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Jason Mewes Interview: Madness in the Method

Jason Mewes made his acting debut in 1994 when he first played the character of Jay in Kevin Smith's Clerks. While he's amassed several credits in the decades since, Jay remains his iconic role, and he's reprised it multiple times over the years - most recently in this fall's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Mewes is having a prolific year, as he's also making his directorial debut Madness in the Method, which hits theaters and VOD in August. Screen Rant had the opportunity to talk with Mewes about everything at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

Hey guys! Welcome to Comic Con 2019. I’m here with Jason Mewes. Thank you so much for joining us here at Screen Rant.

Jason Mewes: Thank you.

Congratulations on your directorial debut, Madness in the Method. I’ve got to know: how did this come about? 

Jason Mewes: My buddy Dominic Burns, he’s the producer on the movie, I did an independent movie for him many years ago called Devil’s Tower in London. I went out and did, like, 4 days. I was like a smaller part, but I stuck around because whenever I'm in London, I like hanging out and taking a little vacation. But anyway, my point is, I spend some time with him. He was like, “Dude, I really just want to ask you. You've been doing Jay and you did Devil's Tower, which was not the same character, but similar. What do you really want to do besides that?” I said, “You know, I really, really want to try to challenge myself and play like a Hannibal Lecter type character, American Psycho or something. But I also really want to direct now, I really want to try to direct something.” And he's like, “Look, if you're not if you're okay with it, I’m gonna write a script for you.” I was like, “Sure, sure.”

You know, people say, “I'm going to do this” or “I’m gonna do this.” I was like, “Yeah, yeah.” And I didn't hear from him for about three, four months. And then all sudden, he's like, “Hey, man.” He emailed me and said, “Hey, I hope you're okay with this, but I wrote a script. I told you I was going to do it. I hope you like it.”

And I did like it. But I was like, “Hey, you know, instead of it being this, why don't we make it this, this and this?” Then he did a rewrite. And then he's like, “What do you think of this?” And I was like, “That's great, but how about now this?” Changes, changes. And then we talked on the phone a bunch. He wrote the script, but he and I… He came up with the streamline, but then I came up with the idea of me playing Jason Mewes. And it being an alternate version of Jason Mewes, and this and that. And he was, like, awesome. He sent me the script. We liked it a lot. It got to a good place. And then he's like, “Look, I'm gonna try to get money for it.” I'm like, “Sure, sure.” And I didn't hear from him again for like four months, five months.

He called me up one day. He’s like, “Bro, I'm serious. I think I have the money for this movie. And they're gonna let you direct it.” I was like, “Get out of here.” He's like, “No, seriously. It's not 100%, I'm still working and talking to them. They're a little hesitant on directing, because you never directed, but they're also excited that you might direct.” So anyway, he came back and was like, “Bro, you know that we got the money and they're gonna let you direct. And that's how it sort of came about.

I'm super stoked for him. Dominic Burns, thank you. Because, again, I didn't think someone would give us money and let me direct. He went above and beyond and reached out and made things happen. So I'm really grateful for that.

What’s been the biggest challenge about directing?

Jason Mewes: Well, for me? For this movie, honestly, one thing I would do different for sure is… Again, the idea of the movie was so much fun. But it was really hard to try to – I get why Kevin way back in the day, the reason Kevin played Silent Bob is he wanted to play Dante. He wrote Dante for himself, and then he realized, “How am I going to memorize all this dialogue, get hair and makeup and wardrobe, and then focus on directing and focus on the character?” So he was like, “But I really want to be on screen and be in the movie. So I'm going to be Silent Bob, where I have no dialogue to remember.” And then he wore what he normally wore back then, that's what he literally wore. Naturally, it was that overcoat with the hat and all that stuff. But that's why he did that.

And I see now, being that I directed, and I was in a lot of the scenes. Because the movie’s about me; it's technically alternate me. I couldn't focus as much on directing and only directing. I had to sort of try to do both. And luckily, again, Dominic Burns has directed, like, I don't know how many movies. But he's directed a Van Damme movie and a few other movies. So, he has directed before. And so, when I was in front of the camera, he would stand behind and I would be like, “Hey, can we watch playback?” And sometimes if I did a bunch of stuff, and I just wanted to do it again. I’d be like, “Alright, I'm gonna do it again. And let me know you think I got what I what I'm saying I want to get.” So he was very helpful in that. But yes, it would have been nice to direct my first feature with me being a small part in it. But again, I'm not complaining about it. I'm just saying it was tougher than expected. But again, the good thing out of that is, now that I've done that, where I'm the main character and directing – next time hopefully I get to do it again, [I’ll] direct with me not playing the lead. If I start here, then hopefully next time, I'll be like, “Wow, this is a lot easier.” And I can really focus and, again, I think it turned out hopefully well.

Did Kevin give you any advice about directing at all?

Jason Mewes: No. I mean, I think he did without really giving it to me. Because over the years, I honestly watched him. And it's funny. Because when we were doing the scenes, I was on camera and Dominic was giving his directing point of view for certain things, I really realized I would go back to my style, which was sort of based off Kevin’s style. It's interesting, because Kevin edits his own movies, he's edited all his movies except for Mallrats. When he does something while he's shooting a scene, if there's a storyboard for, say: the character walks up the stairs, then comes to the door and walks out. He might be like, “You know what, we don't have to shoot that scene. That'll save us a scene of him walking up the stairs, because I won't edit. When I'm editing, I won't cut from him coming out the door and going up the stairs into the door. I'm just going to cut from him walking out the door.” You know what I'm saying? So he could cut stuff in his head while he's doing it.

