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Part 3: Mysterio & Kevin Smith... The Epic Interview Continues But Does Not Yet End!!!

Hey folks, Harry here... Oh my... Looks like ol Mysterio got Kevin to talk about... WHAT NEXT... and Kev has a ton of different things he'd like to do outside the New Jersey world... How will the Kevin Smith empire grow? Read and learn you little bitch! Click Here To Read the previous part of the interview!!!!

"With the end of the "ViewAskewniverse", what do you have in mind to develop (forthcoming)? Any particular characters, stories, messages you’ll want to get across?" – Gina Russo

KS: I’m certain I’ll address fatherhood fairly soon. How can I not? I’ve always talked about stuff that was kind of important to me or stuff that was going on in my life and now, over the course, that’s something else that going on in my life in a very big way and the one topic that I’ll probably have to address sooner or later. I just want to make sure that I never do a "baby" movie. You know like one of those movies where it’s apparent that the filmmaker believed their child was the most brilliant child that ever lived. I don’t want to make that movie.

Mysterio: So, no BABY GENUISES?

KS: No BABY GENUISES. No BABY’S DAY OUT, nothing where it’s like you look at the movie and you’re like, "god, this filmmaker really must just love his kid." That doesn’t necessarily make for an interesting or entertaining movie. But still just father hood is something that I could talk about without necessarily making a "baby" movie.

"What current comic book series do you like these days?" – Francis A. Rodriguez

KS: Peter Milligan and Mike Allred are doing a fantastic job with a book called, "X-FORCE". That’s my favorite at the moment.

"There was once talk of you and BATMAN BEYOND writer, Paul Dini working together. Any future projects that you both might collaborate on?"- Nick

KS: We collaborated on JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK in as much as he appears in the movie. But Paul’s a writer and I’m a writer so there’s no real need to collaborate with another writer. With that being said, if CLERKS the cartoon would have been ongoing, Paul would’ve been a writer; he would’ve written the scripts. We would have had him write the scripts. And you always tinker with the scripts as well and in that capacity I definitely would’ve worked with him.

I would love to see JINGLE BELLE be made into a movie. So I’m going to try and help him out there as much as I can. But people said the same thing about Garth Ennis, they guy who writes this little book, PREACHER. They would ask, "Why don’t you write something with Garth?" And I’m like, "Garth is great writer. He needs no assistance." You know he can write stuff by himself. He doesn’t need me.

You know I may not be a great writer, but I certainly don’t welcome the help. I’d much rather do it by myself, that way the movie or whatever I work on: the movie, the comic book - rises and falls on me. So I take the bullet - the credit or the bullet.

"Does View Askew still consider itself an "independent" film company like it was in the beginning, or does it consider itself one of those "big studio production companies?" – Deven

KS: I’d be hard-pressed to think of ourselves as a big studio company, but we haven’t been an independent film company since we weren’t a company. Like we made CLERKS and we called ourselves "View Askew" but we were not incorporated or anything like that. And that was the only movie we ever truly, independently made. MALLRATS had Universal money behind it, CHASING AMY had Miramax money behind it, DOGMA had Miramax money on it and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK has Dimension money behind it. I mean, I haven’t made, in the strictest definition of the term, I haven’t made an independent film since CLERKS.

Now if you broaden your definition of independent films to mean "any movie that could not be made through the studio system," then yeah, we’ve definitely made movies that I would consider to be independent. CHASING AMY was an independent movie. If we made that for a studio, those guys would’ve wound up together by the end of the flick. DOGMA was a movie that could never be made through a studio system and as was proven later on almost didn’t work, although it did get made with studio money, but the studio didn’t want it. JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK couldn’t be made through a studio system unless that studio was Miramax/Dimension. There’s so much Miramax/Dimension family in it.

There’s so many references to movies we’ve done with them. We take MAJOR potshots at Miramax in the movie and Miramax takes it on the chin, you know, they never said "remove it." If we had made that movie elsewhere we probably couldn’t take the potshots at Miramax because the lawyers wouldn’t let us and no other studio would let us take potshots at them. You think Universal would’ve let us make the jokes at their expense that we make with Miramax’s expense in this movie? Heavens no. The studios are very protective of their image. Miramax thought it was funny, so they didn’t care.

"Any advice to "would be" filmmakers? Should they pack up and move to L.A.? Where should they start? – Jason Jancosek

KS: Start at home. That’s what makes for an interesting filmmaker. If you’re talking about trying indie film, which is what I imagine you’re talking about, you want to do it where you are because that’s the interesting voice. You know, nobody has your voice and very few people probably know about your little corner of the world. And regional cinema is always very interesting. It’s nice to see what’s going on in another part of the country that people haven’t really thought about. So I’d say don’t venture beyond home, you have it right there. Unless you want to make a movie like STAR WARS, in which case, yeah, get out and get your ass to Hollywood.

