Jay & Silent Bob have a new movie out, and they’re heading back to Durango on Nov. 21 to watch it with us at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
In “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot,” the two discover a Hollywood plan to reboot an old movie based on them, so they take off on a cross-country trip to stop it. The film features a star-studded cast, including Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Ben Affleck and Rosario Dawson.
The last time Jay and Silent Bob – Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith – were in Durango was in 2017, when not only did they perform on stage, they performed a little civic duty as well, showing up unannounced at a “Stuff the Truck” toy drive at Walmart, where they donated two carts of goods and met with fans.
Mewes had wanted to do another “Jay & Silent Bob” movie for a while, and when a couple of Smith’s other projects, a new “Clerks” and “Mall Rats,” fell through, “Reboot” became a reality.
“For years, I’ve been like, ‘Let’s do another Jay and Bob. We should do another Jay and Bob movie,’ and he’s like ‘Nah. You know, we’re lucky they let us do one.’ And I’m like, ‘I know, but maybe they’ll let us do another one, you never know,’” Mewes said. “So yeah. I have been wanting to do one, but then finally, he said, ‘Look, “Mall Rats” the studio wouldn’t let us do it. “Clerks,” one of the main characters didn’t want do it. But you want to do a movie, I want to do a movie. We own the rights to Jay and Bob. You’ve been right all along: Let’s do a Jay and Bob movie.’ I think he got amped up to want to do a View Askewniverse movie – a movie involving us.”
When Smith started writing the movie, he had some surprises in store for the characters, Mewes said. The two had gotten older since “Clerks,” “Mall Rats,” “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma,” and Smith felt the story should reflect that. And a big part of that, Mewes said, was Smith watching him with his young daughter.
“He had seen me with her for three years, and there’s all these mentions of all these reboots coming out and stuff, so he’s like, ‘I’m going to reboot Jay and Bob, but you know what? Jay’s going to find out he has a kid,’” he said. “And I think that is a big part of him seeing me with my daughter, and Jay’s actually a really good father now, and Jay had to grow up. So I just think it was a combination of everything. It was awesome. I was super-stoked because again, I had been wanting to do one anyway.”
For Mewes, who as Jay has been in “Clerks,” “Mall Rats,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks 2,” there’s no question what his favorite movie to make was.
“Definitely, ‘Mall Rats.’ The movie itself, of course, is awesome and was so much fun. To watch it is so much fun and it’s great,” he said. “But even more so for me, it’s such a surreal moment in shooting that movie – it’s technically the first movie, the first movie really is ‘Clerks,’ but that was eight friends, 10 friends making a movie in our hometown after working real jobs all day. This was all of a sudden, we’re in Minnesota and we’re in a hotel for two months. We’re meeting Stan Lee and Shannen Doherty.”
Along with that was the money, Mewes said.
“We’re getting per diem, which was surreal to me – the first week I was there, they handed me an envelope with like $350 cash, and I’m like, ‘What’s this? What’s per diem?’ And all of a sudden, I get another envelope and they’re like, ‘This is a stunt bump.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?” And they’re like, ‘Well, when you punched the Easter bunny, you did your own stunt. And when you do your own stunts, you get a stunt bump.’ They don’t do it anymore, but they did it back then,” he said. “It was such a surreal experience. And getting to hang out with Jason Lee and we’re running around an empty mall, so I will never forget those two months, three months in Minnesota as a single, young, 20-year-old kid running around a mall making my first big studio movie.”
Despite the fun of making a big movie, Mewes said he still hadn’t felt like he’d arrived as an actor, In fact, when filming had wrapped, he said he was back at his day jobs.
“I guess I felt like, ‘Wow, I’m doing a real movie.’ It really wasn’t until ‘Dogma’ that I’m like, ‘Well, maybe I can do this for a living,’ because it’s like I did ‘Clerks,’ I went back to roofing. We did ‘Mall Rats,’ I went back home, I delivered pizza and did construction. I did another indie movie in Vancouver and I came back from that and I delivered pizza and did construction,” he said.
When Mewes filmed “Chasing Amy,” his work on the film took one night, so he kept working: “I took off one night, shot ‘Chasing Amy’ – it took like six hours – and went back to delivering pizza and doing construction.”
It wasn’t until 1999’s “Dogma” that “I was like, ‘Wow, this is maybe something I can do, so no more delivering pizza and no more construction.’ And I did it. Not because I made so much money, but because I really tried to make a go of it,” Mewes said. “And luckily, Kevin had bought a comic book store and I worked at the comic book store for a while, which really wasn’t like a real job because I just got to hang out behind the counter and read comic books and talk to people who came in and stuff.”
And while Mewes and Smith look like they’re having a blast in “Reboot,” was it as fun to make as it looks?
“Definitely. And that was one of the big reasons I wanted to make another movie for a while because I always have such a blast on our movies, Kevin’s movies that he writes,” Mewes said, adding that Smith invites a lot of the same people back to work on new projects, which makes the shoot feel more like summer camp than work.
“That definitely was a big part of wanting to. Of course, doing another movie with him as well,” Mewes said. “I was like, ‘Dude, it will be so much fun if we get to run around with Jason Lee again, and all this stuff.’ It was amazing.”