Bruce Campbell has revealed his thoughts on all his Sam Raimi cameos – including his role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Campbell starred in the three Evil Dead movies helmed by Raimi, and had brief cameos in the director’s Spider-Man trilogy. He most recently appeared in Doctor Strange 2 as Pizza Poppa, who demands to be paid for food taken by America Chavez – and is enchanted by Stephen Strange to continuously hit himself in the face.
“You know, the only criteria I ever need is that the character has to be pivotal,” Campbell told The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) of the cameos. “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.”
He added: “The other criteria, honestly, is the only reason to be in these movies, and that is to harass the star. If you look at all the Spider-Man films, all I’m there for is to fuck 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.”
As for Pizza Poppa specifically, Campbell explained his role in Strange’s journey. “And here, we can’t really deny that I took up about an extra 45 seconds of Strange’s time. 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. I didn’t know if you wanted to go this deep with this conversation, but I was prepared to go deep.”
Whether Pizza Poppa really did save the multiverse with his short but sweet appearance in the movie is a mystery, though.
Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now. For more on the movie, check out our guide on if Doctor Strange 2 is too scary for kids and our complete WandaVision recap. You can also catch up on the MCU on Disney Plus.