In our continuing coverage of the upcoming film “Clerks II,” the next stop on the press junket was actor Jason Mewes who plays Jay, part of the infamous duo Jay and Silent Bob, played by Kevin Smith. Mewes was relaxed and affable, flirtatious with the female press in the room and just excited to be talking about the new film.
|Mewes, left, with Kevin Smith, as Jay & Silent Bob, respectively.|
I want to smoke. Is anyone bothered by smoke?
[one guy answers] No!
Be honest, because I won’t smoke if it doesn’t bother you. [asks everyone in the room individually] Does it bother you? If it’s going to bother you, I’d rather not.
You should use chapstick or something.
Smoke a chapstick? [laughs] It’s going to bother you, isn’t it?
No, I’m totally fine.
Allright. [lights up]
I need something for the …
There’s some dirty plates over there. [Someone brings Mewes a plate]
You’re fired. [laughs] [Jason looks at the recording equipment in front of him] Someone had an iPod in the last room and was recording the interview with it. I didn’t know they could do that.
They were just showing off.
They were! They were like, “Check out my shit!” [laughs]
Jason, one thing I’ve been telling Kevin about you all these years is that I’d call you the Marlon Brando of stoner comedy. There’s a very real sincerity, intensity, even anger in your work, which is part of what makes you so good and why it’s really funny. The question is, has anyone ever talked to you about doing something non-comedic?
I’ve done a couple of independent movies, but they’re sort of … I just did a movie with Danny Trejo called “Jack’s Law.” It’s an independent movie. I’ve done five or six independent movies since “Clerks,” but that was the one I’d say was the farthest from being comedic because it was a tattoo artist in prison. There’s a little bit of comedy in it – it wasn’t real serious – but no, no one’s really offered me something like say Hannibal Lecter. No one has approached me with any of that stuff. I want to play Buffalo Bill or someone.
Seriously? Buffalo Bill?
I’m not saying that guy! [laughs] But I’d like to play someone that’s a little disturbed. Maybe a Ted Bundy. Something like that is what I’d like to do. Not so much the romantic comedies — I don’t think I’d ever want to do that cheesey, love stuff – but like watching them, but I wouldn’t want to do it.
You mentioned two rather extreme characters to portray as an actor. Did you choose those characters because you want to play against type since you’ve been playing Jay for so long, or is it the challenge you’re looking for?
A bit the challenge and I’d like, yeah, I don’t know, maybe I want to be that guy, but I don’t want to get arrested. [laughs] Maybe deep down I wanna … yeah. [laughs]
Jason, did you have any apprehension about doing a sequel?
Not at all. I didn’t really think about it. People keep asking me that. My thinking is we’re doing another movie and it’ll be fun. I love working with Kevin and everyone we work with. It’s a lot of fun for me. People have said, “Why would you do that? It won’t live up to the first!” But I don’t really think much about that shit. For Kevin, I do. I don’t want people to bash it and say, “It didn’t live up to the first” and all that shit because I know it would hurt his feelings and that’s what I think about more. For me, I’m like, “Let’s do ‘Clerks’ 3 and 4 and ‘Dogma’ 7.” [laughs] I love working with Kevin and I like playing different characters. Maybe he’ll [direct] a Ted Bundy movie or something similar to that and he can write me a character like that. I really enjoy working with Kevin.
You and Kevin are pretty close off camera as you are on camera, right?
Yes, we are lovers! [laughs] He’s tea bagged me about three times today! [laughs] To get a little sappy for a second, he’s the most important person in my life, for sure. I care about him a lot and he’s really been there for me. Yeah, we’re really close. We have a friendship more like brothers.
Was there much improv with you two?
Kevin let’s me improv. When we’re shooting, I’ll usually do what he wrote first, then the next take I may add something and he’ll either like it or not. There is some. We play around when we’re shooting. He and I will play with the dialogue a bit.
Is Jay based on somebody? How much of you are in there? Are you this wild, open sexual person?
I think I was more than when I was younger. I’m still a little bit like that, but now I know a little bit of boundaries. Sometimes, not always. [laughs] I never dealt drugs. Back when I was younger I smoked a lot of weed and I definitely was obnoxious, running around. A lot of that stuff where I’m running around saying “I’ll fuck anything that moves” or say “Snootch” is stuff I said. I’ll yell stuff to girls, but not nearly as much. Now I’m old enough to go to jail, so I try to stay away from the harassment. I feel people out now and see if they have a sense of humor first. Back then, though, I’d just say it to anyone and some dude would be like, “Why are you pulling your balls out?” [laughs] Now I know who I can pull my balls out in front of and they’ll laugh. [laughs] So, there’s sort of the difference! [laughs]
You hit the comic convention circuit quite a bit. Any weird comic-con experiences, because those can be pretty crazy places.
