Kevin Smith

Goliath’s Exclusive Interview With Kevin Smith About All Things View Askewniverse

Kevin Smith is the creator of all things weird, vulgar, and awesome in the View Askewniverse. He is, of course, the famed writer/director of some of the movies with the biggest cult followings around. He also loves comics, Star Wars, hockey, podcasting and Canada.

The Goliath staff recently had the chance to talk with Smith ahead of the release of his newsest movie, Yoga Hosers. He dished details on his upcoming movies, including the Mallrats sequel and the finale of the True North trilogy, Moose Jaws.

In no particular order, here are the random thoughts and musings of a man who is truly passionate about making movies and entertaining his fans (or at the very least, just entertaining himself).

On his inspiration to make Tusk:

“We took this story that had circulated online about a guy who was offering a room for rent in his house in Brighton, England in exchange for dressing up as a walrus for two hours a day. It turned out to be a hoax, but that’s what sparked the imagination. I fell in love with the idea of a man who tries to turn another man into a walrus.”

On getting advice from the internet:

“The internet is kind of like your friend when you’re drunk at a party and you’re like, ‘I wanna pull my dick out and show people’ and then they whip out a camera and say ‘Do it. DO IT!'”

“So I thought ‘go f**king make a Walrus movie, your career’s in the toilet anyways.’ So I went off and started writing it with the support of a bunch of strangers [from the internet].”

On the crossroads in his career:

“I started thinking I’ve been out of films for three years. After Red State I hadn’t done anything, just touring, podcasting, and the TV show (Comic Book Men). So I was kind of done with movies, I didn’t think I had anything else to say. All my personal material had been used up. I had an interesting real life before I got into film for a living.”

“Once you get into film for a living, you stop living an interesting real life and start developing like a normal human being. You become this overgrown child who gets paid to make pretend for a living.”

“Once I ran out of real life stories, which was probably after Dogma, the next movie was a movie about making movies (Jay and Silent Bob). Then I spent the next few years trying to hold on to the career. So I was like ‘what does the audience want to see?’ In that way lies peril, if you’re trying to guess what the audience wants. You’ll go crazy and broke, trying to pre-guess what an audience will like.”

On the perks of being famous:

“I used to do my own checking and bills and stuff like that, but now somebody else does that.”

On his former plans to quit the business:

“Film went from this passion of mine to like ‘this is my career, this is what i do for a living.’ And it’s something to protect. At a certain point, I divorced myself from it. After Red State, I gotta learn how to live without making movies for a living. At a certain point, they take so many chances on you and they go, ‘oh I get it, he’s just going to make Kevin Smith movies for the rest of his life.’ That money well will dry up sooner or later.”

“I was going to make Clerks 3 and then be done and just walk the earth like f**king Caine in Kung Fu.”

“I always wanted to leave movies before they said ‘you’ve overstayed your welcome, get the f**k out!’ I’ve always felt like I would have the good grace and good sense to know when to leave the party.”

On why he loves making podcasts so much:

“On a podcast, I don’t have to hide behind characters. You can hear from the real guys.” Via

On the magic of Hollywood:

“At one point they paid me millions of dollars to make movies. Not just the budget, but I got to keep a few million dollars for writing and directing. I thought, “oh my god, what a scam!”

On his love for Canada:

“A big part of who I am is Canada. I’m a big Canada-phile. On Smodcast we talk about Canada incessantly. When I was five, my parents would say ‘we’re going to visit another country,’ and they’d pop me in a car and I was amazed. ‘We’re going to another country in a car?! Like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? How the f**k do you get to another country in a car?'”

“My parents got married in Niagara Falls. When I was five they had been married for almost ten years, so they said ‘let’s go back!’ Years later I figured out they went back to f**k and just took the kids with them.”

“It’s like a mirror universe. They all speak English, but it sounds just a little different. Cops wear red instead of blue, and they don’t drive cars — they ride horses. All the stores seem fake because they were brands I’d never heard of.”

“The thing I loved the best, being a five year old in Niagara Falls, was hearing the history of these crazy f**ks who would seal themselves into barrels and throw themselves over the Falls. All these dare-devil Canadians. As a five year old with no internet, this captured my imagination. I thought it was a nation of daredevils.”

“I’m steeped in Canadiana and fun cool stories and factoids.”

On why Tusk might be the stupidest movie made:

“This Tusk thing is real masturbatory, it’s just me pleasing myself. If you watched it, you can see I clearly don’t give a f**k about the audience… I’m just going to fill this script with things that make me love it so much, because it was a weird movie that shouldn’t have f**king happened. I know it’s stupid, that’s the point. Of course it’s stupid. There was no plans for commercial success in this movie, even when I was writing it.”

[Editor’s note: Even though Smith said Tusk wasn’t designed for commercial success, it did over $2 million at the box office and was a fan favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival]

How making the stupidest movie ever helped his career:

“When I was done making Tusk, I was re-energized, like a man reborn, coming out the Lazarus Pit like Ra’s al Ghul. Just reborn and on fire.”

