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Evil Dead Star Waxes Eloquent Over Macho Man Breakfast and Hot Tea

When cult film icon Bruce Campbell rolled through town for a convention, the crew quickly corralled him over breakfast and showed him his new McFarlane Army of Darkness Ash action figure, which he was stoked to see.
    Campbell is an everyman sort of actor - even the waitress recognizes him, though she thinks he may be a comedian. Campbell, in his droll, comically world-weary manner, doesn't correct her.
    Though he's been in several large Hollywood productions - Congo, Escape from L.A., The Hudsucker Proxy - and done years of television work - the new Jack of All Trades, The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr., and appearances on Ellen and The X Files - Campbell is best known as Ash, the goofily demented anti-hero of the underground horror classics Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.
    "Ash is the most extreme character I've done and has made the biggest impression," Campbell stated. "The Evil Dead movies are very irreverent, very belligerent and they attract a certain audience."
    According to Campbell, he is and isn't Ash in real life.
    "I don't necessarily fit the Ash mold," Campbell said. "I drive a Ford Explorer, I wear sandals, I'd take Frank Sinatra over classic rock and I live in the southern Oregon woods."
    Still, he said, some parts of the Ash persona are actually Bruce Campbell.
    "Ash is me on my best and worst days," he said. "The character evolved from nothing in the original Evil Dead to the full-blown Ash in Army of Darkness."
    "It's a great twist on a lead character," Campbell continued, between bites of corned-beef hash and poached eggs. "Ash is kind of like an idiot and a jerk like the rest of us. Normally, if you went to Universal Studios and said 'This is our lead character," they'd say, 'No fucking way. You can't do that.'"
    He was excited about the new Ash figure coming from McFarlane Toys.
    "I kept getting bugged all the time by fans saying, 'You should hook up with McFarlane.' I'm glad it finally happened, it's like a fan's wet dream," Campbell said. "It's a good match of sensibilities: Ash and McFarlane."
    And the timing of the figure seems proper.
    "Since there's not going to be an Evil Dead 4, this gives the fans something to get their hands on." Along with the figure the films are being re-released on DVD by Anchor Point and the upcoming video game Evil Dead: Hail to the King, which Campbell is doing voiceovers for, is set for release.
    Despite his cult icon status, Campbell maintains a relatively normal life.
Dominant hand:Left
Favorite food:Hot Grape Nuts cereal with honey and cinnamon
Favorite movie:The Bridge on the River Kwai
TV or Web?Web
Grew up?In Michigan
Briefly attended?Western Michigan University
Met Sam Raimi?In high school
Choice for last meal:Egg salad sandwich on fresh bread with cole slaw and fries

    "Most of my fans have a good sense of protocol. That's why I go to so many conventions, to make myself available. It's pretty rare that fans are intrusive," he said.
    At which point, a man from a nearby table comes to have an autograph signed for his clearly enchanted, mid-50s wife. Campbell graciously gives his autograph before redirecting his attention to the half-demolished plate in front of him.
    "Generally it's college students and, for some reason, security guards and baggage handlers that recognize me. Generally, though, I can get through my day without being hassled, which is great," he said. "You've got to be able to live your life without feeling like a circus freak."
    In addition to the Movie Maniacs III action figure, Bruce Campbell fans have other things to look forward to: the aforementioned video game, his new Jack of All Trades TV show, an upcoming fan documentary called Fanalysis and Campbell's book Confessions of a B Movie Actor, which is due in Spring 2001.

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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