Burn Notice Season 4.5: Talking with Bruce Campbell & Gabrielle Anwar Part 2

This is part 2 of the interview with Gabrielle Anwar and Bruce Campbell of USA Network’s Burn Notice that can be seen on Thursday night at 10 PM.

While I usually have a second matching part to the podcast in the first post, that didn’t happen this time due to some technical difficulties. So if you missed part one you can listen to it here as a short edited version of the 37 minute interview cut down to 23 minutes.At this point in the interview, Gabrielle Anwar is still on board but does leave about a third of the way through for a make-up call.

Our next question from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation magazine. You may proceed.

Jamie Steinberg: Hello, everyone.

Bruce Campbell: What the hell is Starry Constellation magazine?

Jamie Steinberg: It’s obviously a magazine that we post – feature celebrities and musician people…

Bruce Campbell: Oh, so that’s where the…

Jamie Steinberg: …who are stars.

Bruce Campbell: It’s that type of starry constellation?

Jamie Steinberg: Yes.

Bruce Campbell: I see, so Gabrielle is a star in that constellation as well?

Jamie Steinberg: Absolutely.

Bruce Campbell: Okay. Got it.

Jamie Steinberg: With Michael’s secret out about him burning Jesse, how is that going to affect Fiona and Jesse’s chemistry romantically?

Gabrielle Anwar: Ooh, well, it definitely does affect it. I think that the lack of trust is a huge component into whether the two of them evolve or devolve; I suppose one should say, but yes, it gets a little hairy there for a moment.

Jamie Steinberg: And we’ve seen Sam with some lovely ladies on his arm in the past couple of seasons. Is there any chance for you to get a love interest again, Bruce?

Bruce Campbell: Yes, where have all the ladies gone? I mean, it’s like, I’m fighting Michael Westen’s stupid missions the whole time, Sam doesn’t even, you know, he’s like this old geezer that they yank back into service and he’s like, “Wait, I was having a good time.” So I don’t know, I think he’s just kind of back in the fold now. And Burn Notice is actually…

Jamie Steinberg: I guess that means no more borrowing cars from his lovely ladies, no more…

Bruce Campbell: No, but you’ve noticed that Sam has a different car about every second episode and now they’re all junkers, they’re all pieces of crap because they’re all going to get wrecked.

Jamie Steinberg: Exactly, no more ladies to help finance them.

Bruce Campbell: I used to have these really nice cars because I used to have a life outside of this, but now that Burn Notice is actually getting more intense, it actually, I don’t see – they can’t find the time to have Sam like, go bowling and drink mojitos with some hot lady because basically we’re all getting co-opted. We’d be on a stakeout instead. So it’s bad for the personal lives of these characters. It sucks.

Jamie Steinberg: But it’s increased your beer drinking because you’ve had more time to sit and actually have a sip or two.

Bruce Campbell: No, because we’re planning missions half the time. I’m not drinking as much and I’m not whoring around as much.

Gabrielle Anwar: I think you need to talk to Matt Nix about this.

Bruce Campbell: Matt, let’s get – I have to straighten this out right now, let’s get the ladies back on.

Jamie Steinberg: Well, it’s a good thing we got a chance to talk, because I helped promote this conversation with Matt.

Bruce Campbell: Exactly. Well, you know, I don’t know, and as actors, we don’t try and steer the show. We try and leave it in the capable hands of Matt Nix and see where he wants, you know, and I’m sure the studio responds, too, because I’m sure they’ve seen some episodes where they go, “Wow, let’s never do that with those characters again.”
Or they see stuff that they like and they go, “Wow, let’s do a lot more of, you know, Fiona kissing Michael and slipping him a device to get him out of prison.”

Jamie Steinberg: Well, thank you both so much for your time.

Bruce Campbell: All righty.

Operator:Our next question from the line of Travis Tidmore with Cinemania. You may proceed.

Travis Tidmore: Hey, guys, thanks for joining us today.

Bruce Campbell: Thanks for being here.

Gabrielle Anwar: Hello.

Travis Tidmore: I was wondering what we should expect from the Sam Axe movie that you guys are getting ready to make?

Bruce Campbell: You should expect two hours of bad ass-ness, that’s what you should expect.

Travis Tidmore: Are we going to get to see you whoring around and drinking so more during it?

Bruce Campbell: No, because Sam’s – this is Sam’s last military mission, so I have to lose weight and dye my hair darker. Because it’s a prequel, so I’m training in the mountains of Oregon right now. And I’m not even kidding.

