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    Jason Mewes has been playing “Jay” the loud, profane half of the comedy duo Jay & Silent Bob since the characters burst off the screen and into the hearts of gen-x-ers over twenty years ago with premier of their independent classic “Clerks.”  And when writer-director Kevin “Silent Bob” Smith followed it up with “Mallrats” in 1995 we were sold when we saw that he brought Jay and Bob with him.  The characters have consequently been a through line that have tied a story that has been told through movies, television, and even comic books.

    This weekend at Fandom Fest, at the Kentucky International Convention Center, they will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of “Mallrats” with a screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Mewes and Smith for the recording of their podcast “Jay & Silent Bob Get Old.”  Mewes and other cast members of the film will be doing another “Mallrats” panel on Sunday afternoon.  Mewes took some time to chat with about his life, movies, and growing older.  Did you all know those movies were going to be so loved when you were making them?
    JM:  No definitely not.  Kevin worked at the store and I used to help him on Sundays – I would go in with him at like 5 in the morning and help him put the Sunday newspapers together.  I was roofing, I’d work all day, he’d work all day – he’d close the store at like 10, and then we’d shoot.  We did that for a few weeks and then I just went back to work, I had no idea what he and Mosier were doing (Scott Mosier, producer of “Clerks”). 
    Now days it’s so different, when people say they’re making a movie, with the internet and everything you can get it out there, and they actually mean they’re making a movie.  In those days it was very different, all you could do was get into a film festival and hope it gets to make it into theaters.  But I didn’t even know that much; I just thought:  “Hey, me and my friend Kevin just made a cool movie.  Now it’s back to roofing.”
    We watched it for the first time in the video store, all of us that were in it and the people that helped, we just crowded around a tiny monitor before he left for Sundance – and I thought that was going to be it, that one night with our friends watching our movie.
    When Kevin came back from the festival and was like:  “Miramax bought it and it’s going to be in theaters.”  I thought it was cool, but it wasn’t until we did “Mallrats” that I was able to quit my job and realize that this was something I could actually do.  You personally produced “Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie,” it was sort of your baby, do you have any plans to make another one?
    JM:  Definitely.  I wanted to do another after the first one because we had so much fun, and I was like, “Kevin will your write another script?  And I’ll get it together.”  I was either going to go back to (animator) Steve Stark, which I definitely think worked for the first one and I really liked his animation; but part of me was wanting to get “Clerks: The Animated Series” style of animation.  Either way, Kevin was like, “Write it yourself.”  He was really busy with writing ‘Mallbrats,’ and ‘Moose Jaw,’ and stuff.  So a friend and I sat down and he helped me because I had never written before – and we have a second “Groovy Movie” script.  So Kevin just has to read it and approve it since it’s his characters and stuff – and as soon as he does that I’m going to start the process of doing it.  Obviously there are a lot of benefits to working so much and so closely with your best friend, but are there any challenges?
    JM:  No, definitely not.  I mean, we’ve been friends, and we’ve been able to spend tons of time together – and we never really fight, there’s no ego involved over anything, and I feel like that’s why we get along and have been friends for so many years.
    I think the biggest challenge, just like anybody, because we do work so much together, there are times that I wanna do stuff and maybe his schedule won’t let him, or he doesn’t agree with it when I do agree with it.  Like if we got an offer, and they said, “Hey, we want Jay and Bob in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie!”  I’m not saying this happened, or anything, just as an example.  Kevin might be like:  “I don’t think Jay and Bob should be in ‘Star Wars.’”  Little stuff like that comes up every now and then, but I wouldn’t even say it’s a problem, it’s just normal stuff with scheduling and what’s what.  There’s really no problems.  We do live down the street from one another, we have fun – my wife and him have the whole Smod Co. together, which is the whole touring business and everything else.  I think everything has always been pretty easy with us.  How did becoming a parent change your life?
    JM:  It’s been really awesome.  It’s definitely a different world.  Like if the wife and I wanna go out to a nice dinner but the kid’s sleepy and cranky and getting fussy – it’s just different.  We can’t just go hop on a boat tour if we want to or go feed the sharks.  It’s been interesting.  She’s really good, but she has been a huge change for me and the wife, for sure.  Do you see yourself becoming a lame father?
    JM:  It’s going to be interesting, there are certain things the wife and I don’t agree on.  She’s not old enough to worry about some of the things, but I told her that when I grew up if we played baseball or football we got a treat by going to get ice cream, and I looked so forward to it.  So I told the wife I couldn’t wait to take her for ice cream, and she was like:  “She isn’t eating ice cream!  We’re not feeding her ice cream and stuff.”  That’ll be interesting, I don’t think I’ll be the lame one…I think that’s getting passed off to the wife.  What do you think 20 year old Jason Mewes would say about 40 year old Jason Mewes?
    JM:  I don’t know what he would think about me.  I think he would be shocked.  I don’t know, I think I would certainly tell 20 year old Jason some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years.  To try to be more cautious.  I would tell myself to plan for retirement, not to start smoking, not to start in with the drugs or any of that.  It’s lots of mistakes I’ve made that I wasn’t really taught as a kid – so I wish my 40 year old self could tell my 20 year old self some stuff.
    I don’t think I would see myself as lame or anything – I think my 20 year old self would see where he could have been sooner had he made less mistakes.


    Photo provided by Mewes' publicist.

    Brent Owen's picture

    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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