On how to make good art. Or just weird art:

“I used to have this theory that happy people don’t make great art. Like good art comes from sadness. Chasing Amy came from a time when I was real f**king sad. Clerks came from a time when I was kind of bummed out. I realized that happy people can’t make good art, but they can make weird art… Instead of ripping off my own life, I can just make up some f**king stories.”

“The highest review you could give a movie as a kid was ‘that’s f**ked up!’ I had never made a f**ked up movie (I f**ked up while making movies though, like with Jersey Girl), but I never made a movie where you see it and think: ‘that’s f**ked up.’ I was always jealous I didn’t have a f**ked up movie in my resume, so Tusk definitely qualifies as f**ked up.”

On working with his daughter and creating Yoga Hosers:

“We had the two girl characters in the convenience store (from Tusk), one was my kid (Harley Quinn Smith) and one was Johnny’s kid (Lily-Rose Depp), I fell in love with that scene. I loved their f**king attitude and I would love to watch a whole movie about them, so that’s where Yoga Hosers was born from. We took the name from one of the podcasts, but the characters came out of Tusk.” Via

On doing a remake of Jaws, but with a moose:

“We made a joke on one of the Smodcasts about Moose Jaw (the city) and fell in love with the idea right then and there. Scott Mosier set the opening scene: ‘Big f**king wheat field, and then you just see the antlers coming up, rising out of the field.'”

“I’m a lifelong Jaws fan, massive Canada fan. You put that shit together and Moose Jaws is the movie I was born to make! They’ll never let me make a Jaws film, but they can’t stop me from making Moose Jaws.”

On keeping his budgets small:

“I found if I can keep the ideas inexpensive, everyone covers their bet by selling foreign rights or with domestic deals. No one is going to retire or get rich off these flicks, but no one is going to lose any money either.”

On his motivation for making Yoga Hosers and his theory on his past life:

“It’s me making a kind of movie that I never imagined in a million years I would make. It’s a movie for 12-year old girls. When I look it, this is the movie I would have wanted to see when I was a 12-year old girl, because I’m pretty sure I was one at one point.”

On the Guy Lapointe character:

“It was based on a story that had gone around the internet about a maple syrup heist that had gone on in Quebec. While we were reading the news story, the spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec provincial police) was this guy Guy Lapointe. As we talked about the story, me and Scott fashioned a Guy Lapointe who was more of a Clouseau (from the Pink Panther series).”

On recruiting Johnny Depp:

“In my head, it was going to be played by Quentin Tarintino. We didn’t wind up getting Quentin, but our second choice was Johnny Depp and he said yes. I reached out to him through his kid. My kid and his kid went to school together, so I’ve known him for ten years but never said ‘hey, we should work together.’ Let’s be honest, I don’t make movies that are a) any good and b) of the caliber that would include Johnny Depp. So I never reached out to him.”

“After Quentin passed, I figured this whole project has been about chasing whimsy. About just trying it, even if everybody says it’s stupid. Just give it a shot, see if it could happen. Take the shot. Walter Gretzky told his son that you miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

“I threw in the character of Guy Lapointe into Tusk really just to make Scott Mosier laugh, and it turned out to be the gateway to me working with one of the greatest actors who has ever lived. That was never going to happen otherwise. It was never going be that Johnny Depp was going to pop up in Clerks 3.” Via

On whether Depp will return in third and final installment of the True North trilogy:

“Johnny said to me, ‘I read you’re going to another one.’

And I said, ‘yeah, Moose Jaws.’

‘Is it what I think it is?’

‘Yeah, it’s Jaws with a moose.’

‘Guy Lapointe has to be eaten.’

‘Done and done.'”

Moose Jaws I kind of envision as our Avengers, where we bring a lot of the characters from both of the previous movies in, as well as the new characters. I’m trying to keep the same cast intact.”

On why he’s making Moose Jaws and why you should go see it:

“I don’t wanna leave this f**king world without saying, ‘yeah, I made Moose Jaws. Wasn’t that f**ked up?'”

“Why you would ever have to be sold on a movie called Moose Jaws is beyond me. That movie f**king sells itself. Even on Wikipedia it just says “Like Jaws, but with a moose.”

On Ben Affleck returning to ‘some place very uncomfortable’ for Mallbrats:

“I’ve engineered it thusly: I was not stupid enough to write a part for Ben that needed three weeks or made him one of the main characters or anything like that. His character was peripheral in the first one, but you could make the movie without him. In crafting Mallbrats, I made sure that I could craft it without him.”

“And then I wrote a really cool f**king cameo that requires almost no time and no travel to accomplish. Because if I go to the dude and say ‘I need you for a couple days,’ the chances of that happening are nil and none. But if I tell him he can do it in his office and it will take five minutes and we’ll be out of his hair in half an hour, AND you’ll get the biggest laugh in the movie, then it becomes a personal choice.”

“He might say, ‘yeah I’ll do that.’ Or he might say ‘dude, I’m f**king Batman now. I can’t be doing these silly f**king hand-down-the-pants Kevin Smith movies anymore.'”

“If he says yes, it’s fantastic. If he says no, we get to make a million Ben Affleck jokes.”

Also Check Out: Kevin Smith Tells Goliath The 8 Things He Loves Most About Canada

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.