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Interview with Sharon Gless and
Bruce Campbell of "Burn Notice" 2009
on USA Network
The mid-season finale of BURN NOTICE is this Thursday
night at 9pm. I hope you are enjoying "Burn Notice" this summer as
much as I am. Unfortunately, this week is the season finale for now. A bunch of us lucky reporters got to speak with Sharon
Gless and Bruce Campbell. She plays Michael's mom and he plays his
best friend. They often handle the comedy of the show and do an awesome
job no matter what they are playing.
Burn Notice Ė Bruce Campbell and
Sharon Gless Q&A Session
August 4, 2009/12:00 p.m. EDT
Moderator And we will begin with the line of Jennifer Iaccino with
MediaBlvd Magazine. Please go ahead.
J. Iaccino Hello there.
B. Campbell Greetings, how are you doing?
J. Iaccino Iím very good. Hello, so wonderful to speak to both of you. I
know Iíve spoken to Bruce, but itís an honor to speak to you, too,
S. Gless Thank you.
J. Iaccino Alright, my question is Bruce, I know that you played in Xena
and Hercules as sort of a rogue who helped out the good guys as well.
And Sharon, obviously you played Cagney, a bad-ass cop and she also knew
her way around bad guys. So I was curious how these roles and others may
have helped to cultivate the characters that you play on Burn Notice.
B. Campbell Go ahead, Sharon.
S. Gless Well, the only bad guys I have to find my way around are
Jeffrey and Bruce. I mean, my job on the show is the mother from hell. I
donít get involved in the heavy stuff like they do.
B. Campbell Sharon, your character is scarier than some of the bad guys.
J. Iaccino You helped out in that case when Bruce got captured and you
were sort of interrogating the one guy.
S. Gless Thatís right, I think thatís when Michael was captured.
J. Iaccino Yes, thatís when Michael was captured.
S. Gless Right, that was very, very funny. Itís not often that I get to
do one-upsmanship on Bruce Campbell.
B. Campbell Whatís amazing is she turned out to be a very good
interrogator and then who knew. I actually think weíre going to see in
the scenes that come Ė because Sharon, you were also on a stakeout and
you had to spot somebody. You had to be a lookout.
S. Gless At the bingo game.
B. Campbell Right. So donít kid yourself. Youíre going to be an
operative before too long maybe.
S. Gless Okay, look out.
J. Iaccino How about you, Bruce?
B. Campbell Well, I mean, Iíve always enjoyed playing a little left of
center characters. Otherwise Iíd be on a soap opera, you know. Whatís
attractive to me was that these are real characters. These are
characters who drink and smoke and make mistakes and have foibles in
love and try to fix their mother's garbage disposal. Thatís whatís
attractive to me. Thatís what got me into this show and knowing that Iím
with four, three other kind of seasoned adult actors. Thatís always
attractive when you know youíre going to be working with people that
itís going to be worth showing up for.
S. Gless Itís true.
B. Campbell Itís made a big difference. And this show, I canít speak for
Sharon, but this show came out of nowhere.
S. Gless Yes.
B. Campbell The things that I plan never happen. Things that I donít
S. Gless Exactly. Thatís how I thought. I think that when Bruce and I
first Ė we were interviewed together. Do you remember that, in Pasadena
B. Campbell Yes.
S. Gless And I was actually sitting in the fat farm and this script
arrived and I was sitting all alone in my room and it made me laugh out
loud and I was all by myself. And I thought, this is funny. This is fun,
I like this. It had substance to it, too.
B. Campbell It probably didnít hurt that you live in Miami, too.
S. Gless I forgot about that, but I didnít tell them that during the
B. Campbell Exactly.
S. Gless I wanted to live in a hotel like you guys. And then when it
sold, I had to Ďfess up.
B. Campbell Right.
S. Gless Yes, I do, though, I do live here in Miami.
Moderator Back to the line of Keely Weiss with Aced Magazine.com. Please
K. Weiss Hi, itís really great to be able to speak with you both. Thanks
so much for doing this.
B. Campbell Thank you.
S. Gless Thank you.
K. Weiss So I was wondering, what sorts of methods and what type of
influences do you use to kind of inform your characters and your
portrayal of each of your characters? Like what do you draw upon to, in
your characterization of Sam and of Madeline?
S. Gless Bruce?
B. Campbell Mother first.
S. Gless What do I draw on?
K. Weiss Yes, for your characterization of your character kind of what
S. Gless Well, my husband said, when he read the script, chain smoking
half the time. And he said, how lucky are you, theyíre paying you to
smoke. So he said, wow, you do all the things with the cigarette. I
said, ďWell, yeah, I already knew how to do that.Ē What do I draw on?
