A few weeks ago, I was asked if I'd like to interview actor/producer/director and pop culture icon Jason Mewes to chat about Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, his latest project with long-time friend and collaborator, Kevin Smith. Uh, interview Jay? SNOOCHIE BOOCHIES! It was a no-brainer.
But when you interview Jason Mewes, I learned, the conversation wanders, well...all over the place. Which is, obviously, pretty awesome...but it makes for a long interview. So I've broken it down for you:
Now, for the actual movie we were supposed to talk about: Read on, homies, read on.
You kicked off your promoting for [Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!](movie:885121) by doing the live tour and the interactive audience Q&A. I feel like you and Kevin [Smith] are really the godfathers of that grassroots model - you do everything so unconventionally. Do you find you like that way better?
Yes, I like being part of the process the whole time, I feel like now movies are either half a million to a million or 100 million, with no in-between - everything’s changing and there’s the internet and all that. Kevin started changing with everything else, doing the tour and stuff like that - I’ve always enjoyed going out and doing appearances, going to comic book conventions, and doing podcasts and Q&A’s. There are people who’ve been following us for almost 20 years. It’s interesting the level of ages of people that come to see us - it’s all based on that as well as changing with the times. I definitely love doing stuff with Kevin moreso - if we could work and do podcasts and 3 films a year and pay our mortgages, I would stick to that.
You guys really have a hardcore fanbase that have followed you both since the original Clerks days. They're insanely loyal, right?
Yeah, man. It's awesome! At our last show there were 3 couples who had to be 60 - 70 years old - and they were sitting right up front at our podcast - and I talk about sex and crapping my pants and doing all sorts of stuff and I’m thinking, these people don’t know what they’re here for, they’re thinking it’s a regular improv comedy show - and they were cracking up, and they were there FOR US. They'd been fans forever.
As always with you guys, you kind of took the unconventional route by making Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! animated. Was that inspired by the Bluntman and Chronic comic books?
I was telling Kevin that I wanted to produce and direct something eventually, and he had a script that had been lying around forever that when he wrote it he wanted to do it live action but when he gave it to me, we wanted to finance it ourselves and do it with our own money what’s going to be the cheapest way and the easiest way to get it going sooner rather than later.
Again, trying to get the money to do a live action movie and casting and all that…. First I was going to do ten webisodes, 7 minutes long, and so I made the first 7 minutes of the beginning of the script, sent it to animator Steve Stark from Canada, and it didn’t cost a lot of money to do it animated, it was mainly only my dialogue in the beginning. So I showed it to Kevin, and talked about releasing one every month, every two months, on the web and iTunes or whatever it might be, and Kevin was like ‘no man, let’s stick with the script and do a full movie’, and there it went.
When we finish it, instead of trying to get it out in movie theaters, why don’t we go tour with it - show the movie, podcast it, do a Q&A like he did with Red State, maybe Kickstarter. So it all just kind of fell into place like that. We got all of these awesome people to chip in on it, we didn’t have a big budget, so no one got rich but we got Neil Gaiman and Eliza Dushku, Cheech and Chong, it turned out way better than I expected. They came in and not only did the job but elevated each character.
For those of you who don't know, Mewes' wife, Jordan Montsano, has produced quite a bit of Smith and Mewes' collaborations in the past few years. Working with your partner has to be a bit of a blessing and a curse, so I asked him about that, too.
Your wife does a lot of the producing for your guys now. Is it difficult working with Jordan?
[Laughing] I have to laugh because a lot of times I think it’s awesome, but sometimes she gets overwhelmed, because she’s running touring and budgets and talking to people and she’s trying to make sure as a wife and a partner that I get on these interviews and that I’m not sleeping in. [Laughs again] You know, I have an interview like this at 8 a.m. and it's 7:45 and I'm still sleeping and she's like, "GET UP!" But I feel like she would do that even if we didn’t work together. But we get to travel together and she gets to come with me because she’s part of it now and if she worked somewhere else, she’d have to stay home. It’s all fantastic, but anything where you spend a lot of time together it can get overwhelming at times. Still great, though. We're going to Italy together for a vacation after some business in London, so it's pretty cool.
If you want to be one of the cool kids and get your hands on Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!, you can stream or download it HERE.
And, hey, if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area on June 12th, you should come down to The Comedy Store and help Jay celebrate his 40th birthday at the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old comedy show. You can purchase tickets HERE.