Forget the Miami Heat for a moment — we’ve got Burn Notice on the brain. The risk-taking crew of formerly burned spy Michael Westen ( Jeffrey Donovan), right-hand-man/Navy SEAL Sam Axe ( Bruce Campbell) and ex-IRA buttkicker Fiona Glenanne ( Gabrielle Anwar) have amazingly survived, and made it to season 6. In Thursday’s 9 p.m. premiere we’ll see if Michael, who is back in the CIA’s good graces, can spring his love Fi, who went to jail to protect her boyfriend, among other surely explosive stuff. The USA Network hit show is currently filming throughout South Florida. We caught up with Campbell on a rare day off:
You all have been acting together in the show for six years. How do you get along?
We’re still continuing to speak to each other, which is good. Really, we’re like family members at a reunion. We know what pushes each other’s buttons, and we know what to avoid. No one jockeying for position anymore. We’re just trying to get through the show, doing the best we can for as long as they’ll let us do this. We’ve had an incredible run.
Can we get some teasers?
This season’s going to be unusual. We’re past Michael Westen being burned and onto new, shadowy figures who are even more dastardly. We’re still after the main bad guy Anson [ Jere Burns], the captain of the creeps. There’s gonna be some serious cat and mouse trying to get him. But let’s just say bad guys don’t live long on Burn Notice. We’ve never divided our characters like this, and we’ve never been put in strange situations like this. There are standoffs, unusual characters and guest stars. John C. McGinley is in as a mentor to Michael, and he brings an interesting dynamic.
Are you ever surprised by the story lines?
I like reading scripts the way people like watching the episodes. I see an early draft, and I tear into it right away. I still feel these guys are still trying to put on a hell of an entertaining show. We’re just along for the ride and try to keep up. There’s this myth of actors telling writers what to do. Are you crazy? I couldn’t come up with this stuff.
What about your character? Anything happening new for him?
I finally get a girlfriend. I encouraged [creator] Matt Nix to give me a little female energy. I get sick of being around guys all the time. I want to be around some hot ladies! I don’t go through the pendulum swings like our leads. There’s no tortured love story. Sam’s the moral compass. He’s been just as determined to help Michael Westen solve his problems as anybody but as a result, whenever you’re in Michael’s wake, it’s a dangerous wake. I’m going to be taken at gunpoint for almost an entire episode.
How do you like shooting here?
It’s challenging. And it hasn’t even gotten hot yet. That’s the scary thing. We’ve already dodged the rain. The crew’s a resilient group. My joke about Miami is, ‘What I love about it is that it’s so close to the United States.’ It’s so unique, that’s what makes it so appealing. As soon as you get off that airplane you know you’re somewhere different — that humidity just hits you. The air is spectacular, with the constantly moving ocean breeze. My skin loves it, my hair is full of moisture. The city owes us a check every week for making them look so good. In post-production we get ahold of those colors, and we heighten and compress them. We really make this place look like it’s the ticket.
Where do you live when you’re not working?
A distant place called Oregon. I live in the boonies with no cell phone service. I get the worst of both worlds: The summer in Miami and winters in Oregon. I’m a reverse snowbird. It’s all upside down.