Iíve never actually had children, myself, but I just connected with
Jeffreyís character and every week itís different and as the show goes
along, Madeline, my character, first sheís totally in the dark and very
needy and very sort of just all sort of emotional things that are
unattractive. And as time went on, Matt Nix said, ďSharon, sheís smarter
than what I was writing.Ē And he gave me one clue, he said, ďRemember,
he gets his smarts from her.Ē I said, ďOh, okay.Ē So I just took that
information and it gave me and my character a little more confidence.
But I donít know, how do you prepare for playing someone whoís
manipulative? Is it built in? I donít know.
B. Campbell When youíre in show business, you know lots of manipulating
S. Gless Yes, thatís true. But I try to do the manipulation with humor.
Hopefully, thatís how itís coming across.
Moderator And next, we will go to the line of Gabel White with Fan Bolt.
Please go ahead.
G. White Hey, Sharon, Bruce, howíre you all doing?
S. Gless Hey, Gabel.
G. White My first question is for Bruce. Why doesnít Sam Axeís
personality match the normal ex-military stereotypes? He seems really
upbeat compared to how most shows depict characters that have been in
serious military situations. I was just wondering why that was.
B. Campbell I think my character is actually more accurate. I think I
run into some of these guys. My first wife remarried a police officer,
and Iíll tell you these guys like having a good time when theyíre not
working. They donít sit around mopey dope, they sit around and crack
gallows humor, lots of gallows humor, dark humor. Frankly, I think
theyíre happy that theyíre alive most of these guys after going through
all of this and they have a good joie de vivre that the average
executive might not have. So I should think Sam is very indicative of
the real guys, you know guys who are my age who have mustered out in
their 50ís. Believe me, most of them are drinking beer and sitting
around a pool cracking jokes about the old days.
S. Gless In my experience in having done Cagney & Lacey many years ago,
we had technical advisors on the set and we had detectives and police.
Not exactly in the role that Bruce is playing, but these guys who see so
much really do have a very macabre sense of humor. And I do think thatís
how they stay sane.
Moderator Alright, and next we will go to the line of Icess Fernandez
with Writing to Insanity. Please go ahead.
I. Fernandez Hi everyone, so, so excited to talk to both of you guys
S. Gless Hi Isis.
I. Fernandez Hi. Iíll just give you the questions right here in front.
For Bruce, is there a beer or cocktail that Sam has yet to meet and
enjoy and if there is, what is it and why havenít they met yet? And
Sharon, Madeline seems to go with the flow a bit more nowadays with
Michaelís past. Will she eventually come around to just trusting him
blindly or will curiosity get the best of her and sheíll find out on her
own where her son has been for the past ten years?
B. Campbell Go ahead, Sharon.
S. Gless I think Madeline is slowly figuring it out. I donít think, to
this day, she really understands the full impact of what it is he really
does. But she knows he helps people. Thatís how she phrases it. Thatís
how she lives with it. And yes, she is getting more informed. I think
there are moments where she does trust him. She has to, she is, despite
what you see, she loves him. Itís her boy. But I think thereís always a
bit of doubt because heís never completely forthcoming. So what she
finds out she sort of finds out on her own. Heís a little vague when he
explains things, enough to calm her down or to get her to help in an
B. Campbell And with regard to Samís question, I donít think there is a
cocktail that he has not found yet. I think Sam has been making them up,
he knows so many of them. But you know, the one thing I want to point
out is you never see him drunk. You know, a lot of people go, oh Samís
an alcoholic. Hey, heís a guy who likes to drink like a lot of
Americans. So that truly is Ė you find sometimes we pick our battles. If
Iíve got a morning meeting with the feds, Sam will have a cup of coffee.
Heís not a complete party boy.
S. Gless Bruce and I are still trying to get Matt Nix to write us a . .
B. Campbell He promised us season two, he promised that we would get
S. Gless I know, he lied. When Sam babysits with Maddie, wouldnít it be
a fun thing to sit there and get loaded and not talk about anything that
has to do with the work.
B. Campbell Exactly.
I. Fernandez That sounds like fun.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Blaine Kyllo with CinemaSpy.
Please go ahead.
B. Kyllo Thanks for your time today, folks.
S. Gless Hi Blaine.
B. Kyllo Quick question for Bruce and another one for Sharon. Iíll ask
them now and get it out of the way. Bruce, Iíd like to know if Samís
role of making the blood in ďShot on the DarkĒ was given specifically
because Bruce Campbell has experienced making blood, and did you use the
Evil Dead recipe. And my question for Sharon is, I think itís
interesting that Matt told you specifically that his idea was that
Michaelís skills might have come more from his mother than we first
thought. Talk a bit more about how you think that might play out. Itís
quite clear to us I think from watching the characters over three
seasons that thereís a lot of Madeline in Michael. So talk a bit more
about what other skills Michael has that he might get from Maddie.
