Kevin Smith Discusses Southwest Airlines, Razor Dildos, George Carlin, Green Hornet and More
Kevin Smith on George Carlin: He only wanted to be an actor, but no one would give him a big role.
I had a really good time talking to writer/director/actor/unrivaled geek icon Kevin Smith for this week's music section. Such a good time, in fact, that I couldn't fit all of the worthwhile, oft-profane, tidbits from our 90-minute chat with the Clerks and Cop Out auteur into one measly 1,200-word story.
More on the Southwest ordeal:
"In the moment, all I could think about was, 'there are people on this plane who have seen me get bounced from this plane.' That means word's going to get out, so I might as well be the guy to put the word out."
"Just because I've got money, and a cool job, and stuff like that, doesn't mean that I've given up the right to complain when I get fucked over as a consumer. That airline literally pulled me out of my seat for no good reason."
"What bugged was people jumping up my ass afterwards, being like, 'What are you doing flying Southwest? You're right.' Hey man, how do you think you stay rich? By not wasting your money on airline tickets when you can by a cheaper airline to go to the same destination."
On working with George Carlin:
"I've made three movies that critics absolutely bent me over and shoved it in really fucking hard with a vibrating razor dildo. One was Mallrats, the second one was Jersey Girl, and then most recently Cop Out. On (Jersey Girl), in the moment I was just like, 'Man, what the fuck? Why did I do this? Everyone hates it, and I can't make sense of it.' Then George Carlin died and it made absolute sense to me. George Carlin only ever wanted to be an actor. That was his dream. The only thing George wanted to do is act, and nobody would ever really give him a big role in stuff. And George loved it. Every minute of it, every minute of the performance. He loved being there, he loved putting in the work."
"That dude, at one point, like came in, and was just like, 'You know, I give Greenie (Stephen Root's character) a lot of fucking shit in the movie. And I don't really understand why. So what I did was I came up with a back story for myself, and why I give Greenie so much shit, what an asshole Greenie has been to me in the past. I've memorized it all, I'm never going to refer to it in the movie, but I want you to know, Kevin, that that's what I'll be drawing on whenever I give Greenie some shit.' And I turned to Ben Affleck and was like 'Why can't you ever be that good?'"
On his Q&As:
"Generally, people get up and ask 'Batman or Superman' type questions. Very quickly, they learn it's not a simple Q&A. Every once in a while someone throws me a curveball. In South Carolina, somebody was like, 'OK, man, your wife gets in a car accident. They can only save her brain. The only way to save it is to stick it in the body of an 8-year-old girl. Do you fuck her?' You're like, 'Wow, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen never get questions like this. But I'm not Martin Scoresese--believe me, there are a list of people that will tell you that I'm not Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen."
On mellowing with age:
"I sat there last night, watching Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 with my kid. If you told 25-year-old me one day you're going to sit there and watch Alvin and the Chipmunks part 2, I would be like, 'you're out of your fucking mind. Fuck that corporate bullshit! Straight to hell with Alvin and his goddamn Chipmunks!' But there I was, sitting there, fucking like, 'That was fun.' It is what it is. Exactly what it needs to be. I'm not sitting there going, 'Well, I would have done it much better!' It's a fucking chipmunk movie. Cut it some goddamn slack. It doesn't want to be anything other than the chipmunks. It doesn't want an Academy Award, it doesn't want to be staring into the soul of the human condition."
On a chance of returning to Jay, Silent Bob and the View Askew-niverse:
"I would return to the Askew-niverse for Dante and Randal, for like a Clerks 3. I would do that in my mid 40s. Clerks I did in my early 20s, and Clerks 2 I did in my mid 30s. So if I was going to do Clerks 3, and I think I would like to eventually, I would do Clerks 3 when I was in mid-to-late 40s. Pop in on the boys every decade, see how they're progressing. I just don't know that I would bring Jay and Bob back for that, because Dante and Randal to me work very realistically -- even with the donkey shows -- and Jay and Bob, I don't know. I can't be age 45 wearing a backwards baseball cap."
On his unproduced Green Hornet script becoming a comic book, currently being released through Dynamite Entertainment:
"I get to see it laid out, and I sit there going, 'This movie would have worked!' I remember being so scared, being like, 'This movie's never going to work, I couldn't direct this, blah blah blah.' But I'm reading it on the page, going, 'This would have been a cool flick!' Now, you know, look, Seth (Rogen) and Michel Gondry, I'm sure, are going to do a way cooler flick than I ever would have done, so let's be happy they're doing the Green Hornet, but the comic book, I was very happy to see it would have translated. Or at least translated on the page, or maybe that's all it was ever meant to be, was a fucking comic book. But if it was, it was the most expensive comic book script ever written. I got paid to write it as a movie, and then years later they turned it into a comic book."
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