Raimi and Campbell are somewhat inseparable in pop culture due to their collaborations on the long-running “Evil Dead” franchise, but they remain friends and frequently work on other projects as well.
Campbell notably had cameos in all three of Raimi’s Spider-Man films and his blockbuster “Oz the Great and Powerful.” And in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he opened up about his “Doctor Strange” cameo and what it takes to get him to show up on a Sam Raimi set.
“You know, the only criteria I ever need is that the character has to be pivotal,” Campbell said. “In the first ‘Spider-Man,’ I named Spider-Man. In the second one, I’m the only character to defeat Spider-Man by not letting him into the theater. And in ‘Spider-Man 3,’ he comes to the maître d’ for help with his proposal to Mary Jane. How many superheroes come to mortals for help? Like, zero. So, I set a precedent. And if you do put me in there, it’ll change the movie forever. Sam is aware that I’ve made his movies iconic.”
While Campbell enjoys influencing the plot of a film for the better, his motivations are not entirely altruistic.
“The other criteria, honestly, is the only reason to be in these movies, and that is to harass the star,” he said. “If you look at all the ‘Spider-Man’ films, all I’m there for is to f**k with the lead guy. That’s it. I belittle him, make fun of him, confront him and harass him. Of course, he’s always victorious, but you have to create obstacles for your hero and make the journey harder. That’s my job.”
In his latest role, it sounds like Campbell thinks he did just that, and the actor is quite proud of it too.
“And here, we can’t really deny that I took up about an extra 45 seconds of Strange’s time,” he said. “And maybe I saved his life as a result of that. Those 45 seconds, maybe I saved someone else’s life, maybe I foiled a plot.”