"It’s been about a decade from CLERKS and with the View Askewniverse (with it’s multitude of characters, stories and histories) has exploded from that wee flick. However, you always seem to be extremely self-deprecating about your work (or as you say in the credits – "your little stories"). What do you actually think about your mark in filmmaking, and how do you think your films are going to be looked at in fifteen or twenty years?" – Adam Smith

KS: I don’t how they’ll be viewed in fifteen to twenty years; the nice thing is that CLERKS still holds up and people still regard it fairly well. Some of the movies will be remembered fondly, some not as much. How do I feel about it? Look what I got to do for a living for the last seven years. I mean, what a great way to make a living! You get paid to pretend and tell your stories and then have somebody give a shit.

Not a day goes by where I don’t feel fuckin’ slovenly grateful. I’m happy with what we’ve done. You know there are some things, given the opportunity, I could go back and fix, but probably wouldn’t. At the end of the day, the movie is kind of a scrapbook of what we were doing at that point in our lives. I’m content to let them stay as such because they were so effective.

Whereas I’d pop in one of our movies, and I rarely do that, I rarely watch our movies once they’re finished. I can’t tell you the last time I saw MALLRATS or the last time I saw DOGMA. You know, we got this fat DOGMA DVD and I didn’t even watch it. I looked at the cut stuff and some of the shit, but it’s tough to sit through a movie that you’ve spent a year or two years with. So I tend not to go back and watch too much. But if I do, I remember the day that scene was shot, what was going on. They’re very much… the movies are very much like scrapbooks of particular moments in my life and they still function as such.

I know there are people that really dig the movies. Will they dig them in ten years? I don’t know maybe they’ll grow out of them maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll always mean something to them. The John Hughes movies still mean something to me. I don’t watch them all the time but I can still pop them in and they put a smile on my face. They still hold up. So hopefully our movies will viewed in much the same way.

In ten years people will look at them and go, "Yeah, I remember that time in my life." There will always be some people that are like, "This is a modern classic of cinema." A very small group, but they exist. There will always be people who’ll like go, "Your movies suck and there not going to mean anything to anyone in ten to fifteen years from now," usually followed up by, "PTA is a much more brilliant filmmaker than you." God knows why they feel they need to put us against each other.

And then they’ll be people that are like, "Yeah, they were good movies. I liked them a lot," and who’ll never stop liking them and then they’ll be people where they mean a great deal to them on a personal level. They don’t necessarily think of them as fuckin’ classics of modern cinema, but I can’t tell you how many people e-mail me, post on the board or tell me in person, that like "CHASING AMY was the first date for me and my wife," or "me and my husband." To a lesser degree I hear that about CLERKS as well, but it’s usually CHASING AMY. So those movies will always mean something to those people, something very personal, more so than I intended perhaps.

So, you know, like many other movies, they’ll always have their fans I think. I mean the passion for them will vary as the years go by and maybe they’ll be rediscovered by future generations down the line or those people will look back and go like, "Holy shit is that what life was like in the mid-late ‘90’s?" Or maybe they’ll be like the "Savage" Steve Holland movies, where people are like, "Yeah, I think I remember that movie. Isn’t that the one where the dude is John Cusack? Before he was Lloyd Dobbler?" They kind of vaguely remember them, if at all and then eventually they’ll probably be forgotten, but that’s hopefully while the universe is on a verge of the cataclysm. Everything must end anyway. That’d be nice.

"What the fucks you beef with P.T.?" – Mr. Rio

KS: (laughing) I got no beef with P.T.! I mean it’s so nice to be asked that question in a forum that you can actually address it. I’m a huge fan of BOOGIE NIGHTS – I’ve bought every version of BOOGIE NIGHTS that exists: on laserdisc, on DVD - both versions on DVD. I’m a big BOOGIE NIGHTS fan, just wasn’t much of a MAGNOLIA fan. And you know that’ll probably change. Because that movie doesn’t bore me to tears every frame of it.

Like I think there’s wonderful stuff in it – the Tom Cruise stuff is really great, I could watch that over and over again. Not so much the "respect the cock" stuff, but when he sits down for the interview, like that stuff is really kind of powerful. It’s just what I felt when I saw it was that there was a lot of flab on that movie. And the only thing that really bugged me about it was that he’d spent 40 million dollars telling that story when, really if you’re going to tell a story that personal, I think you should be a bit more frugal because that’s 40 million dollars of somebody’s money that they ain’t seeing back and I just felt like he could have been a bit more responsible with his budget. Like would I have made CHASING AMY for 40 million dollars? Fuck no, not in a million years. I was happy I made it for 250,000 grand, because at the end of the day, I don’t know that MAGNOLIA grossed much more than CHASING AMY.

