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Interview with Bruce Campbell of "Burn Notice" January 2009
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
C. Fehskens: Hi, everyone. This is Chrissy Fehskens from New Media
Strategies. I wanted to welcome you to the Bruce Campbell Q&A Session
and start Bruce for being with us today. As you know, USA Networks Burn
Notice will return on Thursday, January 22nd at 10/9c. with all new
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Charles Briede with
Fellowshipoffools.com. Please go ahead.
C. Briede: Thank you. Bruce, thank you for your time today. How much
creative input do you have with your character for the show?
B. Campbell: Well, every situation is different and Burn Notice is very
structured. Matt Nix, itís his show, itís his concept, itís his idea. So
when I came on board, Iím going to give smaller stuff. You know, I might
ad lib some stupid joke at the end of a scene or whatever. Or I might
suggest a tone of maybe treat Michaelís mother more gently at some
point. So itís really for me mostly smaller stuff; the captain of the
ship is Matt Nix and heís also allowing us to think through scenes and
if we want to throw in a line or so, he doesnít have a problem with
that. But I never show up on a set going, ďMan, I got to ad lib today.Ē
C. Briede: Thank you very much.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Kenn Gold with Media
K. Gold: Hey, guys, thanks a lot. Itís really cool to talk to you today.
We talk to a lot of people on a lot of shows, but itís rare that you get
to talk to ones who you really, really love the show.
B. Campbell: Well you have great taste, obviously. I canít speak for Mr.
Donovan, I think heís going to join us shortly. But look, itís fun to be
a part of a project that has been accepted. As an actor, we tend to work
pretty hard on TV shows. Theyíre non-stop for a long time and you never
know, youíre acting in a void; you never know what the reaction is going
to be. And itís just nice to come across a show like Burn Notice that
has caught on and itís grown every year. So hopefully this new batch of
episodes coming in January is going to be something theyíre looking for.
K. Gold: My first question here is did you see the success of the show
coming up? Like did it surprise you? Are you at all surprised about how
successful it has been?
B. Campbell: Iím surprised by everything these days because you never
know. My basis for accepting this script when it came across my desk was
I loved the fact of what it wasnít. It wasnít a cop show, it wasnít a
doctorís show, it wasnít a lawyer show. Thereís plenty of stuff that
goes on, but this is basically the human side of spies and I went,
right, I can get into that. And I really enjoyed the fact that itís a
good blend of a show that does have strong main characters, and not a
lot of them. Itís got four main characters. And thatís what the emphasis
is. And oh yes, stuff blows up and every week there is a caper where you
defeat the jerk of the week. But I think itís mostly you watch these
characters from week to week, and thatís what I enjoy. And thatís what
appealed to me and thatís what keeps me interested in the show is itís
not really about the explosions, itís about the people who are doing the
K. Gold: So for someone who hasnít seen any episodes so far, what would
you say to somebody coming in like totally virgin coming into the show?
B. Campbell: Well, I think if you come into the show late, youíre going
to be okay because they always do enough recaps to kind of fill you in.
And the lead character, Michael Westen, has very heavy voiceover, heís
kind of guiding you through the show, so I think youíre going to be
fine. Heís going to give you any kind of recap that you need to jump in.
And those people that have followed everything, I think theyíre going to
be all over it because theyíve been waiting for it for, whatever, four
or five months now.
Moderator: We have a question from Jamie Steinberg with Starry
J. Steinberg: Itís just a pleasure to speak with you.
B. Campbell: Thanks. Itís a pleasure to be spoken with.
J. Steinberg: What about your role continues to challenge you?
B. Campbell: To try and figure out how to sweat less. No, I would say
just to keep Sam interested in the stories and participating on stories.
If the writers do most of the work, which they will then do that, that
theyíll keep the character engaged. And if the characterís engaged, then
itís easy for me to be engaged in the character. So hopefully whenever
Sam was around in his portion that heís involved in something or has an
opinion about something or whatever. No actor likes to just sit around.
So as long as itís the same as the first two seasons, Iím good to go.
