Nineteen years ago, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith introduced us to the world of Jay and Silent Bob in the indie favorite Clerks. It isn’t often that a high-school friendship thrives past graduation and opens the doors to a successful film, television and podcast career, but Mewes’ relationship with Smith did just that.
The newest chapter in the View Askewniverse is Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, which was written by Smith, produced by Mewes and animated by Steve Stark. Mewes and Smith are now on a national tour, hosting screenings for fans that include the filmmaker’s trademark Q&A sessions.
Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie finds the duo deciding how to spend spoils from a recent lottery win from a ticket purchased at -- where else? -- Quick Stop. The best course of action, naturally, is to parlay the money into a superhero career. Becoming a hero is easy enough when you’ve got the cash (just ask Bruce Wayne), but the pair soon realizes that it’s not all secret lairs and costumes. Villains must be fought, dick jokes must be made and, in the end, someone has to save the world. Why not Jay and Silent Bob?
Spinoff Online sat down with Mewes to discuss his new role as a producer, the cool happenings of the movie tour, and what it’s like playing the classic stoner while Mewes himself is celebrating over three years of sobriety.
Spinoff Online: Did producing change the film making experience for you? Did it change the way you approached acting?
Jason Mewes: While I was doing the voiceover for the actual movie, I got to schedule my own time for it and got to run with it, which I liked. I knew what was going on upfront. It’s been nice starting from the beginning of the creative process and seeing that through- changing the sound mix, going back and forth with Kevin doing the re-writes and going in and rearranging voice overs. I definitely like producing and being a part of the process from start to finish.
I’d love to do a Part 2 if everything pans out. It’s set up for a second movie and I hope to produce it. As far as acting goes, it made it a little easier being able to schedule my own time and run with it all by myself.
Do you have any plans to produce future projects?
Sort of. I’ve shot two episodes of a web series that I’m producing with two of my buddies called Vigilante Diaries. We received money to shoot the first two episodes and hopefully the trailer will be up soon. I really enjoy producing, and this series isn’t too expensive so it’s fun.
What’s it about?
It’s about a vigilante who goes around and takes crimefighting into his own hands. I play a video blogger who gets him on tape and uses it to blackmail him to allow me on ride-alongs with him. It’s like the first-person shooter video blog of a vigilante. I think that gamers will really like it, like Call of Duty and Gears of War fans.
Aside from producing, are there particular roles or projects you could see yourself doing?
I did a one-day part on a horror movie, and I’d love to do something more along those lines. You know the show The Shield? I’d love to do something like that, too. Maybe play that kind of badass cop, or a Hannibal Lector type, or a Patrick Bateman character -- someone who is charming and smooth but also really mental.
What has been the best part of Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie tour this far?
One of the best parts is sitting in the audience and seeing the reactions of the audience members. When we were putting the movie together, it was done piece by piece and we didn’t sit down and watch it all at once, so seeing the reactions is really rewarding.
It’s also been a blast to be on the tour bus with Kevin as we go from state to state. I love being there. We sit around and play Xbox, we hang out and talk. It’s just a really fun time.
What are you guys playing?
Injustice: Gods Among Us, we play some hockey, and I’m playing Call of Duty.
Do you kick Kevin’s ass, or does he kick yours?
We go back and forth with the hockey, but he beats me two out of three games, usually. I’m beating him in Injustice: Gods Among Us. I’m better in the fighting games than he is, but that’s just because I play more.
At this point you’ve got well over a thousand days of sobriety, which is such a huge accomplishment. What has it been like being sober while playing, and being so closely connected to, Jay, who is a well-known stoner?
It’s not a big deal to me. The marijuana is definitely a mind-altering drug and being in a drug rehabilitation program that I’m really sticking to this time means not doing any drugs I could abuse. I’m not against drugs at all, especially marijuana. I feel like it should be legalized. I’ve seen proof of the medicinal use of it. It was the only thing that could help my mom and another friend of mine who passed away when they were really sick. The only thing that could help them eat and keep food down was marijuana. I’ve seen it help people.
There are tons of people out there who smoke and can still get work done. I won’t call them slackers. They are just letting off steam after a long day of work, like how some people like a glass of wine. Booze and weed don’t bother me. In our movies it’s suggested that the characters, Jay and Silent Bob, are smoking weed but you don’t actually see them doing it. I don’t feel like they promote it as much. You don’t see them sitting around getting baked.
Do you feel like playing Jay has made it easy for the industry to typecast you into those “loveable stoner” roles?
After we did the first three or four movies I started going on auditions for other projects. People kept asking me to do that slapstick funny stoner guy, and those were the roles I was being offered, but I wanted to try new things.
Now I’ve done a ton of other movies. I played a monster in The Last Godfather, I played a prisoner, just a bunch of different roles. I’ve gotten offers to do lots of different stuff and not just the stereotype.
I love the character Jay. Kevin and I still do the podcast Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. We did this animated movie, which is left open for a sequel. I’ll still be on tour with the cartoon later this year, and then we might be going into Clerks III. Who knows?
I definitely love Jay. He’s part of me; Kevin wrote the character back around 1991-1992 and based him off of who I was when I was 15 years old and first met Kevin. I spoke my mind, I was obnoxious and hyper. I still am, but I’m older now and I can’t get away with the stuff I used to. I have a better sense of boundaries.
Have you had any backlash from the fans about your sobriety, or have they been supportive?
They have been really supportive. With the movie and the podcast, a big thing has been supporting me getting sober. That’s the whole point of Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. I haven’t heard anything bad from anyone at all. Everyone is great about me being sober. It’s because I’ve been sober that I’ve been able to do more movies and give fans what they want.
Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is currently touring. For dates and tickets, visit the official website.