Mysterio: But are you also considering all the actors that he had involved in the film?

KS: But all those actors love him to death. Like all the actors in P.T.’s movies, they’d probably work with him for free…

Mysterio: …BUT, say if you had that 40 million dollars and you could give Ben Affleck 10 million for his performance wouldn’t you like to take that money regardless and…

KS: Share the wealth?

Mysterio: Yeah.

KS: Number one, Affleck doesn’t need me to share the wealth with him; in fact it’s vice-versa. Number two, even if somebody was like, "Here’s 40 million. Go make a real personal movie," wouldn’t do it. I’d be like, "Ya know what? I’ll make you a personal movie, but I’ll do it for a lot less than that," because I don’t want to be on the chopping block for a movie that doesn’t make it’s money back. So that’s my key beef with that movie. I also think the movie plays slow in places, some of it’s really awkward, but ya know what? It’s a very personal movie so it’s allowed to be awkward.

I absolutely believe that like one day in the future, 20 years from now, I’ll revisit that movie and not feel nearly as bitter about it as I did when I posted those comments. It was kind of a mistake on my behalf, but it’s not like I take it back or like I don’t feel the way that I did when I wrote it. But it was kind of mistake to say the things that I said in a public forum. Who knew that anyone would give a shit, but I guess it was a slow news day and somebody did. But you know I certainly wasn’t like, "I wish testicular cancer on the guy." Hell no. I mean, I’m a big fan of BOOGIE NIGHTS and look forward to seeing the next one. Sounds real interesting. Just wasn’t really on-board with MAGNOLIA for the reasons that I’ve listed.

And I ran into him! While I was getting my physical for this movie, he was getting his physical for the movie he’s doing with Adam Sandler. I was sitting in the lobby of the doctor’s office, looking down filling out paperwork and I heard somebody say, "Kevin?" and I looked up, and it was him! I said, "Hey man, how are you?" And he said, "Real good." I said, "So what’cha here for?" And he said, "I’m getting my physical." And I asked him, "How’s the new movie? Do you start soon?" And he said, "Yeah, pretty soon." And I was like, "Excellent, well good seeing you."

Not a fuckin’ unkind word exchanged between us. And you know it was a really classy move on his behalf. Had the roles been reverse and he had like attacked DOGMA, and I ran into him at the doctor’s office, I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have been like, "Say it now motherfucker!" - you know ‘cause I’m that kind of asshole, but I thought it was very classy that he was just like, "Hey, what’s up?" I don’t know? Hopefully he understood that I don’t have or hold anything against him personally, just wasn’t a fan of the movie. And like I said, I regret fuckin’ saying that as publicly as I did just because I’m sure it caused him duress on some level and I certainly don’t want to cause duress to somebody who’s body of work I’m largely there for. So, no I got no beef with fuckin’ P.T., and P.T. has no beef with me.

"And also, did you know that on Mysterio’s ’99 Top Ten list, he ranked MAGNOLIA number 2 and DOGMA number 5 on his list of the years ten best. What the fuck’s up with that?"- Mr. Rio

KS: (Laughing) I don’t know. I’m happy to be on any fuckin’ list. I don’t care what the number is. I mean (Entertainment Weekly’s) Owen Gliberman made us number ten on his list of top ten movies for that year and I that was fine - at least we made a list. I doesn’t even matter if we were on a list - that we were saw at all is what it really comes down too. And if like "Mysterio"…

[Kev looks up at me and just can’t finish calling me "Mysterio"to my face in addressing the question, and we both break interview; just erupting in uncontrollable laughter for a moment, before collecting ourselves and continuing on.]

…liked MAGNOLIA more it’s still fuckin’ fine. Maybe it speaks to him on a level that it doesn’t speak to me. So that’s fine and you know you got other people out there that fuckin’ like DOGMA more than MAGNOLIA. It’s such a crapshoot, so fuckin’ subjective, and I could never hold anybody accountable for tha. Like what am I supposed to do? Shake you from across the desk and be like, "HOW DARE YOU!" If that movie spoke to you more than DOGMA that’s wonderful, but DOGMA apparently spoke to you as well, so it’s all good.

And finally Kevin, "What’s your ultimate wish for this film?" – AussieGirl

KS: You know I hope it does really, really well. Hope people think it’s funny. I mean, so far so good. Ultimately that’s about it. I mean is going to enlighten anybody? No, it’s not really a movie that’s made to enlighten people; it doesn’t even really try. Basically it’s just to get people laughing; a movie that hopefully you’ll go in, kick back, and really, really enjoy yourself.

See ya in theatres, August 22nd!

- "Mysterio"

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