J. Steinberg: Do you have a most memorable moment youíve had from filming
B. Campbell: For me, Iím just convinced one day that some bystanderís
going to shoot me with a gun. And the reason why I say that is because
my character Sam has a rifle with a scope and often heís up on high
rises and overpasses taking potshots at people. And sometimes you canít
see the crew connected to me, because they put me sometimes far away.
And Miami has a lot of guns, and so Iím just afraid some do-gooderís
going to see me up there firing away and theyíre going to save Miami
from that criminal. And then Burn Notice will have three main
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Emma Loggins of
E. Loggins: One of the aspects I love most with your character in the
previous season was your relationship with Veronica. I was wondering if
weíre going to see any more relationship drama from Sam with any ladies
in the future.
B. Campbell: They do, I think that there are efforts. But, you know,
Samís a tough case because heís kind of a, heís a bit of a handful and
theyíre always doing capers, so itís tough to have any kind of romance.
But there is another brush with romance in some of these upcoming
episodes. Which is fun, because I actually think if Sam is not so much
button-down that we can see perhaps his exploits, if you will.
E. Loggins: Are there any upcoming guest stars that we can look forward
B. Campbell: Oh, yes. In these upcoming episodes itís pretty full on.
Youíve got Patricia Helfer back as Carla. So sheís going to be causing
lots and lots of trouble. Michael Shanks is back as another one of these
fellow cohort guys who youíre not sure if you can trust or not. The
great John Mahoney, who I worked with in the Hudsucker Proxy, John
Mahoney from Cheers, heís back as someone I canít tell you about because
Iíd have to kill you. Former Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin is joining us.
Heís Mr. Football, so it was kind of fun to do a football theme episode.
Dina Meyer shows up as, well, letís just say someone who perhaps was
close to Michael Westen. And of course with Fiona thatís going to cause
some sparks. And there will be some sparks flying in these next seven
episodes, I can guarantee you.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Matt Fowler with IGN TV.
M. Fowler: Hey, Bruce, how you doing today?
B. Campbell: Iím doing good, thanks.
M. Fowler: We were introduced to a little bit of Samís backstory this
past summer of season two where it was revealed the character was
married in the Ď70s and that actually ended your relationship at the
time. Are we going to get any more information about this woman that Sam
was married to or any more backstory into Samís life?
B. Campbell: Iím sure some back storyís going to come squeaking out in
some way. I kind of was amused myself finding out that Sam had a wife in
the past. I think itís fun. Thatís the beauty of these characters who
have a history that things are going to come up that are complicated in
their life. The first season Sam had some kind of questionable
relationships from the past that have come back to haunt him, so I think
thatís always going to happen. When you have three spies, former spies
that are kind of damaged goods, thereís going to be enemies that come
back, old friends and people that you may or may not want to see again.
M. Fowler: Do you feel like Burn Notice is sort of bringing back the
escapist action series? There are other shows on the air now like on TNT
they have Leverage. While most people compare it to something like
Oceans Eleven, I feel it has a lot of Burn Notice influence to it
because it involves people sort of helping out the little guy and
B. Campbell: Iím glad you said that. Look, Iíll tell you, I think the
reason why this show, aside from the magnetic Mr. Donovan and the
wonderful Ms. Gabrielle Anwar and Sharon Gless, is the fact that it is
iconic. And I donít mean that to make the show any better than what it
is. It has iconic aspects. Little Billyís always going to get his
medicine, for the most part. And itís a show that lacks cynicism in a
way. That thereís a sweet core to it of just human beings and I think
anybody can connect to that. Not everyone can connect to the Bourne
Identity type of spy, but I think people can identify with this Michael
Westen because heís fixing his momís garbage disposal when heís not
doing some covert thing, so thatís what appeals to me. And I like the
fact that everyone in this show is an adult. It reminds me of shows when
I was a kid. I watched Rockford Files and James Garner was an adult; he
wasnít some kid actor. And so I like the fact that this show is just
geared for anyone who wants to see this type of story. Itís not geared
for kids or whatever, itís just a show that I would watch when I was in
high school, too. So, I donít know, I think thatís what appeals to me.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Matt Goldberg with
M. Goldberg: I was just wondering, thereís been a lot of cool spy tricks
and set ups theyíve done on Burn Notice. And I was wondering, whatís
been your favorite thus far?
