Interview with Matt Nix, Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell of "Burn Notice" on USA Network - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Matt Nix, Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell of "Burn Notice" on USA Network 9/4/13

This was a wonderful call, but it was also bittersweet because it's the end of the show. I will really miss these guys and the show. I can't believe it's almost over! They are always so nice on the phone and good at entertaining us as well, as you will read in this transcript.

Moderator: Emily Spitale
September 4, 2013 2:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Burn Notice Series Finale conference call.

During the presentation all participants will be in a listen only mode.

Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an Operator please press star 0.

As a reminder this conference is being recorded Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Emily Spitale. Please go ahead.

Emily Spitale: Hi everyone. Thank you for joining todayís call with Burn Noticeís stars Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell and our Creator and Executive Producer Matt Nix.

Just a reminder that the second to last episode of the series airs this Thursday at 9:00/8:00 Central. Itís entitled Sea Change. And the series finale Reckoning which is directed by Matt Nix will air Thursday, September 12th at 9:00/8:00 Central.

And images are available on our press site as well as

Weíre going to now open the line to questions.

Operator: Thank you ladies and gentlemen if youíd like to register a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration please press the 1 followed by the 3. If youíre using a speakerphone please lift your handset before entering your request.

One moment please, for the first question.

Matt Nix: This is complicated.

Operator: The first question comes from the line of Hal Boedeker from Orlando Sentinel. Please go ahead.

Hal Boedeker: Thank you for joining this call. We just learned that a major character is going to die in the finale.

And Iím wondering what Jeffrey and Bruce would say to fans to prepare them for this information.

Bruce Campbell: Jeffrey. Donít eat Chinese food before the episode.

Hal Boedeker: Okay.

Jeffrey Donovan: And my answer would be thereís nothing that can prepare them.

Hal Boedeker: Okay. Well can I ask...?

Bruce Campbell: Yes. And I think - go ahead.

Hal Boedeker: Well Iím just wondering, why do you think that ending works for this series?

Bruce Campbell: You know one of the interesting journeys that Burn Notice has been on is it created a family for the audiences to watch. And I donít - and though weíve been humorous throughout the years thereís always been an underbelly of seriousness and tragedy.

And I donít think we could probably end the series with, you know, a bow tie and smiles on everyoneís faces. I think that the audience knows there has to be some sort of tragedy to show how important their journey was over the years.

Jeffrey Donovan: And I believe itís called collateral damage. Once you have a group of people who have put their lives on the line every single week itís hard to maintain that.

And then the specifics of course would be better answered by Mr. Matt Nix.

Matt Nix: Yes. I mean I was not a - you know, I mean itís a question for you guys.

But I think the - one of the central ideas and conflicts in this series has always been the - between Michaelís work and Michaelís family.

And he started this series as a very isolated guy. And over the years he has, you know, acquired this family and these friends and these relationships that he didnít have at the beginning.

But weíve always talked about the idea that thereís a reason that a spy whoís putting himself in, you know, these kinds of situations so consistently doesnít have a bunch of close relationships.

And I think that, you know, it was important to me to say why have the last seven years mattered? Are those things - are those themes that weíve addressed over the years, you know, are they real?

And I think the answer to that has to be yes. And so, you know, Michaelís always had to balance those - the two sides of his life and the final two episodes are really about choices and sacrifices.

And itís not just about being (fat) or killing off the character. Itís also about taking seriously the things that weíve talked about and the issues that weíve addressed over the last seven years.

Hal Boedeker: Thank you very much and congratulations.

Matt Nix: Thank you.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Matt Mitovich from TVLine. Please go ahead.

Matt Mitovich: Hey gentlemen, thanks for your time today.

Bruce Campbell: You bet.

Jeffrey Donovan: Thank you.

Matt Mitovich: Matt I was wondering how - the way that youíve wrapped up the show here this season, how that aligns with your original idea for ending this series whether is it pretty much on the same page or were there pages you used from your original plan in previous season finales?

Matt Nix: Both really. And the kernel of the idea which I would really say is kind of this season and what Michael has been going through this season and dealing with James Kendrick and his organization, that was in my mind from not - maybe not the pilot but, you know, as soon as I - that first year I had a sense that we needed to land in a place that wasnít just about Michael fighting another bad guy but was really about Michael, you know, wrestling with the demons and himself.

And tempted in a way to become this - the very thing that destroyed him in the beginning of the series. You know, like the people that burned him were in an organization operating outside of a established political structure and doing their own thing who felt that they were doing the right thing but, you know, Michael was collateral damage.

And itís an easy thing to become that if youíre not careful if youíre doing the sorts of things that Michael does.