Nah, there’s always something weird, but nothing that stands out. I enjoy them, although after a couple of days I’m like … well, like when I’m going to the bathroom and some dude is peeing next to me he’s all like, “Hey man, nice to meet you man!” [laughs] “I’m sorry man, this ain’t the time for that!” [laughs] So, after a couple of days of that I’m done. I like going, though, because I like comics and I get to meet interesting people. Chicago is coming up soon and that’s one of my favorites. But I can’t think of anything that’s really weird that happened.
You said you read comics. What are you reading right now?
I haven’t really read in about five or six months.
What do you generally read?
I like “Justice League.” “JLA” I like. Spider-Man and Batman. Deadpool. I got behind a little bit.
Have you read Rosario’s new comic yet?
No. Is she naked? [laughs]
I don’t know!
Would you ever consider doing stand up?
No, I don’t think I’d be good at it.
What about like sketch comedy like “Mad TV?”
I wouldn’t mind doing that.
You have an agent that sends you out for parts, right?
Yeah, he does, but I don’t go out that much. I’m horrible at auditioning, so I don’t really want to go out as much as other people do. Only things my agent thinks I’ll really like. I keep telling her I’d like to do a TV show like “24” or “Smallville” or something like that. But I don’t go out on a lot of auditions.
How often do you …
I really suck at it … how often do I have sex? Is that what you were going to ask? [laughs] I’ll tell you later. [laughs]
No, what I was going to ask is with your hair short, how often do people recognize you?
Not much at all anymore.
Tell us about your tattoos.
They all have little meanings. Whenever I go out of state I usually get stuff. This [pointing to a large “B,” Boston Red Sox logo on his upper left shoulder] I lost a bet to Affleck. I’m a Yankees fan and I lost a bet. I have comics stuff, Justice League, Superman, a bunch of stuff. [lifts his shirt to show his tattoos and a large, metal Superman belt buckle can be seen] I have Kevin’s daughters name down my spine. This [pointing to a tattoo] is this girl Amy that I got. She’s a friend and when my Mom passed away she was there for me.
What was the bet?
Last year the last three games I said the Yankees would win at least two out of three. He said no, he said Boston would win all three. So he said if Boston wins two out of three, I get the “B.” If the Yankees won two out of three he had a brand new Suzuki GSXR motorcycle that I really wanted. The sweet thing was for Christmas that year he wound up giving the motorcycle as a present. So, in the end I got the motorcycle and I love it.
As a Yankees fan, would you ever laser off that B?
Nah, I’d cover it before I laser it off. I’m going to do something like this [shows a pattern on his other shoulder] on the other shoulder, maybe around the B, maybe blend it in a bit. Not try to cover it because if you do that it’ll just be a big black spot. Maybe incorporate it into some kind of business.
What do you think of [Ben] being a family man and living in Boston? Do you guys miss him? Are you still in touch?
Yeah, we’re in touch. I was just with him. He’s shooting a movie out there. Who said he’s going to live in Boston permanently?
Well, they’ve been out there for the summer and we’re hearing reports they may stay.
Really, from who?
We can’t reveal our sources!
Who would you know? [laughs] That’s all dog shit! [laughs]
Is it fun to see him as a Dad?
Sure, it’s fun to see him or anyone as a Dad. Are you a mom?
If you were I’d be excited to see you! [Laughs]
Sure, but it changes the relationship. You have to watch your language more if you’re around the kid.
Nah, she’s just a kid. She can’t hear anything. [laughs] She’s at that age where all she does is sleep, poop and eat. I’m happy for him.
[publicist walks in, doesn’t say anything. Member of the press speaks up] One more?
Publicist: [Jason stares at publicist] Jason gives me this look every time. [laughs]
Press: Jason, what do you do when you have a night off?
I have a lot of nights off. I don’t really do much. I sit home and play video games and hang out with my boys. Right now I just moved into a house with my buddy on [name of street] … what the, I’m telling you guys where I live and shit! [laughs]
Publicist: Thanks, guys! [laughs]
Nah, I’ve just been moving a lot [lately] and it’s been fun setting it up. It’s been amazing.
Next: Rosario Dawson!
Previously: Brian O’Halloran & Jeff Anderson
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