B. Campbell: Oh man, mostly itís just the bravado. I love the fact that
in Burn Notice we not only, see, like hereís the difference in Burn
Notice and itís just more of a thematic thing is that if the police
catch someone whoís done identity theft, they might catch the guy. They
might, not necessarily, but theyíre not going to get your money back. In
Burn Notice weíre not only going to catch the guy, weíre going to get
every penny of your money back, and maybe a little more. And if the
guyís careful, he might die. So our characters donít crap around. Fiona
is basically crazy. Sheíll blow up anything for any reason. So these are
not three characters that you need to mess with. So what I like is
whenever theyíre confronted with something, theyíll come back at it in
such a way that is very bold, usually, and thatís what I like.
And I think the show is potentially appealing to people because it does
give you a sense of justice. For the most part, we are going to catch
these guys and weíre going to punish them, and we might torment them at
the same time. So as far as any one particular schtick, I donít really
have a favorite. My favorite thing is, you know, thereís an episode
coming up where some kid gets in trouble with a gang banger who is a car
thief. So instead of just telling the guy to knock it off, the Burn
Notice guys what theyíll do is theyíll pretend that theyíre a bigger
band of car thieves in town to just run the guy out of town. They think
bigger than just knee capping a guy in the parking lot. So itís kind of
I just like the inventiveness. Because theyíre spies theyíre used to
being in tricky situations, theyíre up against this and that. And I also
like theyíve got a little old school/new school. Michael Westenís more
new school; he fights differently, he thinks differently, heís a little
more outside the box. Sam is more like, well, letís just hurt somebody
or plant a bug. Good ole fashioned espionage. Fiona is a little bit of a
loose cannon, so that makes it okay, too, because we canít always
M. Goldberg: Thank you very much.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Kristyn Clarke with
K. Clarke: Hi, Bruce. Thank you so much for talking to us today. This dry
humor is kind of a big part of what keeps me tuning in, so how important
is it to keep that humor in the show to kind of break up some of the
tension that can be present.
B. Campbell: I think itís imperative. And I think Matt Nix has always
started with that dry humor right from the beginning. The voiceover that
Michael Westen has is very dry. Itís very urbane sometimes. Itís very
erotic, itís very wry, itís very witty, so Iím right there with you; I
think itís imperative. Otherwise, weíve all seen movies where spies take
their jobs so seriously. But if you really think of it, at the end of
the day spies are just people; theyíre just schmoes. They have the same
issues as everybody else, but you wouldnít think of it. You wouldnít
think that a former CIA spy would be having personal problems that would
interfere with his work or whatever. You just think of them as being
robots, but theyíre not.
K. Clarke: As a follow up, do you kind of feel that thatís what helped
viewers kind of relate to these characters?
B. Campbell: Thereís no question about it. If we were doing nothing but
spy-speak all the time, I think youíd get some guys to watch and go,
ďYeah, okay, cool. Theyíre talking that cool spy stuff.Ē But I think at
the end of the day I want the soccer mom to be able to watch this show
and go, ďOh, cool, theyíre trying to patch up their relationship with
something. Or Michaelís working on some old problem in the past that is
now coming back to haunt him.Ē I think thatís whatís getting a wider
range of viewers. It really isnít just squinty-eyed spies shooting the
gun sideways looking cool. That they are flawed, all of these characters
are flawed, and theyíre all kind of doing the best they can. Theyíre tap
dancing as fast as they can.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Stevie Wilson, Gather.com.
S. Wilson: Hi, Bruce. How are you today?
B. Campbell: Iím swell. Thanks.
S. Wilson: A question about your character and also Michaelís. What are
the fatal flaws that you all perceive within the character and how do
you work those in, because you guys are naturally funny, youíre
naturally accomplishing the jobs and getting it all done, yet Sam
definitely has his own quirky side that sometimes interferes but also
makes it move forward, but there is a fatal flaw in every character.
