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Christian Campbell

Beyond the soup, beyond the sibling

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If you don't know Christian Campbell, you will in a few more months. The Toronto-bred actor is handsome. Oh, and he wants to be respected for his craft, and he isn't afraid to bust out the elbow grease to prove he's in it for the haul.

"I'm an actor who likes to work," he says rising from his sprawl on a couch. "I'm an actor who likes earning my paycheck." In other words, he wouldn't like it if Bobby, his character on the daytime soap All My Children, went into a coma. That would be easy loot. I imagine that won't happen. AMC's people are smart enough to keep his perfectly-dimpled smile alive.

There are basically three ways you'd recognize Campbell. One is from the soap where he's been scamming women for the last half-year--particularly attractive to the grandma crowd. He also outshone Tori Spelling in the cult comedy Trick several years back and won gay fans nationwide. But he's best known as the older brother of actress Neve Campbell. And frankly, it's through that connection he's accrued much of his budding celebrity. But that's about to change.

Campbell is a busy guy these days--an actor, singer, producer and traveler--and he was in town last weekend for the True West Film Festival, at which his short musical film Pretty Dead Girl glossed the screen.

Campbell also just wrapped the Showtime musical Reefer Madness (with Neve), based on the Los Angeles stage production. On name alone, it should evoke a larger, if not more creative, fan base.

"I used to act more, now I seem to be singing more," Campbell says of his current musical lineup. "I'm an actor who happens to sing. I don't consider myself a singer."

I believe that when he sings a little from Reefer in a squeaky falsetto. Campbell is personable and chatty, peppering the conversation with abrupt chuckles. He is also confident and believable when morphing into a public persona.

"So much of the business, we hope, is about the work we're doing. It's not. It's also about the personality you bring to it," he says shifting his unbuttoned shirt to reveal a family crest inked on his chest. "Having to do the schmooze with people and all the people checking, it gets a little tiring sometimes."

True, being bugged during a dinner date doesn't sound much fun. But I get the feeling that he kinda digs blathering to reporters ("I'm a good singer!"). But good or bad, he is ready to step it up, and he knows what he is in for.

"You have to be careful of what you say," he confides as though I haven't read the Star lately. "It's gonna hurt you, it's gonna be taken out of context. There are a lot of actors who do not handle it gracefully. I hope to be one of them that does handle it well."

It will always go well if he wears that same unbuttoned cowboy shirt ... I mean, uh, what? Nevermind.

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