Bruce Campbell Talks Season 3 of BURN NOTICE - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Bruce Campbell Talks Season 3 of BURN NOTICE

January 16, 2009 by  

Legendary actor Bruce Campbell is getting ready for his third season as somewhat corrupt but loveable Sam Axe.  Bruce recently sat down with a number of online outlets to discuss season 3 of BURN NOTICE which premieres on USA on Thursday, January 22nd.

Fans of BURN NOTICE and Bruce Campbell will enjoy hearing from the man.

How much creative input do you have with your character for the show?

Bruce Campbell: Well, every situation is different and Burn Notice is very structured. Matt Nix, it’s his show, it’s his concept, it’s his idea. So when I came on board, I’m 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 Michael’s mother more gently at some point. So it’s really for me mostly smaller stuff; the captain of the ship is Matt Nix and he’s also allowing us to think through scenes and if we want to throw in a line or so, he doesn’t have a problem with that. But I never show up on a set going, “Man, I got to ad lib today.”

Are you at all surprised about how successful the show has been?

B. Campbell: I’m 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 wasn’t. It wasn’t a cop show, it wasn’t a doctor’s show, it wasn’t a lawyer show. There’s 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 it’s a good blend of a show that does have strong main characters, and not a lot of them. It’s got four main characters. And that’s 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 it’s mostly you watch these characters from week to week, and that’s what I enjoy. And that’s what appealed to me and that’s what keeps me interested in the show is it’s not really about the explosions, it’s about the people who are doing the explosions.

What would you say to somebody who is coming into the third season never having seen the show before?

B. Campbell: Well, I think if you come into the show late, you’re 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, he’s kind of guiding you through the show, so I think you’re going to be fine. He’s going to give you any kind of recap that you need to jump in. And those people that have followed everything, I think they’re going to be all over it because they’ve been waiting for it for, whatever, four or five months now.

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 they’ll keep the character engaged. And if the character’s engaged, then it’s easy for me to be engaged in the character. So hopefully whenever Sam was around in his portion that he’s involved in something or has an opinion about something or whatever. No actor likes to just sit around. So as long as it’s the same as the first two seasons, I’m good to go.

Do you have a most memorable moment you’ve had from filming the seasons?

B. Campbell: For me, I’m just convinced one day that some bystander’s 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 he’s up on high rises and overpasses taking potshots at people. And sometimes you can’t see the crew connected to me, because they put me sometimes far away. And Miami has a lot of guns, and so I’m just afraid some do-gooder’s going to see me up there firing away and they’re going to save Miami from that criminal. And then Burn Notice will have three main characters.

Are we 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, Sam’s a tough case because he’s kind of a, he’s a bit of a handful and they’re always doing capers, so it’s 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.

Are there any upcoming guest stars that we can look forward to seeing?

B. Campbell: Oh, yes. In these upcoming episodes it’s pretty full on. You’ve got Tricia Helfer back as Carla. So she’s going to be causing lots and lots of trouble. Michael Shanks is back as another one of these fellow cohort guys who you’re not sure if you can trust or not. The great John Mahoney, who I worked with in the Hudsucker Proxy, John Mahoney from Frasier, he’s back as someone I can’t tell you about because I’d have to kill you. Former Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin is joining us. He’s Mr. Football, so it was kind of fun to do a football theme episode. Dina Meyer shows up as, well, let’s just say someone who perhaps was close to Michael Westen. And of course with Fiona that’s going to cause some sparks. And there will be some sparks flying in these next seven episodes, I can guarantee you.

Are we going to get any more information about this woman that Sam was married to or any more backstory into Sam’s life?

B. Campbell: I’m sure some back story’s 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 it’s fun. That’s 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 that’s always going to happen. When you have three spies, former spies that are kind of damaged goods, there’s going to be enemies that come back, old friends and people that you may or may not want to see again.

Do you feel like Burn Notice is sort of bringing back the escapist action series?

B. Campbell: I’m glad you said that. Look, I’ll 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 don’t mean that to make the show any better than what it is. It has iconic aspects. Little Billy’s always going to get his medicine, for the most part. And it’s a show that lacks cynicism in a way. That there’s 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 he’s fixing his mom’s garbage disposal when he’s not doing some covert thing, so that’s 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 wasn’t 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. It’s not geared for kids or whatever, it’s just a show that I would watch when I was in high school, too. So, I don’t know, I think that’s what appeals to me.

There’s been a lot of cool spy tricks and set ups they’ve done on Burn Notice, andI was wondering, what’s been your favorite thus far?

B. Campbell: Oh man, mostly it’s just the bravado. I love the fact that in Burn Notice we not only, see, like here’s the difference in Burn Notice and it’s just more of a thematic thing is that if the police catch someone who’s done identity theft, they might catch the guy. They might, not necessarily, but they’re not going to get your money back. In Burn Notice we’re not only going to catch the guy, we’re going to get every penny of your money back, and maybe a little more. And if the guy’s careful, he might die. So our characters don’t crap around. Fiona is basically crazy. She’ll blow up anything for any reason. So these are not three characters that you need to mess with. So what I like is whenever they’re confronted with something, they’ll come back at it in such a way that is very bold, usually, and that’s 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 we’re going to punish them, and we might torment them at the same time. So as far as any one particular schtick, I don’t really have a favorite. My favorite thing is, you know, there’s 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 they’ll do is they’ll pretend that they’re 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 it’s kind of fun.

I just like the inventiveness. Because they’re spies they’re used to being in tricky situations, they’re up against this and that. And I also like they’ve got a little old school/new school. Michael Westen’s more new school; he fights differently, he thinks differently, he’s a little more outside the box. Sam is more like, well, let’s 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 can’t always control her.

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 it’s 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. It’s very urbane sometimes. It’s very erotic, it’s very wry, it’s very witty, so I’m right there with you; I think it’s imperative. Otherwise, we’ve 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; they’re just schmoes. They have the same issues as everybody else, but you wouldn’t think of it. You wouldn’t 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 they’re not.

Where you would like to see the character of Sam go in season three.

B. Campbell” I’d 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 don’t 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 don’t really see what Sam does. I guess he’d 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. They’ve got a lot they’ve got to deal with. And I think they struck a pretty good tone of not getting too involved in your personal life that you’d 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 don’t have time to see someone go fishing or whatever.

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3 Responses to “Bruce Campbell Talks Season 3 of BURN NOTICE”

  1. public domain on January 16th, 2009 3:55 pm

    Haha, Bruce Campbell is so normal and awesome in interviews. I love him on the show, too, I think he provides the perfect balance of characters.

    Will definitely be watching on the 22nd!

  2. Tino Gorzewicz on October 7th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Wo bekomme ich solche Hawaiihemden die Herr Bruce Campbell in der Serie Burne Notice trägt zu kaufen.
    Wenn es sie noch nicht zu kaufen gibt, ist es denn vorgesehen das sie irgendwann einmal in den Handel kommen.
    Ich danke im Voraus für Ihre Antwort.

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    It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.

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