B. Campbell: Sure. They are damaged goods. These are people who have had
histories and pasts and sometimes they didnít go well and something went
weird enough for Michael Westen to get burned. You know, the Michael
Westen character, Jeffrey can speak more toward that, but he comes from
a weird, messed up family. Heís got family issues. Heís got issues with
his brother, heís got issues with his mother and issues with his ex. So
everybody has issues. And he and Sam get along pretty well now, but in
the first season he wasnít even sure if he could trust Sam because Sam,
in order to save his own skin was willing to chat occasionally with the
Feds and give them some information to keep his butt out of the fire.
And Samís flaw, obviously, heís a party boy, so itís going to distract
him a little bit; itís going to slow him down. Heís going to be probably
putting his nose in some of the wrong places sometimes. But yet heís
coming around as a pretty loyal character.
And Fiona, Iím not sure what her excuse is, but sheís just mostly nuts.
And I think thatís good. I like it when, like thereís a couple of
upcoming episodes where she gets really angry because of whatís going on
with either kids or something like that. When she steps in, itís kind of
fun to watch. Sheís good at getting angry and wanting to hurt someone.
S. Wilson: Because Samís character has evolved and become much more
loyal, how is this going to play out in terms of what happens with
B. Campbell: Well Sam never liked Carla.
S. Wilson: Right. But I mean in terms of how much is Sam going to go the
difference in terms of just letís get rid of Carla, letís findÖ
B. Campbell: Oh, Samís going all the way; heís in. Carlaís going down. I
mean, theyíve got to do something about that woman.
S. Wilson: Itís going to be an exciting season.
B. Campbell: Itís coming head-to-head. After the end of this seven
episode run some things are going to change in Washington. Thereís going
to be some fascinating changes coming. Thatís all I can tell you.
Otherwise, Matt Nix would send Michael Westen to kill me if I told you
more. But yes, some stuff is going to go down.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Tony Tellado of Sci Fi
T. Tellado: Hi, Bruce. We met during your book tour when you wrote If
Chins Could Kill.
B. Campbell: Wonderful. Thanks a lot.
T. Tellado: You kind of hinted at this a little bit, so one of the things
the show does is have like the long story arc with the sniper going on
and all that in addition to like an episode having a different second
plot line. Is that going to be the staple for the remainder of this
season as well?
B. Campbell: Thereís always going to be two things going on. One is the
problem at hand, which is somebody needs help and itís worthy enough for
him to help someone in the middle of what his overlying problem is, is
who is causing all these problems for this guy. And so thatís, the one
is the constant, but the other one, the overall problem that he has is
going to, thatís going to be ratcheted up consistently throughout the
seven episodes to its final explosion point, where itís a point of no
T. Tellado: And I would certainly say that with as much as he drinks, he
would not look as good as you do in real life, thatís for sure.
B. Campbell: Well, you canít be a total method actor.
Moderator: We have a question from Jay Jacobs with Popentertainment.com.
J. Jacobs: Hi, Bruce. Congratulations on the third season renewal.
B. Campbell: Thank you very much. Weíre excited, too, because itís a show
that we all want to be a part of. Weíre not grumbling back to work. Iím
really excited to read the first script.
J. Jacobs: Between this role and also a lot of roles youíve done in the
past, and your new movie My Name is Bruce, you have a good time toying
with the image of a hero. You enjoy playing characters that are flawed
and self-obsessed, yet theyíre eventually able to put it together to
save the day. Why do you find that kind of an interesting character to
B. Campbell: Because me personally as an actor can relate to that more so
that I can, itís just easier for me to do. Iím not good at playing
someone who doesnít have weird quirks, because Iíve never met someone
who didnít. So thatís why I tend to avoid a little bit of the
traditional hero thing, and thatís what appealed to me about this show.
This show is very untraditional, yet, having said that, there are
traditional story elements that things are going to be made right by
these people. So I donít know, those types of characters have always
appealed to me, hoping that they will appeal to the average garage
mechanic whoís watching the show. As an actor, I want my work to be as
appealing to as many people as possible.
