Bruce Campbell has 114 acting credits plus dozens of producer, director and writer credits. Despite his vast and varied film and TV work, Campbell’s starring role as Ashley J. “Ash” Williams in horror master Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” film trilogy dominates the many Comic Con appearances he makes throughout the country.
“They’ve been relentless,” the actor said of his “Evil Dead” fans.
In addition to Campbell’s Saturday and Sunday appearances at New Orleans Comic Con this weekend, dozens of horror, sci-fi and fantasy stars are appearing at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Celebrity guests include Covington native Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley from “The Vampire Diaries”; “The Walking Dead” cast members Norman Reedus, Michael Cudlitz, Scott Wilson and Sarah Wayne Callies; Michael Rooker from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Walking Dead”; and Evan Peters from “American Horror Story” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Campbell’s latest New Orleans Comic Con appearance follows the November announcement that he’s reprising his “Evil Dead” role as Ash in an upcoming Starz cable series. Production for the 10-episode “Ash vs. Evil Dead” begins in New Zealand in the spring.
“You’ve got to listen to your fan base,” Campbell said recently during a telephone interview. “That’s part of the reason why we’re doing it, to give people what they want.”
The creative freedom allowed by premium cable is another reason for Campbell’s extended “Evil Dead” return.
“We don’t have the restrictions of generic cable or broadcast,” he said. “We can give it to the fans how they want it.”
The “Evil Dead” series will also give Ash, the character — previously seen in 1981’s “The Evil Dead,” 1987’s “Evil Dead II” and 1992’s “Army of Darkness” — room to grow.
“That’s the beauty of it,” Campbell said. “You can take this character, who’s only really been in three movies, and go crazy with him. And returning to Ash as a crabby middle-aged man, that appeals to me.”
“Evil Dead” creator Raimi will direct the first “Ash vs. Evil Dead” episode. “That will set the tone for the rest of the season,” Campbell said.
Before “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Campbell and Raimi last worked together in 2013’s “Oz the Great and Powerful,” a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.”
“Working with Sam is a treat because he knows this is a creative medium,” Campbell said. “All these toys are brought to the set to play with and Sam plays with all of them. You don’t always know what he’s got up his sleeve, which is a great way to work.”
Work, acting or otherwise, is something Campbell never worries about not having.
“There’s always work, and I make a lot of my own projects,” he said.
These self-made projects include a best-selling memoir, “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor,” and an autobiographical novel, “Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.”
Campbell will be working on a new project this weekend in New Orleans. He’s filming the first two episodes of a game show he’s hosting, tentatively titled “Last Fan Standing.”
A veteran of Wizard World’s Comic Cons, Campbell and Wizard World will present Bruce Campbell’s Horror Fest in March in Chicago.
“It just makes sense,” he said. “There are conventions of all shapes and sizes. Anime, sci-fi, fantasy, horror. I have enough street cred for horror.”
Besides his presiding presence, Bruce Campbell’s Horror Fest attractions will include more than a dozen celebrity guests, haunted houses, tattoo parlors and a staging of “Evil Dead The Musical.”
“I finally get my own horror fest,” he said. “It’s gonna be huge.”