And so that seed was always there. But at the same time over the course of seven years you discover new things and the - and Iíd say that the emphasis on the team and the way the family came together in the show that was a much bigger element than I anticipated at the beginning of the show if that makes sense.

Matt Mitovich: Okay. And as a follow-up for this weekís episode, it kind of left Michael in a real pickle there at the end of the last episode. He had to basically break cover in order to save Sonyaís life.

What can you possibly tease about how he gets out of that? Is he about to launch into a big spiel of fast talking or...?

Matt Nix: Actually I think that people will be surprised. This - the ending of this season, the way that Michael deals with Kendrick and his organization, fast talking is what Michael did in virtually every other episode of Burn Notice. And part of what makes Kendrick a formidable ally and opponent is that heís not a hypocrite. Heís not - he really believes in what heís doing.

When he says we donít leave men behind, they donít leave men behind. When he says heís more committed to this organization than to anything else, he believes that.

And so, you know, I donít think Iím giving anything away by saying Michael does not die at the end of Episode 11. But itís not...

Jeffrey Donovan: (Boiler).

Matt Nix: ...simply. Yes, itís not simply weaving another little web of lies. Itís a very different turn for Michael which I think will surprise some fans. And but I think itís ultimately all about addressing these themes that have emerged over the years, you know, and these elements of Michaelís character.

Matt Mitovich: Thank you very much.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of (Kim Haas) with Yahoo TV. Please go ahead.

Kim Haas: Thank you so much everyone for doing this today. Matt and Bruce I wanted to ask you, the season has been very emotional for all of the characters with Michael so separated for most of them.

But one of the fun aspects of that has been that weíve seen Sam and Jesse become this really great team.

Is there any thought to maybe a spinoff with those two characters?

Jeffrey Donovan: I guess thatís probably a Matt Nix question.

Matt Nix: The thought, thereís certainly a lot of thought on Bruceís and my part (unintelligible). The - itís something - I mean, you know, let me put it this way. Itís something that we have kicked around and itís an idea that weíve liked.

And, you know, obviously three guys donít get together and make a television show in their garage. I mean like if the opportunity ever arose...

Jeffrey Donovan: Damn.

Matt Nix: something like that, then thatíll be really fun.

And but, you know, itís not - thereís nothing specifically in the works other than that we all think it would be fun to do if the opportunity ever arose.

Kim Haas: And Bruce do you agree?

Bruce Campbell: I do. I do. Yes, itíd be a different show.

Matt Nix: Actually on that...

Bruce Campbell: You know it wouldnít be - itíd be something that I know that I would enjoy. And I enjoy working, you know, with Coby because it would just be a whole different kind of dynamic. Itís been really great working with Donovan.

You know but this is all bologna. You know what I mean? Thereís really nothing to talk about right now other than the fact that itíd be fun.

But, you know, you really do have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a show on the air. So right now itís really just a bunch of random Twitter talk.

Kim Haas: Okay (unintelligible).


Matt Nix: I will say though just in terms of the - and just really quickly, in terms of the actual like whatís gone on this season that one of the really fun things about working with all of the actors is the ways that - like the things that they bring to the role that influence the direction that the series goes.

So when you talk about like this has been a really emotional season that has a lot to do with my conversations with Jeffrey and, you know, him saying I really think that weíre going to a more emotional place. And I want to, you know, address that. And itís been an opportunity for me to and the other writers to embrace that and run with that.

And thatís really, you know, itís a team effort. But itís really a credit to Jeffrey that that was something that he was bringing out.

And in the case of Bruce and Coby, I actually say like, you know, you can just see it in the writers, like you put those two characters together and theyíre really funny and the scene just pops.

And inevitably in the next episode somebody is thinking of something to do and theyíre like oh, maybe we put Sam and Jesse together. And itís a credit to both of you guys Bruce, that that just emerged. It wasnít like anybody sat down and said letís make Sam and Jesse this fun team. It was really just every time you put them on...

Bruce Campbell: Well I appreciate that because you know.

Matt Nix: ...the screen that happened.

Bruce Campbell: As you know Coby Bell is very difficult. Thatís a well-known thing within the industry, his temperament and his - well frankly anger issues.

Matt Nix: But I donít know how you dealt with it.

Bruce Campbell: We - well weíve overcome. And no, sometimes you turn tragedy into triumph. And I think thatís what we try to do. The fart jokes.

Matt Nix: Yes.

Bruce Campbell: The little trumpet singing he does, you know, all of...

Matt Nix: That can sometimes break through the dark miasma that is rolling in his universe.

Bruce Campbell: Yes. I think that thoroughly answers that.

Jeffrey Donovan: Yes. Is that right? We answered way more than the earlier ones.

