WHAT DID HE HAVE TO SAY?
At the risk of repeating myself, I've always been a great admirer of both Kevin Smith's work in the field of movies, screenwriting and comics, as well as his obvious frankness and humor as a human being. I've also been lucky enough to correspond with him over the years, and have found him to be nothing less than a classy man whose feet continue to be firmly planted on the ground, despite his major following and cinematic success. And oh yeah, he was also super-cool enough to write an awesome foreword to my first book in which he compared me to a "blowjob" and I can't think of many better things than that.
This is the 3rd time that I've heard Smith speak at a
Comic Convention and let me tell you... they don't come much funnier (and more foul-mouthed) than this dude. If you love his movies, you will ADORE this man's quick and pointed responses to the hundreds of questions that his fans pour all over him during these Q&A sessions. Here are a few of the highlights from his 1 hour session ( I wish I could have transcribed all of his many one-liners here, but to be honest, even these "written" jokes don't do the man's humor justice... you really have to see and hear them yourself ).
Self-deprecating as usual, Smith started his panel by pretending that most of the 5,000 people in the audience weren't there to see him, but were merely waiting for the next panel, which just happened to be New Line Cinema and THE RETURN OF THE KING. "Who the fuck is Kevin Smith? Where the fuck is Frodo??"
The Kevin Smith FLETCH movie project is apparently still "moving forward", but there isn't much else to announce on that. The CLERKS ANIMATED film is apparently being done by the same dudes who did HEROES. For now, they put together a 2-minute FLASH animated piece, in order to save money ( Smith said that it was so they could use that money on "coke and whores" ). He said all that was needed now was for him to write the screenplay.
One dude asked Smith how he came up with his ideas and he said that it all "depended". Most of the time, he just comes up with ideas, sits in front of his computer and bangs them out. He then hands them over to others to read, most of the time, Scott Mosier, his long-time producer and gets feedback. He also said that his wife was also someone whom he trusted to read his material and evaluate constructively. In the case of JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK , Smith said that his wife looked at him all weird after reading it and said "Well, I guess it's funny for 12-year old boys." Smith said that she quickly followed that up with: "Can I be in it??" (audience laughed) He also said that for DOGMA , for example, he had that idea in his mind since he was in Catholic School. In fact, he said that he came up with the idea for DOGMA when "he was on my knees in front of a priest one day." Needless to say, the audience loved that one.
What's next after JERSEY GIRL? Smith said that he wasn't sure yet and that he was still evaluating a couple of different projects. He also joked about how JERSEY GIRL was all ready to go and that it would released "pretty soon"...like in 9 months or so!! (rolling his eyes)
Asked about his reputation for missing deadlines, Smith said that it had a lot to do with the fact that he spent way too much time online. He said that he would wake up some mornings, fresh and ready to take on the world, head on over to the AICN talk-back section and note the hundreds of insult posts by folks saying stuff like "Kevin Smith eats balls" and the sort. He said that those generic insults never bothered him since, "Heck, I eat balls... so what?", but that there would always be those people who found the "kink in his armor", like someone writing "Smith's films are overly-verbose, badly filmed and he knows it!" Smith said that he would read those types of comments, sit back and say: "Frodo12 is right!!!" The audience cracked up.
When someone asked Smith what kind of "growth" he had gone through from CLERKS to JERSEY GIRL, Smith quickly came back with "... about 75-80 pounds."
Smith also kept making jokes at Ben Affleck's expense, including a couple that poked fun at he and his fiance, actress Jennifer Lopez ("Jenny from the Block"). When asked if he thought he would be the best man at the wedding, he said that he didn't think so and that Casey Affleck (Ben's bro) would likely be that guy. He then said that if things were set up like in BRAVEHEART and that there was a shot at (don't remember the word, but it meant to dick a guy's wife), he would definitely want to be the best man!
He also said that the best thing that ever happened to him was meeting Ben Affleck and having him become one of the "biggest movie stars in the world." He said that he always uses Affleck as his "go to" joke, as proved that throughout his speech with us, as a number of jokes were made at Affleck's expense. He said that Affleck would complain to him sometimes because he would get a DVD to sign, and it would already have an insult next to Affleck's face, written by Smith. Smith said that whenever Affleck's head got to big, all he would need to say is CHASING AMY and that would be that. Either that or bring up ARMAGEDDON . Smith then went on to make fun of Affleck's big crying scene from that film, when he tearfully said goodbye to Bruce Willis' character. Funny stuff. He then said that he actually really does LOVE everything that Affleck does and that he really was one of his "biggest fans" and that he had even "paid to see BOUNCE in theaters". He said that he had also watched PHANTOMS (obviously) and also paid to see REINDEER GAMES in theaters. Anything with Affleck in it, gets Smith's attention. He also said that he could say "you wore red leather" to Affleck whenever he thought to bring him down a couple of notches (in reference to his lead role in DAREDEVIL ).