B. Campbell Go ahead, Sharon.
S. Gless I donít know. I canít say he gets his skills, I mean his
technical skills he certainly doesnít get from her. I think what Matt
wanted to establish is that he gets his smarts from her. The father was
a loser, and I donít think thereís a lot he got from him. And Maddie is,
she is smart, she can be very keen and if sheís, sometimes she plays a
little manipulative. No, she doesnít play dumb, but I think thatís the
hope and Iím very pleased that you see that she is very smart. Sheís not
totally informed as to what heís doing, but she knows him. Itís her boy,
itís her son.
B. Kyllo I guess we really get the sense that Maddie knows more than
sheís letting on, like most mothers.
S. Gless Yes, and she knows when to use it and when to not, but I donít
think at this point -- I think the story would start to end soon if she
was totally understanding of what has happened to him and what it is
heís attempting. Do you know what Iím saying? Attempting to find his way
back. So I donít think she knows all of that yet. She just knows that
heís doing stuff thatís not ordinary and I think she fears for his life,
B. Kyllo Thanks a lot, Bruce?
B. Campbell With regards to the making blood question, I donít know if
that was assigned to me. It just sort of fell in. Every week we make
stuff, so we have different things where you hold this and someone does
this. It made sense that I made the blood, certainly. It wasnít the
exact Evil Dead recipe since I wouldnít want to give it all away. Itís
far too secret, just like military secrets, ... this shows you how in
this show you really can make an incredible amount of different things
in your kitchen and fake blood is certainly one of them. Itís one of the
cheapest, for anyone making a horror film, itís probably the cheapest
prop you can get. Itís mostly Karo syrup, red food coloring, a little
bit of cremora, and a drop of blue to make it not get too pink, you
know, too bright.
B. Kyllo Thanks very much.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Troy Rogers with
TheDeadbolt.com. Please go ahead.
T. Rogers Hi Bruce, hi Sharon.
S. Gless Hi,Troy.
B. Campbell Howíre you doing.
T. Rogers I think Iíll get my questions out of the way, too, right away.
Now aside from you two getting drunk together, how do you want to see
Sam and Madelineís relationship evolve in season four. And for either
one of you if Michael did re-establish his link to the espionage
community, what would happen to Sam and Fiona?
B. Campbell Well, go ahead, Sharon, give it a whack.
S. Gless Well, I think Sam and Maddie have kind of a really cool
relationship. We were given a chance to live together. That helps. I
didnít tell you this, Bruce, that I really miss the fact that you moved
B. Campbell I know.
S. Gless Yes. But that gives you a chance to come back. How do I see the
relationship evolving? I see it as all good. I see that it can get
rougher, it can get more tender, and I think thereís a myriad of things
that can come out of a relationship with two people who do respect each
other and who both love this one man, this boy, my boy and his friend.
B. Campbell And you know the one thing I should say, too. I canít speak
for other actors, but I donít really probe the writers, I honestly
donít. I havenít bugged them in three years about whatís coming up with
Sam. Whether heís going to have a home or a girlfriend. I like to sit
back, just like the audience, and let it happen. I get excited reading
the next script, because I donít really know what they have planned. The
season finale, I couldnít tell you sitting here right now whatís going
to happen. Not because Iím lying or that Iím not supposed to, I donít
know because I havenít asked, I donít want to know. So you know . . .
S. Gless Iím the same way. I never ask about whatís going to happen with
B. Campbell No, because . . . as weíve seen, theyíre good writers so you
know, get out of their face. We donít like them in our face, I donít get
in their face.
Moderator And next we will go to the line of Sarah Fulghum with
TotallyHer.com. Please go ahead.
S. Fulghum Hi, thanks for talking with me today.
S. Gless Hi Sarah.
S. Fulghum Burn Notice has been renewed for a fourth season, and as we
all know, the show is extremely successful. How many seasons do think
this show will have and do you both plan to stay on the show through to
the very end?
B. Campbell Go ahead, Sharon. Letís see where we get.
S. Gless I donít know. I mean the show Ė it used to be in the old days
when you signed a contract, it was for seven years. But in this day and
age, I donít know. I do think it has some longevity.
