Today is the birthday of a god among men. A true legend, really. His name is Bruce Campbell, and if you don’t know it you should! He is a veteran of horror, science fiction, and television for decades now. In fact, many of us fine writers here at iHorror have been raised on his cinematography, and it has shaped us into the fine human beings we are today. *snicker*
Saying that, there have been many lessons Mr. Campbell has taught me through his roles and personal appearances over the years, and what better opportunity to share those with you than now?
- You can never be too confident
Bruce has exhibited in many of his films, as well at many of his panels, you can’t be too confident. Some may say he’s being cocky, but cocky, confident, where’s the line? It’s sort of a grey area, right? If he wasn’t so cocky we wouldn’t love him as much as we do.
- Charm gets you everywhere
Bruce knows how to swoon. Whether it’s as Jack in Jack of all trades, Brisco in Brisco County Jr., or Ash in Ash vs Evil Dead (wow… his character’s names are in a lot of his work!) the man knows how to swoon. This is what made him a perfect candidate for his short lived Old Spice commercials. Never seen it? Take a gander bellow!
- If you want to make it in Hollywood, sometimes you have to get beaten up by the director.
If you know anything about Evil Dead director Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s relationship, you know Raimi put him through hell on the movie sets. He would beat him with tree branches and even make Bruce beat himself up when his hand gets possessed. Raimi is quite the sadist behind the camera, and Bruce is a glutton for punishment for continuing to work with him for so many years. I guess that’s the price you pay for friendship.
- It’s ok to “go back to the well.”
While some people frown upon sequels and reboots, the deadite fans have clamored for more Ash by the one and only Bruce Campbell. No substitutes will do. After a 22 year hiatus between Army of Darkness and Ash vs Evil Dead, Bruce finally picked up the chainsaw and redeemed his role in the new television series and fans couldn’t be happier. It has been received well from horror aficionados and critics alike, which shows sometimes it’s ok to go back to the well for inspiration and continuation of the same story.
- Find what you love and make it work for you!
Sam Raimi and Bruce have been friends since high school, and when they discussed making movies together they knew they had to do a small budget preview of what they were capable of to bring to investors. Cue Within the Woods, a short horror film written, directed, and produced by Raimi and starring Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss (Cheryl Williams from Evil Dead.) For $1600 the low budget movie was made and even though its success was a slow burn it eventually caught the eye of investors and helped fund Evil Dead.
- Keep your options open.
Bruce didn’t just stick to television and movies once he hit the big time, he has also done voice work for cartoons and video games. He’s even organized his own Bruce Campbell film festival!
- Take chances.
This ties into #5, but if those two high school turned Western Michigan University students didn’t take the chances they did, nobody would know their names today. Beginning with low budget filmmaking and special effects but with a butt load of determination, passion, and heart lead both of these men into the careers they have today.
- Never forget where you came from.
By staying true to his beginnings, continuing to work with his co-actors and crew he began with, as well as respecting his fans (in his own twisted way) Bruce has always shown appreciation and gratitude, never forgetting his humble beginnings in Royal Oak, Michigan.
- Appreciate your fans.Bruce is a horror convention legend! He has appeared at conventions coast to coast, and you never know what he is going to say or do. His witty and sarcastic demeanor have fans begging for more. I’ve seen people be insulted (in good jest) from this guy and you would have thought by their reaction that they were blessed by the Pope!
- Never be afraid to be yourself.
If you’ve seen Bruce at a convention you know he is pure, raw, unforgiving Bruce. He doesn’t make excuses and he doesn’t do apologies. He will tell you exactly like it is. But that’s part of what endears us to him. He probably wonders why we come back for his verbal beatings time and time again, but maybe because it’s his brutal honesty and jokes. For others it’s his charm and good looks, ladies and gents alike. But it all boils down to the fact there is no one else like him in the industry, and as long as he keeps making movies and television shows, writing, books, and appearing at conventions, we’ll continue to support him.