Psycomic - 1.12.01
NOTE: Psycomic.com has ceased operations as of January 2001. The articles here were the ones that were provided
weekly up until their demise. (Posted from October 27, 2000 until January 12, 2001)
The Casting Aftermath
We bid a not-so fond farewell to the city of the Angels, and make a break for our home turf (or, as the wife calls it, our "home turd"). Bob (Weinstein) has made up his mind that Heather Graham must star opposite Jay and I in the picture, so we send her a script. She's shooting something in Morocco, so it's something of a hassle. After a week, we hear back from her people, who relay the funniest message.
Heather, it seems, likes the script and thinks it's really funny. She won't commit, however, because there's this one issue nagging her about the flick.
Hold onto your socks...
Heather doesn't understand why her character would fall in love with Jay.
I chuckle about this for a day or two. Granted, she's not completely off the mark - I mean, it is Jay we're talking about (the character, not the man himself; fuck it - yeah, even the man himself). But then, why does anyone fall in love with anyone in the movies. Shit - why does anyone fall in love with anyone in real life? After all - who can fathom the complexity of the human heart?
Apparently not Heather Graham. My only response to this unanswerable query is "Why did her character fall in love with Austin fucking Powers?" No one else has a response to that one either, but it doesn't matter. The Agents and Managers have gotten involved, as they'd all like to see Heather do this flick. So they start working on her, telling her I'm a good guy, a rising star of sorts, and all manner of other bullshit to help her get past her actress-type question.
And more weeks pass.
See, in this business, you can't offer the part to someone else while an actor is already considering it. It's some weird, Hollywood nonsense that can really gum up the works and kill perfectly good pre-production time during which you could be rehearsing another actor in that role. But Bob's holding out hope that Heather's people will convince her to do the flick so we wait for Heather to make up her mind. My point is, who wants to work with an actress that has to be convinced to take the part?
After a month, when we're back in L.A. to start pre-production, I finally call Bob and say, "Look, man - can we move on? Me and Mosier want Shannon Elizabeth for the part anyway." And you know what Bob - who's had his heart set on Heather all this time - says?
"Go to Shannon."
And just like that, the whole Heather Graham saga is over. We call Shannon into the office and offer her the part, she says yes, and suddenly, we have a leading lady.
The P.S. to the story is that Heather sent me a classy note a few weeks later, thanking me for the consideration, but citing the fact that she's just done four movies back-to-back, and doesn't want to work with me in her exhausted condition. She wishes us well on the shoot, insists we're making a fantastic flick (a fine bit of acting, that), and closes out by telling me I'm "fucking cool". And since I am a vain man, I buy it hook, line, and sinker and cross Heather Graham's name off my "Actresses I Must One Day Savage Immaturely in an Internet Column" list. As far as I'm concerned, Graham's a good egg. Confused, but a good egg, nonetheless.
And what about the other cats we met during that week, you ask? Like the legendary Ma-Sheen?
Ma-Sheen read the script and passed. The man who was in more than one Major League said that he didn't connect with his character. Fair enough, I guess. It's rare that an actor or actress turns us down (because, in all fairness, we rarely cast people we haven't worked with before), but I'm a big boy (three of you would fit into one leg of my Fat-Boy-Store jeans) and can take it across the chin, balls and all.
But Ma-Sheen just made the fucking list.
Once Ma-Sheen turned us down, I asked if the casting folks would put out the feelers on Will Ferrell. I'm a huge Will Ferrell fan, and after watching Saturday Night Live recently one weekend, it suddenly dawned on me that he'd be a far better choice for the role Ma-Sheen couldn't connect with. A call was made, and a meeting was set up at the Tribeca Grill in Manhattan. Will and I got along well, and I gave a script to the man who has single-handedly kept my interest in SNL going for the last few years (I can watch him impersonate deceased sports announcer Harry Carey for hours, get a good night's sleep, wake up, and watch him do it all over again for another few hours). Two days later, we were told he loved it and was in. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.
We found a place for Ever Carradine, and then made room for Judd Nelson as well. For the latter, I'm currently re-watching The Breakfast Club so I can crib some obscure Bender lines for my script. You can call it homage, but I call it flat-out theft of grade 'A' material for capitalization on a successful film (certainly isn't the first time I've done it; there are dopey fucks out there who think I actually came up with the line "Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things.").
Then there were cats we didn't meet, but who wound up being in the flick regardless. We heard that Sean William Scott (he of 'Stiffler' fame) was a fan, so we offered him a part. He gladly obliged us, and when I talked to him on the phone, the man told me he had a framed Mallrats poster in his house. I was taken aback, as I don't even have a framed Mallrats poster in my house. Say what you will about our red-headed step-child of a second film, but it has it's fans.
Tracey Morgan is my other sole reason to watch SNL, and nine times out of ten, I'm crushed by disappointment because they never give the guy enough air-time. So when I was writing the script, I wrote a small but funny bit for him. The meet-and-greet wasn't necessary, as I knew I wanted Tracey in the flick. We offered him the role, and thankfully, he accepted it.
Jason Biggs, too, jumped on - thus making this movie the unofficial sequel to American Pie (what with Sean and Shannon already in place). I told him all the pie-fucking scenes were reserved for Mewes in this movie, but he didn't seem to mind. I was delighted to learn that he's a Jersey boy too, meaning that even though we're shooting the lion's share of this opus in L.A., Jersey will, indeed, represent.
The Smith Family is also going to represent, as not only am I going to be in the picture, but so, too, are my kid and my wife. That's right - the woman I fuck and the product of our lust will be making their big screen debut in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jen has a pretty big part (which she's earned by taking my very little part nightly), and Harley pops up in a fairly prominent (and fitting) role herself. You can do these kinds of things when you're the boss.
So along with those cats mentioned, we've also got the returning players: George Carlin, Jason Lee, Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Mewes, me, and sundry others. There are a few more casting surprises I don't want to talk about until their deals are done, but there is one I'll spill on because it's just too cool not to share.
When I got back to L.A., I called David Duchovny, as instructed. He invited the wife and I and our baby to his house to chill with him and his wife ('Tea' something) and their adorable kid. Since he'd expressed interest in reading the script, I brought a copy with me to lay on him. Two days later, he called and said he laughed out loud reading it, which I took as a compliment, opting not to dig for further details as to whether he was laughing at it or with it. Duchov cleared up the mystery by saying he'd love to come aboard for a small role he fell in love with in the script.
I was floored. Needless to say, the wife doused her drawers.
So at press time, we're trying to make the schedule work in a way that'll allow the ever-busy David to come out and play. No promises here, because once he's finished with Evolution (the movie he's currently shooting), he has to go back to The X-Files. And as much as I'm salivating over having the brother in our picture, I'm not going to be the guy who fucks with Mulder showing back up on the Files. I like our movie a lot, but shit - I'm an X-fan first. Keep your fingers crossed that we can work it out.
The Last Article
Saturday Night with Duck-Shoot - 1.5.00