Kim Haas: Thank you so much and congratulations on a great season.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Doug Hanks with The Miami Herald. Please go ahead.

Doug Hanks: Thank you. So by my count Burn Notice filmed the same number of episodes as Miami Vice did, 111. And obviously itís been a huge boost to the local production industry.

And Iíve gotten a lot of feedback from people in the industry who blame part of the reason thereís not a season on the loss of the Coconut Grove Convention Center.

And I was hoping Matt, could you talk about that in terms of the prospects for an eighth season and whether any local production issues came into play there?

Matt Nix: Ultimately really no. I mean itís like thatís a, you know, it would have been a pain in the butt to find a new place. But you donít - I donít think you decide to make or not make a series on the basis of whether the stage spaces are available.

So, you know, there were a lot of factors that went into it. You know but and a lot of - but a lot of them were just creative. I mean a lot of it was just, you know, and when youíre making a series you really have a choice. You can either end it on your own terms in which case you will be invariably ending it what feels like a little early. Or you can end it when you get yanked off the air in which case you will invariably be ending it a little bit late.

And so that - so between the two of those, I mean I think that, you know, there are obviously positives and negatives and, you know, but I think that everybody - we were all I think very happy this season, you know, when you know youíre ending. Thatís - you think about loss, like they asked for an end date so that they could bring things to a close.

And, you know, once we had a sense that this was going to be the last season we were able to do a new kind of storytelling and the kind of storytelling that Iím really proud of.

So yes, it wasnít like we were like oh well, fine. You know if youíre taking away the Convention Center weíre taking our football and going home, not at all so.

Doug Hanks: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Michelle Alexandria from Eclipse Magazine. Please go ahead.

Michelle Alexandria: Hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time. My question is kind of a simple one which is is there anything that you guys wanted to do on the show that you couldnít for whatever reason in terms of character stunts or whatever?

Bruce Campbell: Thatís a good question. Jeffrey what did you want to do?

Jeffrey Donovan: Well Iím a private pilot. And I fly a (Cirrus) which is an unbelievable plane. And I wanted to actually shoot a scene where you donít cut so you know itís me. And I actually fly, you know, me and Bruce or something like that or me and my mom to safety. And the camera is on us. And you see us actually be flying.

I really wanted to do that. But we never got to do that.

Bruce Campbell: I agree. I think Jeffrey and my stunt double would have done just a great, great sequence.

Jeffrey Donovan: But - gee thanks Bruce. Why would (unintelligible)?

Michelle Alexandria: (A new series).

Bruce Campbell: I roller skate like a mother scratcher. And Iíve pressured Matt, you know, what do these people do in their off season, you know, when theyíre not working? I can never sell that. I tried it eight different ways, seven different seasons, never got in.

So Iím going to make a YouTube video and Iíll be done with it.

Matt Nix: But you wanted to bowl as well. Are you actually a good bowler?

Bruce Campbell: Well bowling, yes, bowling, that was just one thing.

Jeffrey Donovan: Heís not a good bowler.

Matt Nix: Yes, okay (unintelligible).

Jeffrey Donovan: You would need your stunt double for that Bruce.

Matt Nix: (Unintelligible). Yes, thank you.

Bruce Campbell: Yes, Iíd say Jeffrey you also wanted to have an episode where you played a full 18 holes of golf on screen.

Jeffrey Donovan: Exactly.

Bruce Campbell: We were unable to do that. But yes.

Jeffrey Donovan: (Sold my soul) (unintelligible) in four and a half hours. It was an 18-hole match.

Matt Nix: Yes, I mean actually I have - thatís a - for me thatís a hard question to answer just because, you know, I have a book of like the Burn Notice episodes that I was never able to do.

One thing actually though just being in Miami, there are certain things that just seemed totally logical to do. But that you - for various reasons are almost impossible to do.

So like a boat chase, yes, and you need like six boats to actually do a boat chase so that you have boats on cameras and then this boat and that boat and three water safety crews.

And once you actually get into the logistics of doing a real boat chase thatís, you know, that like it seems like the most natural thing in the world to do on Burn Notice but it was something that we - you know we did pieces of boat chases and little stuff. But we never actually were able to do that kind of thing.

And also we always joked that we had a - on Burn Notice just because of our production schedule we were given special versions of the screenwriting software that would not allow us to write the word night because we can almost never shoot anything at night.

So if you watch Burn Notice, like whenever itís night theyíre almost always inside because, you know, so that was...

Man: Thank you.


Michelle Alexandria: Okay (unintelligible).

Man: Who?

WoMan: (Unintelligible).

Michelle Alexandria: Hello?

WoMan: (Good).

Michelle Alexandria: Hello?

