Bruce Campbell will stand out in the freezing cold after a screening to make sure everyone who wants to say hello or get a picture with him get their time. His fans love him and that adoration has been reciprocated by Bruce in his latest motion picture project, My Name is Bruce. Not to be confused with the 1982 film They Call Me Bruce? about an Asian fellow who keeps getting mistaken for Bruce Lee, My Name is Bruce is about a fellow who looks a lot like Bruce Campbell who’s asked to save the town of Gold Lick, Oregon from an evil Asian spirit.
Similar to the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle JCVD, My Name is Bruce has Campbell playing an alternative version of himself. Here the hard working Michigan native is a hard drinking slob who’s content to take any role offered to him as long as it pays the bills. The well has run dry and his inept agent (Ted Raimi in one of several roles) can’t line up any new gigs. Through a series of misunderstandings, and the handy use of a baseball bat, Bruce ends up on a Podunk town in what he thinks is just another B-movie role.
Bruce has been touring his sophomore directorial effort around the country. This past Friday, he made his way back to Michigan for a series of screenings at the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak. He took time on the road (literally) for a quickie interview.
Mike White: What interview question are you getting sick of hearing?
Bruce Campbell: Mostly Evil Dead 4. It’s such old news. What do you do with it?
MW: It seems that you’d have to let the life go out of Spiderman before Sam Raimi would get back to that.
BC: It’s not even that. I’ve got a TV show I’m committed to.
MW: Which sounds like a hell of a gig. You’re shooting in Florida, right?
BC: Shoots in Miami!
MW: Very nice. Last time we spoke you talked about doing every touristy thing imaginable while working down on Congo.
BC: All on their dime.
MW: Do you get that question during your Q&As a lot as well?
BC: Of course I do. People can ask whatever they want. They’re paying customers.
MW: I imagine you’ve gotten a lot of questions about how similar the Bruce Campbell of My Name is Bruce is to the real Bruce Campbell.
BC: Well, you’d better hope he’s pretty damn different! This is always the danger of doing this sort of thing. Some idiot in the audience is going go, “Wow, I didn’t know he drank whiskey out of a dog bowl!” There are similarities all over the place, but only I know them and I will never reveal them. There’s a sequence in the movie where I’m talking with fans outside of a studio and every bit of dialogue is verbatim from real life.
MW: It had that feel, especially the guy in the wheelchair.
BC: I met the rudest man on the planet so what are you going to do? Kick the wheel chair under a bus? You can’t really do that but in the movie I can!
MW: How do you feel about Jean-Claude Van Damme ripping you off with this whole “meta movie” idea?
BC: I’m going to have to kick his ass.
MW: That, I’d like to see. Sounds like a sequel. Where can I find one of those Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way standees like I saw in the film?
BC: Limited edition only. Try Craigslist.
MW: How’d you get in with the guys from Dark Horse Comics?
BC: I’ve known Mike Richardson for years. They put out the Evil Dead comic. They’re good quality and I always favor the littler guy. They’re a smaller, cooler company. I live in Oregon now and Mike lives in Oregon and Mark Verheiden. who wrote the movie, is also from Oregon. We had our own little state bond going on there.
MW: Did Dark Horse also put out the Man with the Screaming Brain comic book?
BC: Yeah, they did. It really was what the movie wanted to be and we were able to do it in a comic. I’m not going to make fun of my own movie, though, there are plenty of other people who will do that for me.
MW: How’s the My Name is Bruce Tour going so far?
BC: Good. We’re about halfway through the tour now. I’m headed to Birmingham and in Monroe now. If it sounds weird for a second; I’m going through a car wash. Life must continue on the road.
MW: Who all is on this trip with you?
BC: I’m going with a buddy of mine.
MW: Are you going to be home in time for Thanksgiving?
BC: No, I’m doing that with family in Michigan. Some things you get screwed on but other things work out great.
And, with that, the car wash jets began and Bruce Campbell signed off.