B. Campbell Come on, Sharon, pick a number, pick a number.
S. Gless Okay, seven.
B. Campbell Seven. Iím going eight.
S. Gless Okay, baby, Iím sticking with you.
B. Campbell The reason I say that is because Monk went eight and weíre
outpacing Monk in the ratings. And so weíre kind of the new tent pole
for USA, and I think weíre going to be around for the long haul and
mentally, I have to say, Iím not looking over my shoulder. Iím fully
prepared to ride this show to the bitter end because itís Ė why, what am
I looking for? Actors always seem like theyíre looking for a better gig.
This time I canít, there is no better gig. This is a good gig, and Iím
happy to ride it until it ends.
S. Gless Yes, me too. I want to stay. My husband, who is a producer,
used to tease me and heíd say, ďYou know, I wouldnít give these people
any trouble.Ē Because he said, ďHow I would open the next episode is
this rainy morning and everybodyís just standing in this rain under
umbrellas and we pan down. Is that a tear on our heroís face? You pan
down and the tombstone says, Madeline.Ē
B. Campbell Season finale or a season opener. Exactly.
S. Gless Yes, right. So Iím just playing myself and I hope they let me
stay the whole time.
B. Campbell Yes, gee, Sharon, do you think theyíll let you?
S. Gless Well, you know, you never know. They may want to move
somewhere. But knowing Madeline, sheíd pack too.
B. Campbell Yes, she probably would.
S. Gless Yes.
Moderator Alright, next we will go to the line of Josh Bozeman with
TheBlueSite.com. Please go ahead.
J. Bozeman Bruce, Sharon, so good to talk to both of you today.
S. Gless Thank you.
B. Campbell Greetings.
J. Bozeman This question is for both of you guys. If Michael, Fi and Sam
were all stuck at Madelineís house somehow. They were together, there
was a sudden attack by zombies, what do you think your own characters
would contribute to the battles against an army of the undead.
B. Campbell I would pick you up and hold you in front the zombies for
asking such a lame question.
J. Bozeman I donít like that one.
S. Gless I really donít know how to answer that.
B. Campbell Canít help you.
S. Gless But thank you, Iíd have to leave that to the writers.
Moderator We will now go to the line of Laura Tucker with Small Screen
Monthly. Please go ahead.
L. Tucker Yes, hi. Along with being a writer, Iím also a martial artist.
In fact, Iím an instructor at a martial arts school. And both of us
there at the school that are fans of the show have wondered what type of
technical advisor you have for some of the fight scenes and if you have
a martial artist actually helping you with some of the stuff, because
weíve noticed some very distinctive moves that are so definitely martial
arts like there was one time at the beginning of an episode I saw
Michael Ö Sam Ö on himself. Somebody else might not know what that was,
but I knew exactly what it was. So anyways, we were just wondering if
you have any martial arts technical advisors on the show or if itís just
your basic fight scene technical advisors.
B. Campbell Well, Sharon, Iíll jump in for a second. I can say that
Artie Malesci is mostly responsible because heís the stunt coordinator
who has just been nominated by the way for an Emmy.
S. Gless Thatís right, congratulations.
B. Campbell So weíre going to wait and see because and basically Artie
and Jeffrey Donovan are very involved in any of their fights. Jeffrey is
equally as involved in his fights, because he does have training, he
does have background in martial arts. So those guys will work out
something and they knew it was not going to be the John Wayne punch,
punch break a chair over somebodyís head, which is much more like a Sam
Axe. And my job has been to differentiate between old school fighting
and new school. Sam Axe would break things. He would use things as props
and weapons. Heíd be a little more old school. Michael and Sam got into
a fight and I think Michael went easy on him. So we try to make the
martial arts different because as a spy you are going to use more
advanced techniques. Heís had to fight Russian guys who knew a certain
type of technique. So I think thatís the best I can explain it. We are
actually trying to be slightly different, using cool quick moves, not
the standard fight scenes.
Moderator Next question comes from the line of Anthony McCall with Burn
Notice Fan Blog. Please go ahead.
A. McCall Yes, hi. Nice talking to you. My family can relate a lot to
how Madeline deals with her family because my familyís a lot like that,
too. But my question is, do you think the show is staying on track or do
you think theyíre starting to maybe branch out in new directions with
S. Gless I never know where theyíre going to go with the show. Iím
always surprised every time I open up the script and see what theyíre
doing. I donít know if thereís a track. I think sort of the beauty of
the show is that it constantly surprises. I mean the track would be for
Michael and the end for Michael to find the man who burned him, or the
woman. Is that what youíre saying by the final tracks?
A. McCall I think maybe. Do you think theyíre staying along with that
story line or do you think theyíre going to change . . .
S. Gless Well, that story line exists, yes, constantly throughout heís
been trying to find, but in the interim heís pulled off into other
directions. Itís not just that story.