Man: Hello?

Man: Hello?

Michelle Alexandria: I think lost you for a second there.

Man: So whoeverís not here (unintelligible).

Michelle Alexandria: Hello?

Operator: Ladies - yes. Ms. Alexandria your line is still open.

And as a reminder ladies and gentlemen to register for a question please press the 1 followed by the 4.

Michelle Alexandria: Okay. And then I have one more follow-up question which is for a show like this or any show that features a hero is it possible for the hero to have a happy ending?

Jeffrey Donovan: Yes, thank you. I would say that if youíre telling a story that has - if youíre telling a real story, I mean and you think about any classical story itís like the ending will have both triumph and tragedy in it. You know what I mean? Like I think if youíre just telling a story that just has a sad ending, then well thatís a bummer. Like people donít - thatís usually not why we go see - go turn on the TV or go to movies or whatever or read books.

At the same time if it is just happy then it really feels like the story doesnít have any weight or consequence. And so I think that itís always got to be a mixture of those two.

Michelle Alexandria: Okay, well thank you.

Operator: Thank you.

Man: Thank you.

Operator: The next question - thank you. The next question is a follow-up from the line of Hal Boedeker. Please go ahead.

Hal Boedeker: Oh Iíd like to go back to Jeffrey and Bruce. And just to sort of ask what has the show meant to you?

Bruce Campbell: Go ahead Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Donovan: Iím not - itís kind of a general and vague question. Can you be more specific?

Hal Boedeker: Well what does it mean to you and your career? What has it done for you?

What stands out from you over all the seasons?

Jeffrey Donovan: I donít know. Bruce, why donít you take that one?

Bruce Campbell: It was a great gig is what it was. You know actors - thereís so many levels to being an actor. One is trying to get in your local community theater play. Sometimes that doesnít even work.

Sometimes you get in a local commercial and youíre happy because you nailed that.

Sometimes itís youíre great just because youíre happy to get an agent. And then once you get the agent can they get you better jobs? Then if they get you better jobs can you actually get those jobs?

Burn Notice was a case where it was not just something that got picked up or ran one or two seasons. It got picked up and was successful right from the go get. And pretty much we had seven strong seasons.

So itís the equivalent of a grand slam homerun. So Jeffrey and I, I know can basically - we can each put that on our resume. Same with Matt Nix and anybody else who worked on the show that they worked on one team that won the World Series.

And weíll always have that on our resume. And you canít take that away from us. And frankly it makes up for a lot of the stinkers that weíve all had in our career.

Hal Boedeker: Jeffrey, anything you want to add?

Jeffrey Donovan: I agree with that.

Hal Boedeker: Thank you.

Bruce Campbell: I will add one little thing though. And I know you can still at least hear me I think, is that when you work on a show for seven years you really get to meet a - you meet a lot of great actors, a lot of great writers, a lot of great directors and producers.

So itís really given us all a database in our heads of people that would be kind of fun to work with in the future. And normally you wouldnít get that if you werenít spending a long time on a show.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go ahead.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Itís such a pleasure to speak to - with you guys and hello from South Florida. Weíll miss seeing you film here.

Man: We will miss you too and hello.

Man: We will miss you. Yes.

Jamie Steinberg: I was wondering was there any memorabilia that each of you all took that was special to you at the end of the finale.

Jeffrey Donovan: I took one (unintelligible).


Bruce Campbell: Is anyone from Fox listening? Yes, thatís...

Man: Yes, (anything) that you took?

Bruce Campbell: I know that I paid for some things so.

Man: What did you buy?

Man: Yes, I mean what did you buy? I mean you...


Man: Buy (from us).

Man: Didnít you get some shirts?

Bruce Campbell: I bought the best of the best of the shirts that had the best patterns, that I liked the best. I bought my jewelry which I found out was the most expensive part of purchasing that because they actually wound up making them gold after about the third or fourth season so I was like wow, those are expensive. Theyíre like, yes we thought we had gold instead of a cheesy, you know, plating.

But the most important thing I wanted was itís a Sam Axe notebook. Itís a spiral notebook. Sam is a little more old school where he does jot down actual notes when heís listening to people talk on the phone.

So I have a spiral notebook that throughout the last five years of the show that I used that I put dates. Every time I did a little notepad, I put the dates on it.

And so to me itís a little Smithsonian piece that Iím going to keep that nobody else. It means absolutely nothing to anyone. And thatís why I like it.

Man: Thatís really cool.

Jamie Steinberg: Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Donovan: I - no. I wanted a chair for my lawn.

Bruce Campbell: You didnít get that?

Jeffrey Donovan: It was a little green chair that had kind of a silver railing to it, you know, arm rail to it.

