Interview with Bruce Campbell from Burn Notice

Recently, Bruce Campbell spoke with the press about the Burn Notice prequel movie that airs tonight on USA at 9/8c, called Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe. It was directed by BN’s own Jeffrey Donovan, and takes place five years before the series itself started.

Check out some of the great questions & answers!

On what it was like shooting in Columbia

Columbia was challenging, but therefore authentic. You know, because the story actually takes place there. Normally what happens in Hollywood is they say it takes place in Columbia and they shoot it in Burbank, California.

So it was kind of refreshing to go to the actual place. But as a result it was very difficult.

In Bogota, Columbia it’s about 65 degrees on average down to about 50 at night. So they’re near the equator but they are at 8600 feet. So they have a strange sameness about their weather. So it actually was not that – no, so it was not Miami at all even though we’re near the equator.

Jump with us to see what else Bruce had to say.

On what we will learn about Sam

He was actually once very confident and capable and responsible and (showupable). You know, so he – because I think Burn Notice sometimes portrays him as being a little more casual or lazy or whatever.

And in this movie, it’s five years ago. And it’s Sam’s last mission and it’s back when he used to be like a real solider. And he used to actually like work for a living.

So that’s what it is. You get to see Sam being like a real solider.


On seeing any changes in Sam, now that we know the back story

Well you might, you might actually because Matt Nix has made it clear that there is – because of this prequel if you will an event that took place five years ago, Sam Axe had a bit of a run end with the CIA.

Ironically Michael Weston is now getting back in with the CIA five years later. But that might not be a good thing for Sam Axe. You know what I mean? Because Sam Axe can normally you know, as a guy who knows a guy, he knows county, federal, state, you know, Sam knows a lot of guys.

But his little run in with the CIA might actually cause him let’s just say a few glitches in the future.

Matt Nix made that clear that there will be some incidents that if you didn’t see the Sam Axe movie you won’t get it in Season 5. So you have to watch the TV movie not because of me, but because of the sake of the story.


On how much input he had into Sam’s back story

Well you have to allow Matt Nix who created the character in the show to do their main work. And then sometimes once it gets put on paper I’ll have input after that of like well can we do this, or not say that, or try to fix that or whatever.

So mostly you’ll let them have first whack at it and then we sort of jump in later as actors. But it’s a give and take process but mostly we let good writers do their thing.


On Jeffrey Donovan the Director vs Jeffrey Donovan the Actor

He’s a task master. Well as an actor he’s very seasoned, he’s been around for a while. And as a director he’s newer, but he did an episode last year that I was in very heavily and I got to work with him a lot. And we were like wow, you actually are a good director.

So this came up and we were on the set together and he said hey, who’s directing that Sam Axe movie? And I was like, well we have a couple guys on the list. He goes, can you put me on your list? I was like yes, sure, whatever.

So later it kind of worked out that he worked his way up the list, and finally, I encouraged everyone to support it. And so we got him to do it. And he did a great job.

So thankfully, my vision will be vindicated.


On how the prequel came about

You know what, this was Matt Nix’s idea. He sort of came forward with an idea in a way to you know, like any show that’s been on the air for three, four, five years you want to start expanding the show.

So this was Matt’s idea to create something outside the show yet within the show. And I was all for it and the opportunity arose to get Jeffery Donovan to direct it. So we thought well this is perfect do a prequel – you know, because you could conceivably do Fiona before she got to Miami. You know, doing an ass kicking her taking people out with carnage and mayhem.

And you could also do Michael Weston’s last mission before he got burned. So there is a lot of back story you could do. And I’m not telling you any secrets or spoilers here. But you know, that’s the idea behind this movie to expand the show.


On seeing a mix of romance and action in the prequel

Oh he’s going to get some are you kidding? He’s all over it. Keely Sanchez is my co-Star. She’s from The Blade. That’s also being shot in you know, just north of where we’re shooting. And she’s awesome, in the movie she’s great. And in relativity, she’s kind of like a little hottie. So yes, Sam is going to get some, that’s all I can say.


On what he thinks of Sam’s Tommy Bahama wardrobe

Well I wore that before Burn Notice, so to me it’s normal. I’ve always liked that relaxed style. So when you know, Burn Notice came up and [Sam] wore Tommy Bahama I was like, that’s perfect. Just give me the normal shirts that I wear.

So I’m all over it, I’m like – could be the spokesman. I think I’ve worn 250 different Tommy Bahama shirts. So I should get like basically a truckload of free shirts.


On the challenges physically of playing the character five years in the past

I had to revisit the mountains behind my house in Oregon. When I knew that we were actually going to make this movie I went okay, Bogota is 8600 feet elevation. I have mountains that are 7,000 feet let’s try that.

So I did a lot of hiking in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon to get ready. That and hair dye. And I got to shave the first time we got to shave. The whole movie I’m like I’m clean shaven. My mother is so delighted. Oh, you look so handsome because you shaved. You know, that’s all mothers care about.

Thank you to Bruce for taking the time to speak to everyone, and please, check out the movie, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, tonight on USA at 9/8c!

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