People ask me who my favorite actor is and depending on which movie I’d seen at the time, I would spew out names like Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks…etc. But in reality there is one actor that whenever I see him in a movie (and most of the time he’s playing a very, very, very minor role) a huge smile crosses my face.
The actor I’m speaking of is Bruce Campbell.
For those who are not familiar with the name he is of the Evil Dead trilogy fame. He starred in Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and the Army of Darkness as Ashley ‘Ash’ J. Williams.
I remember watching the first two movies as a kid and being scared out of my wits. I had nightmares for a very long time. You could say it was because of Evil Dead that I stopped watching horror movies and to this day will avoid them like the plague.
There was this one scene from Evil Dead II that I replayed in my mind over and over again as a kid. It was a cool scene. Through the course of the movie Ash is beaten, punished, and tortured in every way by the demons haunting the cabin he is in. After a demon possesses his right hand Ash has no choice but cut-it off. Angry and pissed, Ash goes into the tool shed where he replaces his right hand with a chainsaw. He saws of the front of the shotgun (to make it more lethal), twirls it around and puts it in his back holster. Now armed and ready to do battle with the demons, he raises one eyebrow and says, “Groovy.” (No matter what happens to him, he’s still cool and hip to let it slide and get on with it)
Many years later, when I was in my teens Bruce Campbell starred in a short series called, Brisco County Jr., a western where Brisco (played by Bruce Campbell) is a bounty hunter who goes after the gang that killed his father. It lasted only one season about 27 episodes but at that time I couldn’t wait each week to watch it. There was something about the show… it was fun! It had a horse named Comet that had an attitude. Even now I still remember that show fondly.
Many years ago when the Internet was just beginning to catch on, my brother, who happened to have an e-mail address at the time, found Bruce Campbell’s e-mail. Excited, he and I sat down and wrote a long, glowing letter to him. We were like school kids drooling at the prospect of finally getting a chance to connect with our hero. We wrote in the end that we hoped he would get better roles in the future. Once we were done, we decided to save it and come back later and re-fix. This letter had to be perfect the last thing we wanted was to say something inappropriate to him. The next day we received an e-mail—it was from Bruce Campbell!!! (How did the e-mail go through? We thought we had only saved it?) He thanked us for writing to him and at the end wrote that he was proud of the roles he had done. We were devastated…was Bruce Campbell (aka Ash, aka Brisco County Jr.) offended by what we said?
I guess what most people are still wondering is what is it about Bruce Campbell that puts him ahead of some of the heavy weights in Hollywood, in my opinion? The simple answer is…Bruce Campbell looks like he is having fun. I can’t describe what that means, except that he’s someone you wouldn’t mind hanging around with because you know it’ll be fun.
So that brings me back to my story, do I think Bruce Campbell was offended by our comment? No, I don’t think soAnd somehow if I ever met him and told him of the story, I bet he’d say, with his one eyebrow raised, “Groovy.”