"I almost died. Do you think I give a sh*t what some stranger writes about me?" - hmv.com talks to Kevin Smith
Richard Linklater's 1991 film Slacker is often credited with kickstarting the wave of independent films that emerged during the 1990s, with several of the era's emerging filmmakers citing Linklater's movie as a major influence. One of those was a young convenience store employee from New Jersey named Kevin Smith who harboured dreams of making his own films and, inspired by what he had seen, set about making those dreams a reality.
Smith's debut film Clerks arrived in 1994 and despite being made on a budget of less than $28,000 - a sum Smith raised by maxing out every credit card he could get his hands on - the film was picked up by Miramax and became a surprise hit, raking in more than $3 million at the box office.
Shot in black and white and featuring a cast of amateur actors, locals and friends, Clerks set Smith on a path that would see him create his own cinematic universe, which became the setting for a series of movies that included Mallrats, Dogma and Chasing Amy.
In all of those films, Smith himself and childhood friend Jason Mewes featured in cameo roles as Jay and Silent Bob, a pair of weed-dealing stoners who became so popular amongst fans of Smith's movies that in 2001 he created a whole film dedicated to them: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
In the years since, Smith has directed movies such as Tusk and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, a range of TV shows including The Goldbergs, Supergirl and The Flash, and created one of the world's most popular podcast series. This week, however, Smith returns to the territory of his early career and brings Jay and Silent Bob back to the big screen for the first time in more than a decade.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot arrives in cinemas this weekend and ahead of its release, we caught up with the director to talk about his unique career, the return of his most famous characters, and why the heart attack that almost killed him two years ago has changed his perspective on his work.
Watch our interview with Kevin below (contains strong language, obviously...)
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is in UK cinemas now. You can pre-order it on DVD and hmv Exclusive Blu-ray here in our online store.