Published on theMusic.com.au, Nov 2016
On Staying Sober, Alternate Universes & More ‘Mallrats’
A podcast can be a life-changing force, as Jason Mewes tells Daniel Cribb.
“I was doing a little cuddling and reading [my daughter] a book,” Jason Mewes begins with pep in his voice. He’s happy, and it all goes back to the decision he made in 2010 to get sober.
Over the past six years, he’s used the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old podcast as a weekly intervention with long-time pal and collaborator Kevin Smith and it seems his time spent with the pop icon has done more than just keep him clean, with Mewes in the midst of his directorial debut, Madness In The Method.
“It’s set in an alternate universe and it’s about me trying to go out and get this serious role in a movie that’s the talk of the town, and the casting isn’t taking me serious,” Mewes reveals.
“I have a little chat with Kevin [Smith] and he says, ‘You’ve got to get method – you’ve got to let them know you’re serious.’
“In that interaction of trying to show the casting I can be serious I wind up killing him by mistake, and it goes on from there; a bunch of craziness happens, a couple of other murders. It’s an alternate universe, but it’s nice because it’s a touch based on reality.”
The plot was conceived by Mewes and London-based filmmaker and actor Dominic Burns, and fleshed out by Burns and Christopher Anastasi.
A number of notable actors have signed on as the film starts to take shape, including Danny Trejo, Casper Van Dien and Dean Cain. “I’m really psyched and feel really blessed because we don’t have a lot of money but we’ve really had some people agree to be a part of it because I’m directing and it’s my first thing and that’s been very sweet.”
After spending the past five days shooting in LA, the production will go on hold until January when Mewes flies to London for three weeks. In the interim, he’ll be touring with Smith and making a solo visit to Australia for Supanova. It’s at fan conventions that he’s truly been able to see the impact the podcast has had.
“A mum will come up, start crying, give me a hug and be like, ‘This is my son, he’s been struggling for the past few years and now he’s been listening to your podcast and he’s eight months sober and you saved his life.’
“You just can’t beat stuff like that; it’s flattering and I just feel blessed that I get to be part of that.”
Another hot topic when it comes to conventions are cult classics Clerks and Mallrats, both of which will have sequels in the foreseeable future. “Kevin announced Clerks III, but Jeff Anderson – who plays Randal – said he was busy. Last I heard we were gearing up, we had the money and we were looking at locations. I guess Jeff said he was busy and wouldn’t be able to shoot for the next year or two, so Kevin’s moved on.
“He wrote a Mallrats II script, and we were talking about that, but now there’s more interest in a Mallrats TV show, so knock on wood I’m hoping we start shooting next year.”