Kevin Smith - RT's Dinner and the Movies Interview

In a two-hour chat we talk at length with Silent Bob himself.

Dinner and the Movies: Kevin SmithGood Friday, 2007. Working on a bank holiday requires motivation, and today I have all the motivation I need, and then some. I'm heading to the Dorchester to catch up with Kevin Smith who's come to London on holiday and has graciously agreed to take some time out of his trip to chat. He's fresh from shooting a TV pilot in Vancouver, but my agenda for today is that there should be no agenda - we're here to talk about nothing in particular and see where the conversation leads.

Because despite being best known as Silent Bob, a stoic character next to his motor-mouth friend Jay (played by Jason Mewes), Smith himself is anything but silent. Anyone who's seen either of the two 0An Evening With Kevin Smith DVDs will attest to that; Smith is a man who can talk for hours about any topic under the sun and transfix his audience for every second.

I'd met Smith once before - last summer at the Edinburgh Film Festival where Clerks II played - and when news broke that he'd be doing a couple of his infamous Q&As at the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square I couldn't resist getting in touch with his wonderful assistant Gail Stanley in the hopes that we could set something up while he was here.

So here it is in all its no-holds-barred glory, a two-hour chat with one of indie cinema's most celebrated directors, and an all-round nice guy.

The Q&A last night was great.

Kevin Smith: It was actually kind-of fun. The Tuesday night one was fun as well; last night we went longer than we did on Tuesday. We had a tougher time getting people in on Tuesday - just getting through the process of moving the 450 people through the door and checking their IDs and sh*t like that. We figured out the science so whereas Tuesday night we started at 7:30 PM and finished at 11, last night we started at 7:15 PM and ended about a quarter after 11.

I came to the Edinburgh Q&A you did but it didn't feel like a real Kevin Smith Q&A.

KS: Well that was with a moderator, which I rarely ever do, but that's what that thing in Edinburgh called for. Shane was really good as far as moderators go; I haven't done moderators in years because some of them are just so bad and boring and they slow it all down. He actually kept it lively and stuff, but still, even with the best moderator I just prefer to get up and go and give it to them.

I love the Evening With... DVDs, but being there and sitting through it for the four hours and involving is an experience that really suits a big dork like me.

KS: [laughs] Right! It is kind-of fun. And it flies by, you know. I was talking to the woman who works the theatre - one of the projectionists. I'd only met her Tuesday and last night we were sitting out having a cigarette before I went on and she said, "I've got to be honest but going into Tuesday's I just thought, 'Four hours of a Q&A? This is going to suck so badly.' But it didn't, it was the exact opposite and it was fun and lively and right away when the first question hit I just thought, 'Well this'll be interesting.'"

When you think of Q&A you tend to think of a rather staid, straightforward self-aggrandising conversation.

"What was your motivation?"

KS: That kind of sh*t, yeah, and thankfully I don't get questions like that. Those questions are actually much harder to answer. I don't really think like that. It's tougher to have a serious conversation about film, it's much easier to just sit around and bullsh*t and tell stories about how things happen. And sometimes you're not even talking about film; you're talking about your dogs.

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder
An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder

Speaking of the dogs, I was kind-of relieved to hear you'd called them Scully and Mulder because, rather embarrassingly, I was big into Star Trek Deep Space Nine back in the day and I had a dog called Kira and a cat called Dax.

KS: [laughs] Did you really? Yeah, we're kind-of gay like that as well. It's so weird, the show's been over for a few years and we've had the dogs for like eight, nine years. Sometimes you don't even think about it but every once in a while you mention their names and people are like, "Did you say Scully and Mulder?" And it's like, "Oh, yeah... That's right..."

It gets to a point where you watch an episode of Deep Space Nine and you hear, like, "Kira is on the holodeck," and you think, "No she isn't." You can't separate the character anymore.

KS: It's weird. Our kid, too, obviously she wasn't an X-Files watcher, so one day she rolled into the bedroom while Jen and I were watching an X-Files episode and she heard somebody saying, "Mulder," and she was like, "They know the dog's name?" I was like, "To be honest, they had the dog's name before the dog had the name..."


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