Travis Tidmore Well, I’m looking forward to it, as I’m sure all the fans are. So…

Bruce Campbell: Yes, what it, I mean, but here’s the cool thing about it, here’s what’s key. It does not have the fabulous, you know, Gabrielle Anwar, but we may, you know, approach her with lots of money for like, a telephone cameo or something. But it’s mostly…

Gabrielle Anwar: Did we know each other back then?

Bruce Campbell: Probably of. Knew of each other, because if Mike was still active and I was active, I would have known that you and him were doing the…

Gabrielle Anwar: Right, right, right.

Bruce Campbell: …the nasty. So…

Gabrielle Anwar: I’ll have my people call your people.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you, that’s a good idea. But Matt Nix has put a component of this next season, Season 5, he put a component, he plants a seed in the TV movie that will come to fruition in Season 5, which I think is pretty fun.

Gabrielle Anwar: Oh, yeah.

Bruce Campbell: So if you really want to be the Burn Notice junkie, you’ve got to watch that TV movie. And it’s not for my sake, it’s for the, you know, for the viewer’s sake.

Travis Tidmore: All right, and then, that sounds awesome and I’m looking forward to it. My other question is, this last season Maddie has sort of become more integral to the group. Can we expect to continue to see her becoming more part of the missions?

Bruce Campbell: Gabrielle, what do you think?

Gabrielle Anwar: Yes, I think you’re right. You know, I think she’s always been the backbone of the team. I think she’s become a little bit more visually involved. I always felt her presence in every episode previously, but yes, she definitely becomes a more integral part on camera, for sure. Thank goodness. How much do we love Sharon?

Bruce Campbell: Oh, yes, we love her a lot, so we want to get her back and you know, it’s a logical progression. You can only go so many seasons with her going, “Michael, what were those dudes doing here? What were those guys with guns doing here?”

I mean, it wears out after awhile, so the nice thing is, she’s accepted it, but she’s also – Michael Westen is Michael Westen because of his mom, because she’s a tough broad. So she’s actually a great person to have in the field. We’ve already used her playing Bingo, you know, and she’s a great ringer and she goes in and looks for county records and all sweet and innocent and then she lies to their face, you know?

So it’s a fun character for her and, you know, she happened – Sharon lives in Miami, so it’s perfect for her, too. And her husband laughs because he says now she gets paid to smoke, since she loves smoking.

Travis Tidmore: Well, thank you guys very much and I look forward to seeing the rest of the season.

Bruce Campbell: All righty, thank you.

Gabrielle Anwar:
I’m going to bow out, gentlemen.

Bruce Campbell: What’s that? Okay, you’re out of here?

Gabrielle Anwar: Yes. Enjoy the rest, Bruce.

Bruce Campbell: All right, darling. All right, indeed. Say hi to the children.

Gabrielle Anwar: Bye, Bruce, bye Brad.

Bruce Campbell: See you later.

Gabrielle Anwar: I will. Bye-bye.

Bruce Campbell: Ta-ta. All right, it’s just us chickens left.

Operator: Our next question is from the line of Stefan Blitz with Forcesofgeek.com.

Bruce Campbell: All righty.

Stefan Blitz: Hey, Bruce, how are you today?

Bruce Campbell: I’m doing good, thank you.

Stefan Blitz: I guess first question is, you know, obviously you’ve played Ash again and again, but this is the longest you’ve continuously played a single character. What have been surprises playing a character so long?

Bruce Campbell: Actually, Autolycus from Hercules has been longer.

Stefan Blitz: Oh, was it? Okay.

Bruce Campbell: Yes, I played that ’95 to 2000. So starting Season 5, Burn Notice will tie the record. We’ve been committed for Season 6. So I think once Season 6 rolls around, that’ll be a record.

Stefan Blitz: Okay. Fair enough, but have there been any surprises playing a character for so long?

Bruce Campbell: No, the surprises are that there are no surprises. And that’s the good news, that you get to know a character, therefore it allows you to then play with it. It’s like once you learn the instrument, then you can play with it. So, because you know, you make a movie sometimes and the first two weeks, I want to throw that footage out, because you don’t know what you’re doing with that character.

It’s only three, four weeks into it. So I’m actually glad with a TV show, you get to kind of finesse it over time and so do the writers. They get to watch how they – it’s up to them, ultimately.

Stefan Blitz: How have the writers made Sam more like you over the years?

