|“Does this place have a cold season?” he
asked wiping his brow.
This is the cold season,” someone replied.
I don’t really like going to the beach,” Smith admitted. “I’m
the fat kid who wears the T-shirt in the pool.”
Smith is just as funny off camera as he is on, or in the director’s
chair. Half of his responses on Oct. 26 were too hysterically
vulgar to print in a wholesome school paper.
When asked if we would see the likes of his staple characters,
Jay and Silent Bob, again Smith replied, “In terms of an
action film, Clerks II is where we’ll leave them. The notion
of Silent Bob and Jay at 40 is more sad then whimsical. I would
have to have them move off the wall. I would like to check in
with Dante and Randle maybe in 10 years.”
Jay and Silent Bob, Generation X’s Laurel and Hardy, have
appeared in most of Smith’s films, providing the kind of
humor he has become famous for.
The Hawai‘i International Film Festival gave Smith the
Maverick Award this year for Excellence in Independent Films,
honoring a trend that began in 1994 with his break through indie
I think part of the charm [of Clerks] is that it looked so atrocious,
people felt sorry [for me] and watched it,” Smith said
of a film that many feel gave a voice to a generation as well
as put New Jersey on the map, since he uses it as a backdrop
for all of his films.
Smith owns two comic book shops, one in Los Angeles, where he
lives, and one in New Jersey. A comic book enthusiast at heart,
Smith parted with his whole collection back in ‘94 to raise
money to film Clerks, a movie that cost only $27,000 to make.
I was supposed to direct Green Hornet,” he said. “I’m
all for seeing any comic book movie, good or bad.
One of my good friends was in DareDevil and anytime he talks
smack I tell him, ‘well at least I wasn’t in DareDevil.’”
Smith added: “Sin City is an example of a (comic book)
movie that the creator was involved in, and it worked.”
When asked if he would direct a comic book action film, Smith
said: “I can’t write or direct like that.
do looks real simple and flat, like a chipmunk could direct.”
Smith seminar gained notoriety locally for its humorous Q&A
on the ins and outs of the movie industry and other fan-geared
trivia pertaining to his life. He had the audience at the Hawai‘i
Theatre, many of them college students, in hysterics for much
of the four-hour talk about everything and anything people wanted
to know about him, his work, and the film industry. Most of his
dialogue was foul in the same way his films are. The audience
loved it, though, as lines formed at each microphone for the
This is my fourth time in Hawai‘i,” Smith said at
one point. “The first time I was 12 and spent most of my
time in the gift shop of the hotel trying to look at Playboy.
Honestly though, this is paradise, and I really enjoy coming
here with my family,” he added.
From a clerk in a convenience store in New Jersey to a director
for Miramax Productions, Smith believes he has remained himself
through it all. “I was always the fat kid with bad self-esteem,
so when I became famous it was never my intent to do drugs, show
off, or get back at people who made fun of me.”
His family and friends have played a large roll in his rise to
fame, he said, adding that he is thankful for them. “There’s
that old saying, ‘how can you go back to the farm after
seeing Paris?’ Well I have seen Paris, and I like the farm
Kevin Smith brings humor to his life experiences during “An
Evening with Kevin Smith.”
Photo by Christina Failma