J. Jacobs: Also, like you said, for traditional characters you were
talking about Fiona, there are a lot of really tough women in this show,
like Trishaís character.
B. Campbell: Yes, these are mostly, theyíre ball busters, these women,
and I think thatís fun. Why not have strong characters, because
honestly, thatís how you get good actresses to come work on the show.
Weíve had Lucy Lawless and that was really fun, and I knew that we could
get her because they could come up with a good character for her. So Iím
glad that worked out. Yeah, itís fun. If you have strong male
characters, you better have strong female characters.
J. Jacobs: Absolutely. One other thing that is sort of Iíd feel is almost
a character in the show is Miami itself. Itís so beautiful. How do you
feel that filming in this city really helps the vibe of the show?
B. Campbell: It matters, it really does. People can tell. Weíre on
beaches and weíre in swamps and at the edge of the everglades and
running around in funky alleys and buildings, you donít have to fake
your angles. And the main difference is that by shooting there, you
know, Florida is a flat state, you donít see mountains anywhere. With
CSI Miami, theyíve got to be careful because if they tilt up about 10
degrees, theyíre going to be looking at the Santa Monica Mountains
there. So you donít have to fake anything. Youíve got boats left and
right, anything you need saying itís Miami, itís there. And weíre really
the main show that has stayed. Dexter left, CSI Miami left and weíre it.
So we actually get great cooperation. So we get into as many cool places
as youíd ever want to get into just because people are excited to have
us there. So weíre really capitalizing on it.
USA has kind of given us the edict of 60% of the show has to be
outdoors. Because if theyíre shooting in Miami, they want to see it.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Ned Kelly with The Kelly
N. Kelly: First of all, I just want to say thanks a lot, Bruce, for
talking to us today. My whole family has been monstrous fans of yours
for a long, long time.
B. Campbell: Theyíre good people, all of them.
N. Kelly: I wanted to go off something that was said earlier. You had
mentioned the Bourne Identity and about the way you kind of like the
human side of the show, the human side of spies. Since 9/11 and Bourne
Identity, I think the whole spy genre has changed quite a bit and so it
was just continuing with that, altering those old archetypes. Where do
you guys think you see yourselves fitting into that whole thing with
just the humanization and maybe just the little bit of ambiguity and the
whole political side of the spy world or whatever?
B. Campbell: Weíre being very apolitical in this. We donít really take
any of those sorts of sides. I just like the fact that weíre not
cynical. Thereís a lot of spy shows that can be cynical because spies
themselves can be cynical because they enlisted for an altruistic reason
and sometimes, like with Michael Westen, he would be perfectly justified
to be cynical because he got burned after doing what, he doesnít even
know. He was a good spy. So I like the fact that even with that humor
has won out over cynicism and so hopefully our show will be placed in
that mode that itís not really a serious kind of Bruckheimer kind of
N. Kelly: One thing I know, at least for myself, part of the reason why I
was drawn to the show just seeing your name on the bill. Like this was
going to have that humor, this is going to have that fun that really is
lacking sort of thing. If I could change directions a little bit, I just
have to ask who fights dirtier, spies or zombies?
B. Campbell: Zombies because theyíre not as smart as spies. Spies donít
have to fight dirty, they just fight hard.
N. Kelly: Thank you very much.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Travis Tidmore with The
T. Tidmore: Thanks for talking with us today. Youíve been on a lot of
shows that have only lasted one season. How does it feel to be back on a
show that has not only been picked up for a third season but is a hit?
B. Campbell: Ask yourself the same question: How would you feel? You feel
good. I just learned that people like me in small doses. So whenever Iím
not the star, like with Hercules & Zena, the shows run for six years, so
Iím good. This show will be on the air forever because Iím not the star
of it, so it worked out fine. It feels good to be part of a hit show,
though, too. Honestly. The crew, any of them I think are very grateful
to know these are people who work harder than any actor. Theyíre busting
themselves 14, 16 hours a day and itís nice to know that itís a hit
show. Because sometimes you do that and the showís a dog and it gets
T. Tidmore: I was actually able to attend your premier of My Name is
Bruce here in Austin. It was wonderful. Are you planning on directing
anything else soon?