B. Campbell I think the show is ultimately like other successful shows,
itís a hybrid of putting on that old shoe every Thursday. You want that
comfortable shoe, you want to hang with Fiona, Michael and Mom. And you
know, see what adventures theyíre going to get into every week. Yet, at
the same time, you know, season two is the evil woman Carla. So sheís
gone now, so there is a constant progression. This season his problems
have gotten worse, so and who knows whatís going to happen, but I think
they will always try and do both. Give you familiar aspects and an
A. McCall Okay, thank you.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Traci Grant with
TheStarScoop.com. Please go ahead.
T. Grant Hi, itís a pleasure to speak to you both.
S. Gless Thank you.
B. Campbell Thanks.
T. Grant So my question for you is, for both of you, the show sort of
projects itself as a tutorial. It teaches you about different operatives
and things you can use in real life. Have either of you ever been
motivated to go ahead and try some of these things that the show
B. Campbell No, and I donít recommend it either. I donít recommend that
anybody build anything from any fictional show.
S. Gless Right. Donít try this at home.
B. Campbell Itís very important, do not try this at home for all kinds
of reasons. I do know, as an adventurous child, we sent UFOs up that
were constructed of dry cleaning bags over balsa wood struts with
candles as thrusters. And you know, we could have set the woods on fire.
We had homemade explosives, we could have blown our hands off. So
growing up in suburban Detroit, I definitely had an older brother who
was crazy and we were always mixing the wrong things together. Making
gunpowder, and so Iím glad to have survived, actually. But now as an
adult I can look back and go, ďYeesh, man that was stupid.Ē So I donít
caution the separation of church and state when it comes to TV shows
itís all fake, folks.
S. Gless When I was watching the show. Alright, we know I canít look at
my own stuff. But anyway, I asked Matt in reading all these scripts. I
said, ďMatt,Ē Iíve been in scenes or standing by watching Michael and
Sam and Fi build stuff right there with whatever they had. And they go
in really close and said to Matt, I said, ďMatt, this looks really real.
I mean youíre going to have people go home and arenít children watching
this?Ē And he said, ďSharon, I always leave some things out.Ē
B. Campbell Thereís always about three ingredients that he leaves out.
S. Gless Yes.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Stevie Wilson with
LA-Story.com. Please go ahead.
S. Wilson Good morning and thank you for talking to all of us today.
B. Campbell Greetings.
S. Gless Hi.
S. Wilson When this season started out, Madelineís parting shot or
comment to everybody was that the three that Fi and Michael and Sam all
had to be working together and watch each otherís back. And now that
Michael . . .
S. Gless Iím sorry working together what?
S. Wilson Watch each otherís back.
S. Gless Oh, yes.
S. Wilson And to me that was a very telling statement that basically, it
was open season on all of them, and including Madeline. Now the question
is because Michaelís getting close to thinking about really rejoining
whatever company it is that he worked for and going to work back into
what he was doing as a spy, that leaves everybody else kind of hanging
and wondering whatís the Ė obviously Fiís not happy about it, but whatís
Samís character feeling about it and what will Madeline do if thatís
what her son goes off and does?
B. Campbell Go ahead, Sharon.
S. Gless I donít know. Iím sorry, I just. Do you mean if he moved away
S. Wilson Well, yes, and the fact that you wouldnít see him and he might
not come back.
S. Gless I donít know what Madeline would do. I do remember the line
that you were speaking of when I said to take care of each other. I
think she sees him now as a unit. I mean I donít think Madeline likes to
think of them ever being separated. I think she sees the value in what
they do for each and how they protect each other. And I donít know if
she considers herself part of those three people. I think she has to
stand back and watch and know that theyíre smart enough but pardon me,
shit can happen, so Ö
B. Campbell And I think from Samís point of view, itís different than
the other ones because Fiona doesnít have the patriotism. She actually
doesnít understand that he liked doing what he did for the sake of his
country. So Sam agrees with that. Sam was in the same boat, and I think
heíd be happy for Mike to get back in, even though it looks like itís
borderline not worth it based on what he has to go through and I think
Sam is a little bit of a canary in the coal mine. He doesnít like it
when Mike puts himself into very dangerous situations with really sleazy
people in order to try and do this and in the episode weíre shooting
right now that comes to a head where Sam refuses to help him because
heís doing stuff that is too questionable. So Michaelís going to get in
pretty deep. Weíll see how deep he gets in. And if he winds up going
back in, I think Sam would miss him because I think Sam has enjoyed
getting back to work instead of just drinking and hanging out with rich
Miami women. I think heís enjoyed tailing people and pulling up some of
the old skills again. It kind of gets the cobwebs out, gives him a
reason to get out of bed.
