new spin on the whole thing, but I'd be all over that like a cheap suit.

I would love to see the father and son adventures of Brisco County Junior and The Third.

That's right. That's right. The Third, yeah. [chuckles]

'Marvel Kind Of Fits Right In With The End Of Days'

You're part of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Why do you think multiverses are just this gigantic thing right now?

If I had the answer to that, I would be the ruler of Hollywood. Fantasy is pretty big. I think we need an escape whenever the world gets pretty real. I think entertainment tends to dial out. During the '30s, during the Depression was all those Busby Berkeley splashy music. [Pantomimes vaudeville dancing] "Life was great, life is fine." But there are soup kitchens and lines out in the street.

Conversely, when times are good, let's say, I don't know, '70s or something, the movies become introverted. "Oh, look at how horrible we are to ourselves, and look how horrible our government is, and everyone's paranoid." They tend to be a pendulum that swings to the opposite direction. Movies are also made for their target audience, too. The audience in the '40s used to be people in their 40s, so all the actors were people in their 40s, and all the writers were people in their 40s. So it makes sense if everyone's in their 20s, then you're going to have more youthful-oriented material, which is fantasy, sci-fi, or more spectacular stuff. Marvel kind of fits right in with the end of days.

'I've Had Long, Boring Talks With Marvel'

Speaking of that, are we going to see the Pizza Poppa again?

Well, if you think, for example, that he's just a Pizza Poppa, I think you're sorely mistaken, because as we all know, once you get into that multiverse, be very careful. Perceptions are not what you think they are. Do you think I would've signed up for this one stupid little part with a guy with four lines of dialogue? Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I've had long, boring talks with Marvel.

I love to hear it. Speaking of pizza, do you cook? What goes on a pizza in the Campbell house?

My mother declared the kitchen closed in high school. The cruelest trick of all to tell her sons that when they're the hungriest in their lives, that she's not cooking anymore. I can do a salad like nobody's business. Like yesterday, my wife specifically said, "That salad you made yesterday was pretty good." I go, "Really? What did you like about it?" She goes, "Oh, my God. Those tiny bits of cut up pickle and chopped up olives give it that little zest and a zing, and the shredded carrots over the top of it to give it some color and a little something." I survived that way, and as an actor on location, I can dice and slice, and get the basic stuff. An actor can survive if there's a Whole Foods within about a 10 mile radius.

What's your favorite salad dressing?

Oh, it's definitely Newman's Italian. There's nothing that touches it, because it's the same type of Italian dressing that I had as a kid. Newman's was the one who brought it back. He's like, "What's this other crap? I need the classic Italian." It's definitely Newman's Own.

'I Like Playing Idiots And Janitors'

You are a part of the Marvel Universe, and everybody always asks actors and directors if they're willing to be a part of the MCU. Is there any comic book character you'd like to play on screen?

I just wrote a comic book character, Sgt. Rock, for the competing company, DC. Would I want to be a comic book character?

Would you want to play Sgt. Rock, maybe?

Sure, 25 years ago. Yeah, let me have a whack at it. No, honestly, I like playing idiots and janitors. The thing that appeals to me about the character Ash was that he had no skills. He had no military background, nothing. This guy's got nothing. He wasn't born on another planet. No kryptonite, none of this crap. He's just a dude who's really lucky and really dumb.

I guess that answers my next question. Would there be any chance we'd see you in a "Star Wars" or a "Star Trek"?

It depends on the part. I mean, there's lots of ... look, I'm entering the crooked politician phase of my career. I mean, I'm ready to be swindlers, and shady governors, and things like that of shady zones. I could be a traitor. I could do the shady stuff. I got that. You can't trust me too much. So yeah, there's room, George.

'I Just Love The History Of It Because You're On The Same Stage As Houdini Or That Sort Of Thing'

What is your favorite thing about doing road tours like the one you're doing for Bruce-O-Rama?

Seeing new venues that I have not seen before, because they still have some creaking old ancient theaters that are still alive that they're retrofitting. They're putting new sound in, better seats. They're fixing the places up, fixing the twinkling lights in the ceiling. I mean, there's some really great venues out there. I just love the history of it because you're on the same stage as Houdini or that sort of thing. That to me, is always very exciting. To meet new people, see new -- I've been to most of these towns, but there's probably half a dozen towns I have not been to before.