Bruce Campbell: Yes, itís club chair. It was a...

Jeffrey Donovan: And when I - and it was a really great chair. And I mean I must have sat on it for seven years. And when I went to the head dresser and I said yes, Iíd like to buy that chair. Where is it? They - I was informed that it was never Burn Noticeís. It was actually a set decoratorís chair. He leant it to the show. And when the showís over he took it back.

Bruce Campbell: Oh wow.

Jeffrey Donovan: So I didnít know that our - my living room on one of the most successful TV shows in USA Cableís history was a loaner of.

So I - you know that was the only thing I wanted. But what - actually no one knows is that I actually own and possess the one of the most iconic things that was actually on the show. But I owned it from the get go and that was my original Oliver Peoples aviators. When we shot...

Bruce Campbell: Oh those were yours?

Jeffrey Donovan: ...the pilot those were my sunglasses. And when (unintelligible).


Bruce Campbell: See I didnít know that.

Jeffrey Donovan: ...offered, you know, a choice that was cleared, I didnít like any of the glasses. So I said Iíd like to use my own and Matt said, yes, thatís fine with me.

And so we shot the pilot with my own. Then when the series was picked up they got a replica of it and changed the lenses so that they would be less reflective.

But the original Michael Westen sunglasses are in my possession. And I donít - obviously I donít wear them anymore because theyíre too iconic and Iíd get bothered everywhere I went. But so Iíll always hold onto those forever.

WoMan: (Unintelligible).


Bruce Campbell: I also say call sheets.

Jeffrey Donovan: Whatís that?

Bruce Campbell: I said call sheets. Those are the little daily worksheets that has a list of who worked that day and what scenes youíre doing and where you are. So I save them like once a week so I know - I have a good document of all the actors that kind of came and went. Itís just a fun little record.

Matt Nix: Well thatís a good idea.

Jamie Steinberg: Well thatís a good secret. Iíll keep that between you and me.

Bruce Campbell: Oh okay.

Matt Nix: I can creep you out actually with what I have Jeffrey. I actually did not realize this until the last episode.

But Jeffrey and I are the same suit size and shoe size. So I was hanging around with one of our (costume) (unintelligible), you know, and he kept bringing like I needed shirts for something. They were doing interviews or something.

And he kept bringing me shirts. And I realized at a certain point, wait these are all Jeffrey shirts, like Iím wearing Jeffreyís wardrobe, right. And heís like, yes, it doesnít really matter because, you know, heís done with that scene and he doesnít need this shirt anymore.

And he kept bringing them. And I was like wait a second, what size suit is he?

And he was like oh heís 40 Regular. I was like and what waist size, inseam?

And theyíre - Iíve got to get them taken in a little bit but I got four of the - I got the tan suit. Like I got four of the iconic (unintelligible).

Group: Wow.

Jeffrey Donovan: You got the official Michael suits.

Matt Nix: Yes because...

Man: Thatís a good one.

Matt Nix: ...I was like well theyíre good suits. And I - thereís no sense not taking them. And a bunch of shoes so I guess Iím going to have to like wear suits around all the time now.

But I was like yes, the tan suit, you know, thatís a good thing to have. Iíll take it.

Man: Thereís a good one. Thatís a good one.

Jamie Steinberg: Now you have your own Halloween costume. You have like a Halloween costume for the next few years.

Matt Nix: Yes exactly, totally.

Jamie Steinberg: And whatís next for you and Bruce, Jeffrey. Whatís next for you?

Jeffrey Donovan: Iím resting. Iím resting. Bruce?

Bruce Campbell: You know, weíre actors that weíre fortunate enough to work before Burn Notice. Hopefully weíll be fortunate enough to work after.

So thereís a bunch of stuff floating around but anything I mention today would all be bologna because it canít be confirmed.

Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you guys so much for all the memories.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you.

Man: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to register for a question please press the 1 followed by the 4.

The next question comes from the line of Joshua Maloney with Niagara Frontier Publications. Please go ahead.

Joshua Maloney: Hi guys. Thanks for your time, appreciate it.

So Jeffrey my question is for you. When we spoke before and you speculated about whether there would be a seventh season you sort of imagined that Michael was going to have to go a dark place.

Now that youíve actually done that Iím wondering what that process was like for you as an actor.

Jeffrey Donovan: I was right about something? Holy shit.

Yes. I think that the reality of the season was a lot harder than I imagined. And I give Matt and his team of writers a lot of credit for taking not only the audience but me the actor down a path that was incredibly difficult.

You know one of the things that Matt and I have always talked about was whatís underneath, you know, whatís the - when you peel away these layers of the onion, you know, whatís at the core of Michael, and that journey was in the seventh season.

