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Interview: Kevin Smith

By BARRY THOMPSON  |  November 29, 2010

So few people get the chance, and I’ve gotten so many fucking chances. I’d like to think that I’ve kind of kept myself interesting for years, but as much as I’ve enjoyed it, you also want to see other people enjoy it, too. Like, ‘You do it now. I’ve done it a bunch of times.’ I’m winding down on the films. Red State is done. Next step is the hockey movie, Hit Somebody, and then I’m done. I have really nothing left to say. There’s possibly a Clerks 3 if people badger me about it, or if I have something to say in my late 40’s about being in my late 40’s, since that’s what the other two are about. Clerks is about mid-to-late 20’s thinkin’. Clerks II is about mid-to-late 30’s thinking. If I have something to say again in my mid-to-late 40’s, I’ll think of Dante and Randal again, not Jay and Silent Bob. I think we’d be too old for that by that point. Shy of that, I don’t have any more movies that I want to make. I’ve learned over the course of nearly 20 years, the films I loved from my body of work… Granted, I’m the biggest Kevin Smith fan on the planet, so I like all of them….but of my favorite Kevin Smith movies, they’re always the ones made with pure fucking real nuts and a ‘Fuck you’ attitude of, ‘We can do this. Who said we couldn’t do it?’ That was Clerks. That was Chasing Amy. That was Dogma. Then it got very easy to make movies. Then it got hard again. Red State, this movie I was trying to make for four years…Yeah, we came to it eventually. You’ve got to tickle me first, dude, you can’t go right for fuckin’ Red State. That’s like trying to fuck my ass. We’ve got to kiss first. Now we’re at Red State.

(Nervous chuckle)
Red State was a flick I tried to get made for four years. Nobody wanted to make it. They’re like, ‘It’s so uncommercial. It’s not funny.’ And I knew representatives who’d been like, for years, ‘Anytime you step away from the Weinsteins, I can’t get your shit financed in a heartbeat, you could go out and sell it, you’d make far more than you’d make working for the Weinsteins.’ Harvey and Bob have said ‘Yes’ to everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Why would I ever walk away from that? ‘Oh, because there’s more money.’ There’s always that promise of more money out there ‘n shit, but those representatives think that’s what your about. Knowing my track record, obviously, I ain’t about the fucking money. I got paid less than a million dollars to direct Cop Out. Everyone’s all like, ‘Oh he did it for money.’ I literally gave up half my salary, because I knew it was a very important movie for me to do. Basically, it was a stepping stone in terms of, ‘I can train to do what I need to do for Red State here, on a studio dime, and it’s a dream job because I get to work with Bruce Willis. I’ve always loved Bruce Willis. I get to work with Tracy Morgan, work in New York, work with a brand new fucking crew, start from scratch, and most importantly, get inside and see what they do in terms of marketing. That was, for me, the most important thing, and lesson incredibly well learned. It was such valuably spent time. I know there were some people, particularly critics who said, ‘The time I spent watching it wasn’t valuable.’ I don’t know what to say to that anymore. They didn’t pay for it, so I say, ‘Hey man, you get what you pay for.’ For the people who did see it, they seemed to dig it, but we won’t go there again. I’m sorry, I sound like a broken record.

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