S. Wilson Wow, thatís great. Thank you.
S. Gless Also, if Michael went away again like he did before, and didnít
contact me like he did before, I think Madeline would have more reason
to be concerned because I think she knows now. I think Michael knows now
that she does worry. Theyíve had enough confrontations now that should
he disappear again, I think thereís tremendous cause for Ö
B. Campbell But you know what, he may actually call you now.
S. Gless Thatís what Iím thinking. If he doesnít I think there would be
cause for alarm.
B. Campbell Right, thatís right.
Moderator We now go to the line of BethAnne Henderson with
NiceGirlsTV.com. Please go ahead.
B. Henderson Hi, thank you for taking our calls today. Iím a huge fan of
yours, Sharon, and Iím just thrilled to be on this call with you. Iíve
been a fan since Marcus Welby.
S. Gless Oh my God, you donít sound that old.
B. Henderson But we are, and Cagney and Lacey of course.
S. Gless May I interject something for a minute? Do you know I was put
on Marcus Welby as a regular for a year because I was to be a love
interest of James Brolin, and they said that there was absolutely no
chemistry between James Brolin and me and I got fired.
B. Campbell You failed the chemistry test.
S. Gless He was waiting for Barbara, I guess. I donít know.
B. Henderson And so you ended up on Cagney and Lacey.
S. Gless Yes.
B. Henderson So it was a good thing. Speaking of Cagney and Lacey,
youíre going to have somewhat of a reunion coming up this Sunday night.
Can you talk about that a little bit?
S. Gless Weíre having what, a reunion?
B. Henderson A reunion.
S. Gless A Cagney and Lacey reunion?
B. Henderson Well, sort of, on Burn Notice, on the show.
S. Gless Oh, excuse me, I was going to say I wasnít invited. Itís not Ė
is it this episode?
B. Campbell I think Thursday, yes.
S. Gless Oh, itís this one coming up, thatís the one? Oh I didnít
B. Campbell The actors never know anything. We donít know when things
S. Gless I donít. Iím sorry, forgive me, what was your question about.
B. Henderson I just wanted to know if you could talk about getting
together with Ms. Daly again and working with her again.
S. Gless It was wonderful. And Iím not just saying that. Tyne Daly is
one of the finest actresses Iíve ever met or ever had the pleasure of
working with. It was just like old times. I mean they were different
characters, but we know each other now and her mother had a great
expression. Okay, her mom said, ďSweat makes a great cement.Ē And she
and I sweat together for six years and we just know each otherís timing,
we know, and we love, we love to rehearse, we love to work, and it was a
real treat for me and I think for all of us to have her on the show.
B. Campbell It was great to watch. Yes, we loved it and the crew and the
B. Henderson Well, thank you so much, Iím looking forward to it.
S. Gless Oh, thank you.
Moderator And next we will go to the line of Russell Trunk with
ExclusiveMagazine.com. Please go ahead.
R. Trunk Hey guys, how are you doing today?
B. Campbell Very good, thank you.
R. Trunk Good, good, good. Hey, Bruce, firstly maybe this is something
you can help me with. In the very first episode, Gabrielleís character
who was Irish throughout it and then come the second episode without any
explanation, she was suddenly American. Or it was almost like that and
Sharon, Madeline in the show, is an unsecure, attention-seeking, chain
smoking hypochondriac so I was wondering how much of the real life you
is involved in that role?
S. Gless Letís see, insecure and chain smoking, hi. Madeline, your
direct question to me was how much am I like Madeline. Madeline is
growing, even though she doesnít take as many pills. How much am I like
her? I donít know, I think thereís always a piece of me in everything
that I play and you just go somewhere and you say, ďYeah, I can imagine
that,Ē and you play it. Well, Iíve never had children but Iím, as the
years go on in the show, Iím understanding every episode more about my
relationship with this boy. Heís complicated, but Iíve not had children
of my own, but Iím an actress, so I donít know how I do it.
B. Campbell And with regard to your question about Fiona, I canít answer
that because itís not a Sam question.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Mark Rivera with Genre
Online.net. Please go ahead.
M. Rivera Hi, Bruce. Itís great to speak to you again. I had a question
for both of you. Gosh last time I spoke to you Bruce, you had just done
your directorial debut, you had the audio book of your second novel out
and both of you have been on network television. Bruce I know youíve
also been very successful on syndicated network television. I wanted to
ask you both, what is the difference between working on both network
and/or syndicated so to speak, free over the air television as opposed
to being on a basic cable satellite fiber-optic, for lack of a better
expression, television show thatís as successful as Burn Notice from
S. Gless Bruce?
B. Campbell Well, I think, hereís what I would say. With regard to the
difference between network and television, network you have a lot more
chefs. We would having people crawling up our behinds much more often
about scripts, about performance, about hair, makeup, what you look
like. Thereís a lot more micromanaging because thereís more at stake.