Ben Affleck And Ashettes

If they were going to make a movie about your life, who would you want playing you?

Oh, it would be Ben Affleck from 15 years ago.

Okay, digitally de-aged Ben Affleck.

It would be like "Armageddon" Ben Affleck. Or what was the boring one? "Pearl Harbor." "Pearl Harbor," but you'd have to wake him up. You'd have to poke him with a stick, give him a cup of coffee.

Between people performing "Evil Dead: The Musical" and countless convention cosplays around the world, you've probably seen thousands of people doing their best Ash impersonation. What's that like, and have you seen any really memorable ones?

Yeah, the chicks are the best. For some reason, women have started wearing the torn outfits with the blood, and the strap, and the gun and the leather. But for some reason, they tear their shorts off to be these little short shorts. I'm like, "Well, Ash had pants on, but okay." They've done their own spin on it. I've seen photo shoots out in the woods, just going to leave it at that. I don't know how people are paying for these shots or getting paid. Don't really want to go into that, but there's some hotness. There is some 100% hot Ashettes out there. The dudes, I've seen some very good ones, but most of them, they'll do the thing, they'll match the thing, they'll do a little stuff on his face, and no blood. I'm like, then you're not Ash. You need to be kind of covered in blood and shiny s***. None of this stuff out of your mom's makeup. Don't give me this lipstick crap. It has to be a fake blood.

'I Do Kind Of One Gig A Month, And Then I Leave Myself Open For Hallmark Movies'

What is next for you? Are you going to be doing more hosting, acting, or maybe just take a nice vacation?

This will be the biggest tour of the year, and then I go back to sort of spacing it out. I do kind of one gig a month, and then I leave myself open for Hallmark movies, which, if they call, time to go do a Hallmark movie. No blood, no carnage. You don't have to wear knee pads or elbow pads, nothing. You just show up and say the lines of dialogue. Yeah, we'll see what happens. I'm self-publishing these days. I started a publishing company, and I'm on my third or fourth book now. I'm just going to spit out a whole series of books that have zero promotion, zero touring, zero international support that I'm just going to put them out. Hopefully when you buy something of mine on Amazon, it'll go, "Hey, if you bought this, you might like these, too." I figured the Amazon algorithms will do some sales for me.

Bruce Campbell: Book Publisher!

Can you tell me a little bit about your most recent book?

It's called "Citizen Alex." It was a story I wrote 25 years ago that's still pretty relevant. It's got sort of shades of "National Treasure." It's an innocent guy, gets caught up in a plot to steal the Constitution and rewrite it back at Independence Hall by a group of separatists, very similar to what's sort of going on now. Instead of kidnapping a governor, my governor of Michigan, they kidnapped the Constitution. It's just a fun story like that. I record them all. I read them all, and some of them ... this one we're going to actually add sound of gunshots, helicopters, because some of it just, it's more of a story with some action, so it makes sense.

My mother, before she passed, wrote two cool westerns. One is an old classic, old-time Clint Eastwood-type Western. That, we're going to do a radio play with the horses, and the clip clops, and the gunshots. I'll read the main guy. We'll have a narrator, all that. It's a great little thing to do on the side. It keeps me out of trouble. I've got a lot of material that I've developed over the years that I own that will never get made into a movie. I'm either too old, or there's no need for this anymore, or something's a little passe. Rather than gathering digital dust on my digital hard drive, I'm like, "Screw this, man." I have quite a pipeline of stuff. I'm going to be putting out all different genres.

Another one that just came out was "House Divided." It was what if two candidates running for a very rural Oregon County commissioner, one as right as you could get, one as left as you could get, take a Boy Scout challenge to spend a weekend hiking, and navigating, and camping together in the Eastern Oregon wilderness? Of course, wackiness ensues and they both get to walk a mile in the other guy's shoes, sometimes literally. It's a really ridiculous romp that I wanted really bad to make into a movie, but it's not something people are throwing money at these days, but would've been a good part for Seth Rogen.

Bruce Campbell's 22-city theatre tour "Bruce-O-Rama" begins on April 5, 2023. You can get tickets at

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The post Bruce Campbell On The Future of Pizza Poppa, Evil Dead Rise, and His Upcoming Tour [Exclusive Interview] appeared first on /Film.

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