B. Campbell: I can answer that question after February 10th when the DVD
comes out. Then Iíll know if anybodyís watching what I do. As you know,
itís economically driven. I would like to and Iím hoping to do another
movie in the fall of this year.
T. Tidmore: Thank you very much.
Moderator: We have a question from Sheldon Wiebe with eclipsemagazine.com.
S. Wiebe: The thing Iím wondering is when they build up the backstory
between your character and Michael, it seems almost like Michael is
learning from you, and now heís the boss and youíre the sidekick. How
does Sam relate to that?
B. Campbell: Sam was always a sidekick, though.
S. Wiebe: Well on the show, but in the backstory he was the heavy hitter.
B. Campbell: Oh, youíre referring to Sam?
S. Wiebe: Yes.
B. Campbell: Well, I think itís just different, though. I think Michael
Westenís probably a better spy than Sam ever was, only because heís more
disciplined. He doesnít get drunk every five minutes. Plus, theyíre just
different; old school/new school. I think Sam, his fighting style is
different, a little more John Wayne and Michaelís is a little more
Bourne Identity. But if youíre asking what itís like being a sidekick, I
S. Wiebe: Cool. As a director yourself, what do you think of the style of
B. Campbell: I think itís very cool without being overdone. Weíve all
seen movies and TV shows where you go, ďGeez, give it a restĒ
stylistically because itís either too handheld or it gives you a
headache or itís over-editing. I think Burn Notice is very stylish
without being obnoxious. I like the voiceover. I think itís a very
unique style. I like the freeze frames where the title comes in Joe
Blow, Client. And then another one comes in, Joe Blow, Loser, or
whatever. Itís just kind of a fun, makes it a little cool and jazzy and
freewheeling. And they also mess with the colors, too. The showís very
colorful. If you look at the ocean in any of the shots, itís bright
green or blue. The clouds are amazing, too.
Moderator: We have a question from Chandra Williams with TV Jots.
C. Williams: Hi, Bruce. Thanks for taking our calls. What are the chances
of Michael and Fiona becoming an official, committed couple by the end
of this season?
B. Campbell: If I was Matt Nix I could answer that. Who knows? These are
two volatile people, so the chances are probably not great. Thatís the
best I could guess.
C. Williams: Well, thatís the only question. Most of my questions have
been answered. I love the show.
B. Campbell: Great. Thanks for tuning in.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Tom Parsons with Blog
T. Parsons: Hey Bruce, good to talk to you today.
B. Campbell: My pleasure, sir.
T. Parsons: One of the strengths of the show seems to be the fact that
weíve got four really great, simple characters. Talk about the
relationship you have with each one of your costars. What itís like to
work with each one of them.
B. Campbell: Character-wise or person to person?
T. Parsons: Both.
B. Campbell: Okay. Well, basically, Sam and Michael, they did work
together in the past. They didnít really have too many issues in the
past with each other. Sam is a different personality. At first he wasnít
sure if he could be trusted. Now I think itís pretty clear Sam is in it
for the long haul. Otherwise, what would he be doing? He would be on
some beach drunk somewhere, so this gives him something to do. And so
their relationship has definitely solidified because they hadnít seen
each other in a while and all the crap they went through in the past was
the past, but now theyíre going through a bunch of new crap and it makes
them even tighter, I think.
Sam and Fiona were probably never close; different styles. He thinks
sheís too impulsive and too over the top, over kill. She never thinks
that these guys are doing enough. Sam, I think, was less tolerant, you
know, when they first met they almost got in a fist fight because they
hated each other from the past. And, oh, Iíve got finish my Donovan part
of it, though.