The funny thing is, on cable, youíre a little more left alone. Youíre
only doing between 11 and 16 episodes a year, not 22 or 26 or more. Iím
sure Sharon had to do more per season on Cagney and Lacey, but my
experience has just been more oversight in the network side. But the
funny thing is on the cable side on any given night, Burn Notice is the
number one show on television in that slot for our demographic. So
ironically, itís a cable show thatís actually beating the networks. And
youíre not really supposed to do that, so I think weíve confused our
parent company, NBC, by outperforming one of their network shows with
one of their cable shows. I think . . . .
S. Gless I think weíre beating all the cables, too, arenít we?
B. Campbell Weíre beating everything on cable and also Sharon, weíre
beating the network broadcasts in certain demographics. Weíre actually
the number one show on television at that time for those demographics.
S. Gless I love that.
B. Campbell Yes, itís cool.
S. Gless My experience Ė the difference between working on network and
working on cable is that youíre allowed to say things. Youíre a lot
freer on cable than you are on network.
B. Campbell On network, they probably wouldnít want you to smoke.
S. Gless No, Iím sure.
B. Campbell Unless you were a bad guy.
S. Gless Yes, and then I mean USAís a little more alert about what comes
out of your mouth because we have a demographic of age 10 to age 80. But
like working on Showtime, on Queer as Folk, I mean the things that were
allowed to come out of my mouth. I was stunned. I enjoyed it, but having
worked on network most of my life, you have much more freedom on cable.
M. Rivera Thank you for answering my questions.
S. Gless Okay.
Moderator Next we will go to the line of Chris King with StarPulse.com
Please go ahead.
C. King Hey, guys. With Burn Notice appealing to such a wide audience,
have either of you noticed like a shift in either of your fan bases.
Like Bruce do more people come to you and talk about like Sam Axe and
Burn Notice or is it still mostly people showing you tattoos that
theyíve gotten of your face?
B. Campbell No, itís been nice. Iím now the old guy on Burn Notice, so
itís awesome. I get to be a whole new persona of being spotted. And then
thereís all those fans who will discover Burn Notice and then theyíll go
back and go, ďOh, he was in these weird movies from years ago.Ē So I
donít care how they discover whatever, itís all fine, Iím just glad
theyíre watching the show.
C. King Okay, have you seen a Sam Axe tattoo yet?
B. Campbell No, I havenít seen a Sam Axe tattoo. Iím looking forward to
my very first one.
C. King What about you, Sharon, is it still mostly Cagney and Lacey for
you or are you getting more recognition for your work in Burn Notice.
S. Gless It would depend on who Iím talking to. They may initially say
Cagney and Lacey, but most people who come up to me now are still, and
now do recognize me as Maddie in Burn Notice.
B. Campbell Also on Queer as Folk.
S. Gless The demographics we have on this show span such an age range. I
mean what Iím getting thatís neat for me is young people. Sometimes
theyíre a little too afraid, but their parents may be with them. And I
mean I actually Iím not used to this. I actually had a 10-year old
thatís not usually my demographic, had come up and his father brought
him up and the boy said, ďAre you on Burn Notice?Ē And I said, ďYes, I
am.Ē He said, ďThatís so cool!Ē So Iím learning more about the younger
ones and itís fun for me.
C. King Thatís great. Thank you very much.
S. Gless Thank you.
Moderator And next we will go to the line of Bridget Adolfi with Spoiler
TV. Please go ahead.
B. Adolfi Hi, first of all, itís such an honor to be talking to both of
you. Iím a huge fan and what you do is really great.
S. Gless Thank you.
B. Adolfi Youíre welcome. I think the characters and in particular the
main cast of course are what makes this show really stand out, and itís
not only the four kind of mains but the caliber of guest stars is
constantly top notch and I particularly love that the show will bring
people back from time to time often when we would least expect it or it
would be somebody we assumed we would never see again. And thatís really
fun and adds a depth to the show and a level of weight to the guest
stars that theyíre more that just plot devices. So Iím wondering if you
guys personally, if thereís any past guest stars or characters youíd
really like to see make a return appearance or if thereís anyone out
there like a fantasy guest star that youíd really like to have on the
show or work with personally.
S. Gless Iíd like to have Tyne Daly come back. She wants to come back as
a bad guy.
B. Campbell And sheíd be a great bad guy. Iíd bring her back.
S. Gless I know. Like Judy Dench on the James Bond things. Not a bad
guy, but she would be running the whole thing.