Bruce Campbell: Well, they sometimes will slip in vernacular that I say or ways that I say something, or if I have trouble saying what they’ve written sometimes, we’ll work with each other to figure out how I can say it. And then once they see how I talk, sometimes they’ll adapt to that, you know? So it’s just practical stuff.

Stefan Blitz: Well, thank you very much for your time. Good luck with the new season.

Bruce Campbell: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Lance Carter with Daily Actor. You may proceed.

Lance Carter: It figures. The last guy just stole one of my questions.

Bruce Campbell: With Daily Actor?

Lance Carter: Yes. Yes, the – one of my questions was, have you ever gotten one of your scripts and just been completely blown away by something that your character’s going to do?

Bruce Campbell: Oh, I’ve been certainly really happy and delighted and surprised, you know? But they’re like little Easter eggs that you find. So you always look for those and, you know, the Burn Notice writers are pretty good at serving up good stuff, so I try not to get in their face because they kind of do their thing, they do it pretty well.

Lance Carter: Yes. You guys film on location. Is there a huge difference between shooting there or say, L.A.? Do you prefer shooting on location?

Bruce Campbell: I’m contractually obligated to say that I like shooting on location, so that’s what I’ll say. Well, here’s what it is, Miami, on film, terrific, looks great. We are kind of mandated to shoot outside 60% of the time so that you actually see Miami as a character.

And it’s great. Florida should send us a check for tourism every week because that city looks awesome in our hands and, you know, it’s a cool, dynamic city. But it can be problematic with the heat and the rain because you’re basically in the jungle.

Stefan Blitz: Yes, well it does look beautiful.

Bruce Campbell:
Yes, it does, the clouds are unbelievable there.

Stefan Blitz: And just one more question. What’s your – you’ve been at this for such a long time. What’s your advice to actors?

Bruce Campbell: Become a producer. Because, you know, I did that to get my first job. Evil Dead was 31 years ago now, my – the first Evil Dead movie. And, you know, I was one of the producers who made the movie and so there was no issue of who – how I was going to get that part. I was just going to have that part. So, you know, there are ways to do the end run, but they’re never the easy way. You know, an actor should never sit back and assume that there’s only one way to get a job. Take control. We live in America, be here now.

Stefan Blitz: Yes, perfect. Hey, thanks, man.

Bruce Campbell: All right, you bet.

Operator: Our next question, from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. You may proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Sorry, Bruce.

Bruce Campbell: Hi, how you doing?

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, nice to speak with you again. You were talking about the character, Maddie and I was wondering, it always seems like Sam and Maddie have a great chemistry going on there. I know he likes the young, beautiful ladies, but do you think there’d ever be anything more between them?

Bruce Campbell: No. No.

Suzanne Lanoue: No?

Bruce Campbell: No, because it’d be too creepy. Because I don’t think Sam would do it because of Mike, because of his character, Michael Westen.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh, okay.

Bruce Campbell: Because if you’re a loyal friend, you don’t sleep with their mother.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right.

Bruce Campbell: It’s just not…

Suzanne Lanoue: Right, right. And let’s see, most of my questions were taken already, too, but let’s see, what…

Bruce Campbell: You have to think of some new, fresh ones, I guess.

Suzanne Lanoue: I know, I know, my brain is working.

Bruce Campbell: Yes, instead of, “Tell me what happens this season.”

Suzanne Lanoue: I know, I know. Well, I did just read some spoilers, but none of them have to do with Sam, but I did read that Michael moves home with Maddie. Any comment on that? I gather it’s because the loft is blown up, again?

Bruce Campbell: Well, let’s just say it becomes inhospitable.

Suzanne Lanoue: Ah, okay. And let’s see, the other question I had was, what about Jesse? Do you think he’ll ever be a – he’s not really a spoiler thing, but just sort of your opinion, if you can. Does Jesse ever become more of a member of the team without hating Michael?

Bruce Campbell: Well, you’ll have to see, you know, Michael Westen did what he did without a bad intent, and so what Jesse’s going to have to eventually realize is that what the greater good is and whether he’s part of that greater good. Michael Westen’s a greater good kind of guy.

Suzanne Lanoue: Right, right.

Bruce Campbell: So Jesse hopefully will theoretically see the bigger picture. But as I think I quoted earlier, it’s going to be a long, bumpy road.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay. And you were asked about the best – who were the best guest stars or whatever. What about just some – any big names you can (unintelligible)? Like, you had Burt Reynolds before. Anybody like that?

Bruce Campbell: No, we got nobody like Burt. We want to get Burt back, as a matter of fact.