And what we find is a, you know, no, Iím not being - trying to be funny but itís a frightened little boy.

And Iím not sure if I even knew that when I started the pilot with Matt. But no, with anything the seven year marriage with Matt and writers, it was a world of discovery that was really just an incredible joy to pursue.

And a lot harder I think to pull it off in the end. It certainly tested my abilities. And I think that Matt might even feel like it tested his ability but I think when you come - when you push yourself to create something that youíve never done before itís - if you do it right I think it can - you can pull something off pretty magical.

And I feel - thatís what I feel like we pulled off something magical for our final season.

Joshua Maloney: All right. And Bruce let me ask you. What do you think about the fact that Sam has sort of become the responsible one in that group? Does that sort of surprise you?

Bruce Campbell: I like it. Because, you know, reporters, the first couple seasons were like so youíre the guy that rats on Mike, you know. Iím like shut up with that already. Heís done with that. You know characters grow. Sam was worried about his pension. You would be too.

So yes. Nice to have him - any character grow from the, you know, fun loving guy to the guy who actually really is concerned for everybody.

And everybody has their own moral strength. Iím glad to see that Sam had a pretty good moral core. You know he knew when something was really bad and that itís a gut feeling. And everybody has it.

So I think each character at one point or another was there to help, you know, it takes a village to raise a spy so I think thatís kind of theory.

Joshua Maloney: All right, thanks guys, appreciate it. And thanks for a great series too, really appreciate that.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with the TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Thanks for speaking with us and thank you for all the many years that youíve spoken with us. I really appreciate it.

Man: Of course.

Suzanne Lanoue: And Iím really going to miss the show. And but you guys have done an outstanding job this season.

And I really think youíre all very underrated for the job that you do.

What do you miss most about...?

Man: Wait, say that again. Could you say that one more time?

Suzanne Lanoue: Youíre underrated. Underrated actors and...

Man: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...writers.

Man: I just wanted to hear that.

Suzanne Lanoue: Very much.

Man: I just wanted to hear - you say that one more time.

Suzanne Lanoue: You want me to say it...

Man: I actually heard you clearly the first time.

Suzanne Lanoue: Very much. What will each of you miss the most about working on the show and what will you miss the least?

Man: Gentlemen.

Matt Nix: Well, you know, for me I think the thing that Iíll miss the most is just thereís this opportunity like, you know, you get - as a writer, you know, you get struck by some idea or something you want to do or whatever.

And, you know, when youíre running a show like Burn Notice weíre really able to do a new kind of thing each week. You know we could do - and thereís always like, there was always going to be action in it. There was always going to - you know itís the same characters.

But, you know, like one episode could be on an island and, you know, dealing with a bunch of guys, you know, bunch of mercenaries and the next thing could be in the middle of the, you know, the center of a city and very intimate. And could do something where theyíre all locked in one building or, you know, all sorts of things.

And the opportunity to just come up with an idea and then make it happen, you know, itís - even if I were to do another show itís hard to picture having another show with that kind of narrative freedom.

And also just, you know, the opportunity to write these characters that Iíve come to know so well. So Iíll miss that enormously.

I think the thing that Iíll, you know, miss the least is the - and this probably true for everybody, just the schedule of banging out an episode of Burn Notice every week is, you know, is pretty punishing and for everybody.

And, you know, our episodes were always so overstuffed. And I think thatís kind of like one of the things that made us successful but it was also something that made it very hard on the actors and on the writers because, you know, every - can be told every single week. Ah yes, we canít do this episode.

And then, I mean by people who were doing their jobs, you know, and then realize okay, we got to cut this. We got to figure this out. We got to do that. It was a tough process. So, you know, itís kind of two sides of the same coin really.

Mr. Donovan?

Jeffrey Donovan: Iím going to miss the most my salary.

Man: For once an honest answer.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yes.

Jeffrey Donovan: How, you know, how much it just gave me pleasure. How it just (unintelligible).


Man: You receive money.

Jeffrey Donovan: And a ton of it every week on the seventh and on a hit show that is global.

Man: Nice.

Jeffrey Donovan: The thing Iíll miss the least, you know, thereís - every actor has his own or his or her own idiosyncrasies and mine was to be quite frank, I - we all knew how hard the show was since the beginning. And we knew how difficult it was to pull off like Matt said weekly.

So the thing that was the most difficult was always some new guy that just showed up. You know and said I love your show. I canít wait to work on it.

And then they showed up. And we said hey itís going to be a lot harder than you think. And on the first day they underestimated how difficult.

And, you know, by the end of the day youíre, you know, youíre puffing them full of fluids. And youíre putting ice packs on the back of their neck because theyíre literally dying from exhaustion.