I don't edit, but I would think that way while we were shooting, because I would be like, “Okay, when it's edited, it's going to go from this to this.” But I had to realize that there's someone else editing it, and they needed to have stuff to cut to, so I guess he didn't give me advice. He wasn't on set saying, “Hey, do this, do that.” But I definitely feel I learned a bunch. And I definitely stole a piece of my style from him. Like, not even on purpose. It just is the way.

We’re here at Comic Con 2019, and Jay and Silent Bob are coming back. It’s a reboot. I want to talk to you about that a little bit. What brought this on? The trailer just came out, it seems like you’re having every character in it. There’s also a tweet that three Batmen are in this. Is that true? Has Ben Affleck responded to this?

Jason Mewes: I mean, I don’t want to say anything. I've been really trying to be cautious. And again, I know the trailer’s out now. So things have been seen, but I've been so terrified of giving things away before they wanted to. And that's because, way back before we even started shooting, when we were doing the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast Kevin and I do – we tour with it all over – Kevin would talk. We would read one of the scenes from the script to the live audience and talk about, “Hey, things are looking good. It looks like we might shoot at the beginning of the year next year. And we're going to hopefully shoot here, here and here.” And so when we found out when we were shooting, and where we're shooting, I didn't know it was a secret. When I was coming out of the Carolinas doing my Jay Mewes & His A-Mewes-ing Stories solo show, TMZ was out there going, “Hey, man. What do you think of…?” You know, they always ask you weird stuff. It's not weird, but it’s about the footballers having to kneel like, “What's your opinion on that?” They always ask obscure questions, I feel, but then they wrapped it around to, “I heard about this movie. A Jay and Silent Bob reboot’s gonna happen? What do you have to say?” And I was like, “Yeah, man, I'm super stoked. Things are looking good. We're going to start shooting in the end of January, beginning of February, in New Orleans.” And I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to say that, because they the company, the investors and Kevin wanted to make an official announcement.

I was like, “No one's going to see this anyway.” But TMZ put it up, and then Kevin sees it, and he got a little bummed. Not too bummed, but a little bummed. So my point is that sort of made me shell-shocked about giving any info. I'm like, “Oh my gosh, what if I say Batman's in it and frickin… He's like, ‘You're not supposed to say that. It's a secret.’” So, again, even if things are said in the trailer that I could probably talk about now, I still will play it safe till the movie comes out.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

Let’s switch gears for a second. Now that you’ve directed your first film, Kevin has a great history of directing CW DC superhero shows. Do you have any interest in doing that? I know you were in The Flash last season, I believe.

Jason Mewes: Yeah, Kevin I got to be in it. Well, I got to be in at twice. One time. I was a customer at the Big Belly Burger. And I came out, I was on a date. It was the zombie Girder. Zombie Girder… Greg? What was his name? It was the steel dude. But anyway, it was that episode by myself. And then, yes, the season after Kevin and I got to come out as the security guards. So yes, that was amazing. Do I have interest in directing a CW show? Is that what you were gonna ask it, I think? Right now, I feel like I would need a little more… experience to feel comfortable going on a show as awesome and popular as those shows. But I'd love to be in [one]. We got to be in The Flash twice. I'd love to be in Supergirl, and I'd love to a cameo even in Supergirl or Arrow before it ends or the new Batwoman. I mean, who knows? I mean, I think I should come out as a security guard. Kevin I should be the security guards in all the different shows.

You talked to me about your love for the Vigilante, and he’s been in the Arrowverse, if we shall say. And here at Comic-Con, I saw you at the Hasbro breakfast earlier. What are some of the things that you’re hunting down?

Jason Mewes: There's a Vigilante statue that is an exclusive. Hasbro always has the best, most awesomest exclusives every year. I feel like it's the one thing I always – even if I don't get to walk the floor a bunch or buy a bunch of things, I always go to Hasbro and pick up. There's always something. I always love the double packs that they have. Like, this year I saw they're going to have… I forget what it's called exactly, but they had the year before that, the Marvel's Vault or whatever. And then the year before that, they had the like the 8-pack of the Thunderbolts. All the packs like that. This year, I think it's called like the Season of Marvel or something like that. And then I saw they have the Hawk 80th anniversary. There's so many cool things I get, I don't even know them all. I usually look at the websites, try to find San Diego exclusive Hasbro stuff. But until you get there, you're like, “I didn't see that. I didn't know they had this.”

They usually always have like some kind of Transformers mix. It looks like they have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Ghostbusters crossover. Optimus Prime or something, yeah. I mean it's pretty fantastic. So yes, I'll be picking up some of them. I usually stop over, as well. I usually peek, there's a couple more places, like Mattel and a couple of other places have at least one or two exclusives that I fancy. So I definitely am going to go the floor. Lego, a huge fan of Lego. I love Lego. Last year, they had the Ninjago Lego City Docks. The year before that, they had Ninjago City. And it's awesome, because Lego. I'm a big fan, so.

Last question. I know you’re a big comic book fan, and I know you’re a big DC fan. So Warner Bros. isn’t here this year. Just a curious question for you: for Warner Bros. to get their DC movies back on track, what do you think it’s going to take?

Jason Mewes: I don’t know. That’s a pretty [deep question]. I don’t know if I can handle that. I honestly don’t know. If they could just start over and really try to take something from the Marvel Universe, and try to copy their recipe format. But I don't know. I don't know, really. But wait a second, you're saying Warner Brothers isn’t here? The big Warner Brothers [panel]? Oh my goodness gracious. What do you – Why? No, I'm just kidding. That's pretty crazy. Yeah, I didn't even know that. I'm so like, we have so much stuff. We just came from the IMDb boat, and all this press. I guess I’m more focused this year on my movie, and then the Jay and Silent Bob movie. I think Kevin would give a great answer to that, so hopefully you'll get to talk to him, and he'll answer for me.

More: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Trailer

Key Release Dates
  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019) release date: Oct 15, 2019
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