But person to person, Bruce and Jeffrey, I feel that our personal
relationship is kind of the same as Sam and Mike; itís his show and I
respect him a lot as an actor and my job is to support. Iím the
supporting actor. So, we currently, I call him Mr. Donovan and we get
So getting back to Sam and Fiona, now Sam and Fiona are, I think, more,
they know that neither of them is going anywhere, so theyíve got to deal
with each other. So you can have your banter and then occasionally Sam
will ask her about girl stuff or whatever. So you do have that ability
to not only deal with case stuff with Fiona, arguing about tactics, but
Sam can also have a softer element with her by talking about dames,
Then basically with Michaelís mother, Madeline, who now Sam I think
calls Maddy, I think itís always been respectful. Didnít know her all
that well and now theyíve actually spent more time. And youíll see in
some of these upcoming episodes, Sam and Madeline spend more time
together for a bunch of different reasons and they get to know each
other more, and you see more of the dynamics. Theyíre much more
comfortable with each other now as a pair.
So as far as Bruce and Sharon Gless, look, I respect her as a television
icon. I mean, whatís not to love about her? And as a person sheís really
kind of shy and cute and kooky, and itís a great thing. And she lives
down there in Miami and she just has a ball. So itís been fun to work
with someone who is so iconic, you see how nothing is as forced; theyíre
very comfortable in their skin because theyíve been around for so long.
So I have to say the dynamics I feel are fine on the show. We donít have
anything thatís interfering with doing our job.
T. Parsons: And in terms of a followup question, how much do you see of
yourself in Sam and how much do you see of the others in the characters
B. Campbell: Well, thatís always a tough call. Actors canít escape their
own physical being. Youíre always going to see Bruce Campbell there
doing whatever. I donít drink as much as Sam does and I donít womanize
as much as Sam does because Iíve been married for 17 years to the same
woman. So, itís always fun to just let loose. Sam is a much more relaxed
character than me. I live in the Pacific Northwest and by the time I
show up in Miami this March, Iím going to be white and pasty and Iím
going to be squinting at the sun because itís been raining and snowing
here in the Pacific Northwest. So Iíll go back down to Miami, Iíll strip
my work boots off, my jeans off and get back into that character, get
back into that basically removing clothing. You know, I get my t-shirts
off, I get my flannel shirts off and start getting back in flip flops
and shorts. Because I literally live at the complete opposite end of the
country and itís a huge adjustment every year, but it kind of cracks me
up that people perceive me as this kind of, hey, beach guy with a beer
in his hand and Iím kind of the opposite. Iím such a woodsy guy. I like
mountains and streams and rivers and lakes.
Moderator: We have a question from Brian Gallagher with Movieweb.com.
B. Gallagher: Hi, Bruce. I was just curious, have you ever been
approached or are you ever going to direct any episodes of Burn Notice
B. Campbell: Iíve never really discussed it officially or had it posed to
me. Iíve directed television in the past, but I think in this case itís
really, Iím in a fun situation where Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle and
everyone, we have a good relationship and Iím kind of a bossy director
and Iím not sure if itís right for television. So I think Iím just going
to step back. We have a good group of guys thatís come in and out now of
men and women who have directed some really good episodes. So I think
Iím just going to get out of the way and be a good little actor boy.
Moderator: We have a question from Jamie Steinberg.
J. Steinberg: Just wondering, what would you like to say to everyone
whoís a fan and supporter of you and Burn Notice?
B. Campbell: As always, I bow to anyone who watches or supports what I do
or the show, because thatís what keeps the show on the air. You have to
have that support. So to them I would say we will try and come up to be
equal with your devotion to give you hopefully a good show from season
to season. Weíre all looking forward to season three because we donít
know what to expect. Itís going to be really interesting to see where it
goes this year. So like everybody else, Iím hopefully just as excited to
see whatís going to happen.
Moderator: We have a question from Emma Loggins.
E. Loggins: Every time we see Sam it seems like he has a beer in his hand
and I was wondering what you are actually drinking.
B. Campbell: Well, as an actor you canít even really go near that these
days. The days of sort of the John Wayne drinking in your trailer days
are kind of over. Itís just good old fashioned water. Because sometimes
if you put real fizzy stuff in there or even like they have the
non-alcoholic beer, which still has a little percentage of alcohol, but
it will just make you burp. It gets you all bloated and burpy. So I just
go for water. What we do is we use always a colored bottle. Youíll
notice itís either a green bottle or a red bottle, and it kind of
disguises whatís inside. Youíve blown my cover. Sorry.