So, you know, a hardest thing to always watch was anyone who ever thought that this show was easy to do because you watched it. And then seeing them just, you know, fail miserably on their first day but then they - then on the second day we all picked them up and they - and we gave them a slap on the back and said, you can get back in there.

And they always kind of fulfilled the commitment but that was always just kind of the hardest thing was initiating the uninitiated.

Bruce Campbell: I guess from my - I would say I miss most the unique nature of the show because I swore on a deck of bibles that I would not do a doctor show, a lawyer show or a cop show because they drive me insane. And I would hang myself in my trailer season two if I did those types of shows.

Itís just the way Iím wired. I like Burn Notice because it wasnít any of those shows. Weíre cops but weíre cooler than cops where we help people. We save lives but weíre not boring like doctors are boring.

And the most boring of all is a lawyer who deals with legal stuff all the time. We deal with legal stuff every single day. We break laws every single day on Burn Notice but we never do anything wrong.

And so I just - thereís very few shows that were like it. Iím referring to it in the past tense now.

So I will mostly miss that because itís going to take a while to find another gig that is as interesting and complex and not boring.

I wonít miss the heat.

Suzanne Lanoue: I thought you guys were going to say yogurt would be the thing youíd miss the least.

Jeffrey Donovan: Oh no. Itís like a commercial. You know you take a bite and spit in a bucket.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay. Well thank you very much.

Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

Jamie Ruby: Hi guys. Thanks so much for talking to us today.

Not knowing obviously if Iím guessing when the main character is going to die, not knowing about that or what happens, Iím curious, do you guys think that Michael can ever kind of walk away from the life he has even if he has the choice and he can be with seeing all that? Is that in him or is it kind of engrained in him to be the way he is and be helping everybody and doing this kind of job?

Jeffrey Donovan: Have you seen the last two episodes?

Jamie Ruby: No I have not.

Jeffrey Donovan: I mean I think Matt appreciates how difficult of a question that is. I think that what is displayed in the last episode is who (Michael is).

And the kind of ambiguous nature of a spy is always going to lend itself to the question of is he honest about choices he makes or is it for God and country or whatever, you know, the statement might be.

But I think that, you know, you can take Michael out of Miami and out of the CIA but I donít think you can ever take the hero out of Michael. And I know that sounds corny but I think that when Michael is put in a situation where he has to save someone, heíll never walk away from that situation.

But if he had a choice professionally as far as career I think he could walk away from his job with the government.


Matt Nix: Yes. I agree. I mean I think that a big (unintelligible) particularly in the last (unintelligible) what he does. Like what is the nature of that compulsion.

And the - you know and as you go back to the origins of the series, it was always (unintelligible) you know (unintelligible).

And our (take) from that got more and more as we (unintelligible) well itís not that heís a nice guy. Like somethingís going on with this guy that heís like constantly putting himself in (you know) danger for all sorts of reasons he doesnít (unintelligible).

Where does that (unintelligible)?

Jeffrey Donovan: Hey Matt, I donít know if you know this but youíre breaking up. I think you might be on a (cell phone).


Matt Nix: Oh sorry. Can you hear me now?

Jeffrey Donovan: I only heard about every fourth word.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, me too.

Matt Nix: Oh okay. (Itís what Jeffrey said).

Jeffrey Donovan: No. You still broke up Matt.

Emily Spitale: I think you said what Jeffrey said.

Matt Nix: Yes. I agree with what Jeffrey said in that case if you canít hear me.

Jeffrey Donovan: Just put quotes around my quote and then attribute it to Matt.

Matt Nix: Yes, exactly. Yes, perfect.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay. And then secondly, what do you both or sorry, all three of you think that youíve learned most about yourself since starting the show?

Jeffrey Donovan: Have you learned anything Bruce?

Bruce Campbell: Oh boy. No. Things that I suspected just came true.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay.

Jeffrey Donovan: That Iím an amazing actor.

Bruce Campbell: Yes. Yes, that all that surprised me. Yes, of course. You learn something basically every day, some way to spin something, some way to end a scene, some way to put a little button on something.

So, you know, youíre always thinking. And weíre grateful to Matt and the writers for being, you know, fluid with our inabilities in certain cases and poor memory and stuff like that.

So, you know, we learned how to survive. We learned - no, hereís what it is. We learned how to do this show in seven days and thatís a lot to learn. Thatís a big learning curve.

And I want to find the idiot who did the first episode in seven days because Iím going to kill him.

Jeffrey Donovan: I think that would be Matt.

Bruce Campbell: No. No, somebody...

Matt Nix: Yes.