Suzanne Lanoue: Wow.

Bruce Campbell: You know? If he’ll let us.

Suzanne Lanoue: He was great.

Bruce Campbell: If he’ll let us drag him out of retirement.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, he was great, not…

Bruce Campbell: Other than that, I don’t have a list of, you know, star names. I think that…

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay.

Bruce Campbell: …probably USA would be happy to deliver a list of who’s who.

Suzanne Lanoue: Well, do you think we’ll ever be seeing any of Sam’s family, if he has family? Any…

Bruce Campbell: I don’t think he has much family.

Suzanne Lanoue: …relatives popping up?

Bruce Campbell: I doubt it.

Suzanne Lanoue: No distant cousins?

Bruce Campbell:
No. No, no long lost – there may be a couple of ex-wives, maybe some kids. You know, he’s probably got…

Suzanne Lanoue: It’s going to be hard to find.

Bruce Campbell: Probably got a 20 year old kid somewhere.

Suzanne Lanoue: Well, that would be good, yes. It’s going to be hard to find anybody with also that jaw line, though, that’s the problem.

Bruce Campbell: That’s okay; he’ll take after his mother.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh, okay. All right, well, thanks very much.

Bruce Campbell: All righty.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Keshaunta Moton from Poptimal.com.

Keshaunta Moton: Hi.

Bruce Campbell: Hi there.

Keshaunta Moton: What are some of your favorite scenes to film?

Bruce Campbell: My favorite scenes to film?

Keshaunta Moton: Um-hum.

Bruce Campbell: Ones where Sam is shooting a lot of BS into the air, where he’s trying to con his way into something or, you know, he’s trying to fast talk somebody. Those are always fun to do.

Keshaunta Moton: Okay. And also, you said what guest stars you are going to have on the upcoming season. Do you have a wish list of guest stars?

Bruce Campbell: Just more. I want more of the same. I want more people like Burt Reynolds. I want some…

Keshaunta Moton: Okay.

Bruce Campbell: …you know, let’s get some big names in there. You know, I’m sure they’re trying and because it is a hit show, we do have the ability to get, you know, some decent folks, so hopefully Season 5 will be the same.

Keshaunta Moton: Okay, and sorry, last question. What’s the favorite quality of your character, Sam?

Bruce Campbell: That he says it like it is.

Keshaunta Moton: Um-hum.

Bruce Campbell: That he doesn’t mince words, he’s a straight shooter and he has a pretty good sense of right and wrong.

Keshaunta Moton: Okay, all right, thank you.

Bruce Campbell: All righty.

Operator: Our next question, from the line of Christina Kovar from Maverick Media. You may proceed.

Christina Kovar: Hey, Bruce thanks for taking our calls.

Bruce Campbell: Indubitably.

Christina Kovar: I’m wondering, Chuck Finley, one name, many men. Which one is your favorite?

Bruce Campbell: Which Chuck Finley usage, you mean?

Christina Kovar: Yes.

Bruce Campbell: The one recently where I wore a white suit and I had to infiltrate the world of a – like a guy who hustles women. And so he had to, you know, be a player and, you know, look like a swinger and act like a swinger and that was a lot of fun.

Christina Kovar: Excellent. And can you tell me, which moment do you think, where after you saw the – after the footage was shot and I don’t know if you see dailies or anything and you saw it and you said, “You know what? I’ve got the character now, I understand it.” And that’s the defining moment. Do you have a moment like that?

Bruce Campbell: No, there’s never a defining moment.

Christina Kovar: No?

Bruce Campbell: No, because it’s always, it’s, you know, like life, we’re a moving target. So the character’s always a moving target. You’ll find out his flaws and his strengths, you know, I’d like to find out that Sam’s a really good bowler.

But it’ll take awhile to get that out, you know? But hopefully, that’s the things you can do if you stay on the air long enough, you can fool around with different parts of their character.

Christina Kovar: Get him in a bowling league? Sounds good.

Bruce Campbell: And I want him to, you know, kick Michael Westen’s butt.

Christina Kovar: I would love to see that.

Bruce Campbell: And Fiona could do all the trick shots, she could get all the splits and stuff. Sam’s just, blast it down. You know, he just wants to just, blow all the pins to smithereens.

Christina Kovar: That would be awesome. Thank you very much.

Bruce Campbell: Michael Westen has to use the kiddy bumpers.

Christina Kovar: The guards, the bumper guards.

Bruce Campbell: The guards, yes.

Bruce Campbell: Thanks, guys, bye.

Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com

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