E. Loggins: Thank you.
Moderator: We have a question from Matt Fowler.
M. Fowler: I was wondering, Carla has been the main archenemy on Burn
Notice this season. Iím expecting her, of course, to return for the
second half. Is there going to be anyone else beyond her, her boss,
perhaps, or another arch villain coming into the picture?
B. Campbell: I think Iím allowed to say very likely. Very likely.
Everyone has a boss, so I think the season will prove no different.
Because Michaelís being manipulated by someone who might be manipulated
by someone. You never know. I think the layers are going to get deeper
this season and it will start to get to the point where somethingís
M. Fowler: What would you say to someone if they came up to you and said
that they were such a big fan of yours that they named their son Ash?
B. Campbell: Iíve already had that. Multiple times, as a matter of fact.
I would say have a long and prosperous life as Ash. And hopefully heíll
have a life thatís not as bad as being named Sue, you know? But Ash is a
little on the girlie side, so he might have to stand up tall.
Moderator: I have a question from the line of Beth Ann Henderson with
B. Henderson: Hi, Bruce. Thanks for taking our questions today.
B. Campbell: Hi, Beth. Are you a nice girl?
B. Henderson: I am. I am as far as you know. I just want to know where
you would like to see the character of Sam go in season three.
B. Campbell: Iíd like some new shirts. Actually, Tommy Bahama is going to
sponsor season three, so you will see some new shirts.
I would like to see, I think like any show you just want to see your
character used. I donít know if I have to have a whole, completely
different life revealed, but I think showing people off duty is always
good. We see a little bit of that with Michael and Fiona. We donít
really see what Sam does. I guess heíd be sitting in a bar somewhere. I
never really know. I never know what to suggest in those cases because
the writers have so much going on. Theyíve got a lot theyíve got to deal
with. And I think they struck a pretty good tone of not getting too
involved in your personal life that youíd forget about the caper of the
week. So I think, also, until you deal with some huge, bigger story
lines, until those play out, you donít have time to see someone go
fishing or whatever.
B. Henderson: For a followup question regarding season three, Burn Notice
started out with being just that, Michael was burned. And then we go
into now someoneís trying to kill him. How much further, what else could
B. Campbell: Itís going to get bad because itís not only you that theyíre
after, meaning Michael Westen, but theyíre after friends and family.
They want them all. And so weíre going to get into kind of a no mercy
situation that I think is going to be very interesting and fun for
people to watch. And itís really been great; Jeffrey Donovan has some
absolutely wonderful tour de force stuff. Heís just so good for the show
because heís an animal; heís a really intense actor and he can hold up
for a whole season, which is a lot of work for him. And itís good, these
next episodes kind of let them strut his stuff. And incidentally, the
first episode back was written and directed by Matt Nix who created the
show. I think this is his first television foray and I think he did a
great job. Itís a really cool opening show.
Moderator: We have a question from the line of Russ Cohen with
R. Cohen: Just wanted to know, with all the shows and channels out there,
do you feel like itís harder to find a show or is it easier with the
technology and things like TiVo?
B. Campbell: Oh, I think itís easier. Definitely. Between YouTube, just
Internet stuff, itís easier. Well the trick, though, is to find out how
to tell people that you want to tell, the people that you want, youíve
got to find out what theyíre watching and how theyíre watching it. Are
they watching it live, are they streaming it, are they downloading it,
are they doing a DVD the first season? Are they TiVoíing it? Thereís so
many ways now. So Iím glad that people donít have to sit down, love to
have them Thursdays at 10, but it doesnít matter as much as every year
goes by, because now theyíre factoring in the TiVo ratings, thank God,
because our ratings actually go up. Look, the average person, I have to
say, I think the numbers are way off, still. I think 30% of America is
not watching live TV, maybe more, and every year itís going to change.
So I just hope that we all as a show and as a network that we stay on
top of it and figure out how to find these people who are watching it in
C. Fehskens: Iíd like to, once again, thank Bruce for being with us
today. Please remember to tune into all new episodes of Burn Notice
beginning Thursday, January 22nd on USA Network. Have a great day,
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