When asked whether or not he was still excited and nervous when filming his movies, Smith said that he was "still excited, but not nervous". He said that filmmaking was basically a collaborative effort, which was why he never put "A Kevin Smith Film" before his movies. He said that he takes credit for what he does in this films, which is "write and direct", but that it's a complete team effort and that all of the other people in the credits are what make the film what it ultimately becomes. He said that he'd learned early on that surrounding himself with great people was the key, which is why he never got nervous anymore. He also joked that he also liked to keep one person "dumber than himself" around for kicks, which is why he casts Ben Affleck in most of his movies. Again, the crowd roared at the pot-shot at Affleck.
Some dude just wanted a quick "yes or no" response to his questions about future Smith projects. CLERKS 2: STILL CLERKING, will it happen one day? "Yes." CLERKS: THE ANIMATED MOVIE? "Yes." Smith liked how fast that back-and-forth went and suggested that everyone coming up for questions from there on should follow that format.
Someone else asked about the possibility of a JAY & SILENT BOB IN SPACE movie, to which Smith replied: "There's always a chance of JAY & SILENT BOB IN SPACE as long as there's a rehab in space"-- an obvious jab at his good friend Jason Mewes (Jay), who has been battling his drug demons through various rehab centers of late. The crowd surprisingly semi-turned on Smith with that response, which he turned into a funny face joke. I think he realized that he was a "bit" out of line with the comment, but if you'd hear any of this guy's stories, you'd realize that he has even less "taboo topics" than the Farrelly brothers ( see the story about him and his wife "fucking" below ). He also expanded on Mewes' battle at the end of the session (see below).
At one point, Smith elaborated on a story of how his little girl walked in on he and his wife "doing it" one night. He got into all kinds of dirty details about the situation, including how, for once, both he and his wife were buck naked ( as opposed to most times they did it since they were married‹they barely bothered to ever remove their clothing) and how she was on top, riding him ("If I was on top, I'd kill her with my weight." ) Apparently they also love to "talk dirty" so they were going all out with nasty talk, etc... As they both "reached climax", they turned to hear a little voice say: "Mom, dad... what are you doing?" Smith said that his daughter was standing there, looking like a "small Silent Bob". They both froze up, not knowing what to say, but ultimately just reverting it back to the child with a "What are YOU doing, honey?" The kid didn't bite and rertorted with a "Why are you naked and wet?", to which they apparently both agreed to say that they were "night-swimming". The running gag around the Smith household nowadays is that whenever they want to "get nasty" with one another, they bring up the topic of "night-swimming". Needless to say, they also LOCK their door now.
Being as this WAS a comic book convention after all, Smith was sort of grilled by a dude who worked at a local comic store, and received constant harassment about Smith's lack of productivity (specifically the ultra-late Spider-Man/Black Cat line and Daredevil books). Smith acknowledged that he had a problem with deadlines, but also skirted the issue somewhat by saying that he just "didn't understand" how some people could get so worked up about "late comics". Being a major comic book collector himself, he said that he personally never really cared about the timeliness of his collected titles since he knew that they would "eventually come out" and that he could read his other titles in the meantime. He also recounted how he too, had many people approaching him, screaming about how he was always late, to which Smith said he always felt like replying: "Dude, get a life and get laid in the meantime" or something to that effect. He said that he had finally learned his lesson though and that he would NEVER again announce any other comic book project of his, until he had written it entirely, the pages had been inked and the comics were in production.
Finally, someone got up and asked about the status of Smith's right-hand man in most of his films, Jay aka Jason Mewes, who has recently been involved in a very public fight against his own heroin addiction. Smith said that Mewes was doing "quite well" and that he had been "clean for 4 months now." The audience supported this statement with some hefty applause. Smith also recounted some Mewes stories "from the inside" and about some of the "block-lettered" letters that he'd been writing him. He said that Mewes' main "high" of the day was now his 9:30 "snack time", at which point he would get a Rice Krispie treat or something. He also said that he was apparently being treated "worse" on the inside, because he was a "celebrity" of sorts. He had apparently tried the rehabs in California but they were too cushy. He said that he was now in a rehab in New Jersey ad that he was doing very well. Smith also got pretty sincere when he said that this process had also been very difficult on him personally, because the advisors had told him that he had to practice "tough love" with Mewes and that he couldn't be there to "save him" all the time. Smith found this very hard, especially when Mewes would come over to his house, wanted to come in, but Smith would have to say stuff like "I can't ask you to come in... we have to stay out here and talk", all in the hopes that he would eventually clean himself up. Smith said that he was worried that the "tough love" approach might "kill" Mewes eventually, but the doctors said that a patient would need to hit "rock bottom" before getting better and that was the hope with Jason. All that to say that despite this being Mewes' 6th stint in rehab, this has also been his "longest" one so far, and hopefully his most successful.
Smith then acknowledged that he didn't want to finish his panel on a "low note" and proceeded to make yet another outlandish joke, which unfortunately, I do not remember now but DO remember enjoying immensely at the time (sorry, folks)