On the October 17, 2004 edition of Culture Dogs Kevin O'Toole spoke with indie filmmaker Kevin Smith (aka Silent Bob) a week before he appeared on the campus of University of Hartford for one of his celebrated Question and Answer gigs. They discussed movies, success, teen dramas and most of all… Renaissance Festivals. [Worry thee not, friends. I will still smite them! – ed.] So here it is, the moment you've been waiting for… more exciting than the Deniro/Pacino coffeehouse scene in Heat… the meeting of the two Kevins!
O'TOOLE - Well, back here on Culture Dogs, Sam had to be away for this segment - so I'm Kevin O'toole of course, and with me is another Kevin who just happens to be a little bit more famous… and therefore… y'know… I'll let him talk. His last name is Smith. And he's coming to University of Hartford this Friday. Here you are. How you doing this morning?
SMITH - I'm well, man. That was the single worst intro I've ever heard in my life.
O'TOOLE - I strive.
SMITH - That was terrible, Kevin.
O'TOOLE - I strive for awful intros.
SMITH - Where'd the other guy go?
O'TOOLE - The other guy, unfortunately… I have to fess up…
SMITH - He's not a fan.
O'TOOLE - No, he is a fan. He is like…
SMITH - “I'm not talking to that guy.”
O'TOOLE - He is the biggest Mallrats fan
SMITH - Oh is he?
O'TOOLE - Certainly. Mallrats. Dogma. And I will say we both had issues with Chasing Amy, but that's beside the point. I myself was the one who was able to get out to see Jersey Girl. And loved it.
SMITH - Mmm
O'TOOLE - It was fun, it was funny, and …
SMITH - So where is he right now?
O'TOOLE - He… is at a Renfest.
SMITH - NO!
O'TOOLE - Yes.
SMITH - Oh, heavens… Really? A Renfest?
O'TOOLE - He's in leather mug land, unfortunately.
SMITH - (Whistles)
O'TOOLE - Yeah, (laughs) and you thought…
SMITH - Do you think that's a detail he wants you letting out?
O'TOOLE - (Laughs)
SMITH - That's one of those things people try to keep under wraps. You tell your closest – your nearest and dearest, but don't let your audience know because now until the end of time people will call in and be like “Yo Renfest, what up?”
O'TOOLE - “What ho!”
SMITH - (Laughs) “Did you catch any dragon's tail this weekend, sir?”
O'TOOLE - (Laughs) Yes, well he doesn't have any control over the editing process you see.
SMITH - Right on.
O'TOOLE - That's me. I'm like that guy there. So anyways, you're coming down to Hartford at the end of the week.
SMITH - Comin' to Hatfud.
O'TOOLE - Yeah, that's actually one detail about going back as far as… I'm thinking the Hartford Whalers stuff.
SMITH - “Hartford, the Whale? They beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime.” I believe the line is [from Mallrats].
O'TOOLE - Hmm. And was that… I'm forgetting if that actually came out of you being a fan or if it was Jason Lee, or if it was both of you…
SMITH - That was a last minute addition… right before we shot that scene. You know, I was a huge EA Sports NHL 93-94 fan and played it on the original Sega system all the time. And right before we shot that scene I called Walter Flanagan, who's a huge hockey fan, and said, “Dude, the two worst possible teams that could play one another on EA.” And he was just like “Hartford, and Vancouver. The Whalers and the Canucks.” And he was like “If you're going to reference the Whalers though, make sure you call them ‘The Whale'.” And I was like “Really?” And he said “Oh, God yes.” So there it was.
O'TOOLE - But we had such a styling logo, and they're only now getting around to tearing down their former home, so you know… it's really popular around here.
SMITH - Oh yeah. They're gone now, correct?
O'TOOLE - Correct. They actually went down (and) became the Carolina Hurricanes.
SMITH - Those dudes were like, “We gotta get as far away from that ‘Whale' stuff as possible.”
O'TOOLE - Yeah, hurricanes are better, yeah. Especially this season, whooo!
SMITH - Truly.
O'TOOLE - So, you're up in Toronto this weekend…
SMITH - I am. I'm up in Toronto for something even slightly geekier than the dude's Renfest thing. I'm gonna guest star on Degrassi the Next Generation.
O'TOOLE - Oh, okay.
SMITH - I'm a huuuge fan of the old show, and then I've become a huge fan of the new show and they asked me if wanted to come up to do a cameo and I said “Cameo? I want three episodes.” So I get to play myself in a three episode arc. We start shooting tomorrow.
O'TOOLE - Yeah, who are you playing?
SMITH - I play myself.
O'TOOLE - Just playing yourself.
SMITH - I play filmmaker Kevin Smith, who comes to Toronto to shoot a movie. To shoot ‘Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh'. And we wind up naturally using the school, ‘cause it's over the summertime. It's good stuff, good stuff…
O'TOOLE - I guess the other question to ask there of course [is] Jason Mewes… did he get to hook up?
SMITH - Yeah, Mewes won't be in - I'm up here this week shooting the first of the three episodes, and then when I come back in November Mewes comes back and he's in those other two as well.
O'TOOLE - Wow. Okay, and I understand that's right on your front burner there in terms of priority right now. You're going for ‘Passion of the Clerks,' is that truthful?
SMITH - Yeah, we start shooting ‘Passion of the Clerks' in January.
O'TOOLE - Are you going to be shooting in New Jersey again?
SMITH - Yeah. Jersey, and then I don't know if we'll be able to shoot at the Quik Stop all the time. You know, it was easy when we were younger and when we weren't even on the radar, ‘cause nobody knew we existed. You could get away with shooting a movie…we shot at night. You can get away with shooting a movie in a real location. But now, we would need to take it over for at least a month, month and a half. And the Toppers (the people who own the place) probably aren't that interested in cutting off the locals…the community for a month and a half, so we're still working that issue out. Some of it will be shot there, and some of it we'll have to shoot elsewhere.
O'TOOLE - You're not going to build your own Quik Stop somewhere and…?
SMITH - I mean, we may have to build pieces of our own Quik Stop, which is the odd thing. But that's when you become a victim of your own success, And I certainly don't mean that in an egotistical way, but like by virtue of the fact that Clerks got picked up and people saw the movie and we've made movies since then, it's just not as easy to go back and make a sequel to that movie.
O'TOOLE - There's a fandom following around the various landmarks…SMITH - There's definitely that, and it's also just like you can't ask everybody “Okay, you gotta be able to shoot this movie from eleven o'clock at night to six in the morning.” Most people would be like “You're out of your mind!”