B. Campbell Exactly, sheís the big evil temptress. But you know we had
Lucy Lawless a couple years ago, which was a lot of fun for my old Xena
pal. One of these days Iíd love to get Kevin Sorbo, my Hercules buddy,
to be a bad guy. Nice thing is when your ratings are good you get good
guest stars. Thatís really just the bottom line. Everyone wants to be on
a popular show. Nobody wants to be on a marginally rated show. So weíre
actually very fortunate Ė thatís what ratings bring to you.
S. Gless Yes.
B. Adolfi Great. Thank you guys so much.
S. Gless Thank you, Bridget.
Moderator Next weíll go to the line of Joe Hummel from
PopCultureMadness.com. Please go ahead.
J. Hummel Hi, thanks guys for taking our call. I want to say is that
some of the questions that have Ö that I wanted to ask so I wanted to
ask some of us have noticed that some of the like, I want to say
romantic, but Iíll use the word loosely, tension between the characters
Sam and Madeline. And Sam is often assigned the job of babysitting
Madeline. But I guess I wanted to ask Sharon and then Bruce your
thoughts on that.
B. Campbell No, I donít think weíd ever want the romantic angle because
it would be too creepy sleeping with Michaelís mother. You know, itís
too inbred . . .
S. Gless I know.
B. Campbell Weíve developed a familial attitude of almost more like
cousins or something.
S. Gless Yes, I agree. And someone had asked me that before about what
if the two of you, you know, and I said weíd have to probably be very
drunk and the next morning it would be really hard at the water cooler.
B. Campbell Exactly.
S. Gless I think it would ruin a potential of what they still have yet
B. Campbell I agree.
S. Gless Sex ruins everything. Okay. So did we just lose everyone on
Moderator Next question comes from the line of Tom Peter from Geeks of
Doom. Please go ahead.
T. Peter Yes. Hi guys, thanks for talking with us today.
S. Gless Hi Tom.
T. Peter I was very curious since you guys both had said that you donít
really want to know what happens with your characters in the future Ö
Have there been things that youíve kind of ad-libbed or done specific to
your acting approach that have shown up in later episodes that you were
happy with or . . .
B. Campbell Yes, I feel that at the beginning, you speak how the writers
write and after a while they write how you speak. So I think there tends
to be a line up there, an adjustment to every good writer knows what
that particular actor does well and what they donít do well. And I think
over time theyíll go, ďMadelineís really great at this or that.Ē And
theyíll write that sort of stuff. Or, ďSamís really fun with
interrogations. Letís write that more of those.Ē Or with the dramatic
thing they might not see as many of those come up.
S. Gless And where I think we eventually are becoming what my husband
used to call custodians of our own character. And I mean I donít screw
around with the dialogue too much and sometimes Iíll add stuff just
because I think itís funny. Iím amusing myself. And every once in a
while, Oh my God, they kept it in. And that tickles me, but I try to
stick to what they write and then you know, you sort of add little stuff
just to open it up a little.
B. Campbell And I think generally, Sharon, neither of us really get up
in the morning wishing we could come and sit and ad lib, but some things
do occur to you on the moment.
S. Gless Yes, exactly. And sometimes they stay in and sometimes they
B. Campbell Right, exactly.
Moderator On the line we have Christine Nyholm with the Examiner.com.
Please go ahead.
C. Nyholm Hello Sharon and Bruce. Thank you so much for taking the time
to talk to us today.
C. Nyholm Iím so honored to be the last question and actually, my
question is for Sharon. I was a fan of yours back from the Cagney and
Lacey days, too. And I was wondering how your character, what Christine
Cagney would think of Madeline and also what Madeline would have thought
of Christine Cagney because theyíre both like non-traditional characters
but in very different ways.
S. Gless Yes, I donít see them going camping together. I think thatís a
very good, itís a hard question. Theyíre so different. I donít know. I
think Madeline might have a little more respect for Christine and what
she does, maybe not her attitude. Christine was highly competitive. I
donít know if she liked any other women around. There was an episode
where they brought in a young cop who was going to observe and they
became sort of comedic because Christine just didnít want anything to do
with her and all the men were all over the woman, of course. I donít
think Christine sees anybody but herself, do you know what Iím saying,
herself and her work. That was part of her problem. She was a raging
alcoholic, I mean they were very different. But I donít know, maybe if
you sat them down in a bar together that theyíd get along. That might
true. Thatís the best I can do I think. I could see them just forgetting
what either of them do and what their backgrounds are and just sitting
down and having a drink.
C. Nyholm Okay, thank you.
S. Gless Thank you.
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