Bruce Campbell: ...broke that precedent. All the other shows I did were eight days to do the same amount.

Matt Nix: Eight days, yes.

Bruce Campbell: And some genius came in and said I can do it in seven so I want to find that person.

Matt Nix: Iíd say for me, can you hear me okay now?

Jeffrey Donovan: Yes.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yes.

Matt Nix: Okay. Iíd say for me that what I really learned was that sort of how far or what I sort of had creatively when I was pressed. You know what I mean like the - because the way the show was done and it wasnít just the schedule though that had a lot to do with it but it was, you know, having Jeffrey call up and say, you know, I donít think this scene is working. I think we should do this a different way. Or I want this out because (do this) or having Bruce.

And it just feel like, you know, youíre like being challenged by the actors and finding that even when I really didnít feel like I could do it, like I didnít feel like I had the answer, that if you just sort of trust yourself and, you know, reach inside yourself or, you know, at least my experience was, you know, just kind of trusting the process and going like, okay, well this is going to work out. Itís going to be challenging and Iím going to have to figure something out.

And if I dig deep and I really - and Iím willing to take a risk and, you know, then weíre going to find something fun. And at the beginning of the series there was always this panic. Like it was going to like everything was going to fall apart.

And by the end, you know, I felt like I sort of learned how to do that. You know and just trust that we could make something cool if we all kind of knuckled down and worked together and breathed deeply through the panic.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay, great.

Operator: Thank you.

Suzanne Lanoue: Jeffrey, anything?

Emily Spitale: And weíre going to take our last question now.

Operator: Certainly. The last question for today comes from the line of Michelle Alexandria with Eclipse Magazine. Please go ahead.

Michelle Alexandria: Oh no. Going to ask Burn Notice question ever. A lot of pressure.

My last question for you guys is you have amazing series of cast members over the years. Can you guys talk a little bit about who your favorites were and why?

Man: Gentlemen.

Matt Nix: For me Iíd say like my favorite - I have tons of favorites over the years. And there were a lot of really like (unintelligible) actors. The people that I tend to think about the most in terms of guest cast were the big foils to Michael. Because those were always, you know, like for a one episode fill-in might be or guest actor of any kind might be interesting. But youíre not generally exploring a character over time, that kind of thing.

And we were lucky to get Garret Dillahunt to play Simon was a really fun one. Jay Karnes who played Brennen came back a number of times. Tim Matheson who played Larry.

You know the opportunity sort of to explore villainy like less as a dramatic conceit and really more in terms of character like who are these guys. What motivates them. Tricia Helfer who played Carla in the second season was magnificent.

Iím leaving a bunch of people out. But those - actually JP who plays James in this season is also, you know, has done a great job.

So really exploring those motivations and going on that journey with an actor. And weíve been blessed to have a lot of great ones.

What about you guys?

Jeffrey Donovan: Yes, Jay Karnes...

Man: And Bruce.

Jeffrey Donovan: ...only because it was the first time Matt had ever written a character that was smarter than Michael. And that was always the kind of precedent that no one in the room was ever smarter than Michael Westen.

And Matt did a cool - wrote a character that was smarter than Michael. But his ego kind of got in his way which was his downfall.

But, you know, I love Jay Karnes. But as far as craziest villains, Garret Dillahunt. His Simon, the tweets that I read about how - what a great thing to bring him back and then what a clever thing that Matt and the writers did about ending, you know, spoiler alert, his life.

And showing kind of what Michael can be as a monster was just a great flag in the history of Burn Notice.

Bruce Campbell: The great Jack Coleman as well. You know playing the conflicted CIA guy. I just enjoyed Jack so much mostly as a person but his character was a lot of fun to watch because things were happening left and right around him and he was always, get Langley on the phone. He was always mad, you know.

So weíd show up on set and go hey are we going to hell at each other today? Heís like yes, I think we are. Like letís do it.

And John C. McGinley was very good. And youíre right, Tim Matheson was definitely one of the best. You know Larry was a great recurring, just really troublesome bad guy.

And I think, you know, for actors bad guys are sometimes - those are the best parts to play because you can really chew it up. And Tim Matheson certainly did.

Emily Spitale: Great. Itís Emily. Iím going to say - Iím going to just interrupt here and say thank you to Matt and Jeffrey and Bruce. And sorry to cut this but we have to let these guys go.

In the must see explosive BURN NOTICE series finale, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) finds himself at the end of the road.  Still at odds with the CIA and unable to forgive himself for betraying his team, he will need to regain the trust of those closest to him to finish what he started.  However, in order to face the last of his demons some sacrifices must be made and lives risked.
BURN NOTICE stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Coby Bell and was created, written and executive produced by Matt Nix. 

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