Jason Mewes likely needs no introduction to most folk. Having made waves as the iconic wise-cracking stoner Jay in Kevin Smith efforts such as Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Mewes became a beloved treasure to many a genre fan. Since falling into the movie business, Jason has gone on to become a hugely busy actor in his own right, constantly working on new and future projects. His latest outing, Google Play’s Bling, sees the Jersey native voicing Kit, a robotic ninja monkey involved in a heartwarming animated affair that centres on a young man’s long-awaited proposal to his ‘one true’. We caught up with Jason to chat Bling, overcoming the ‘loveable stoner’ stereotype, the fantastic Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, discuss Batmen (yes, he gives his thoughts on Batfleck), Mallrats II, his directorial debut, and a whole lot more.
STARBURST: How did you end up involved with a project like Bling?
Jason Mewes: You know, just they asked me to jump onboard the project. I was really lucky. They thought of me and asked me to be a part of it. When I heard of what it was about, I was onboard right away - you know, robots and all the fun stuff! But then it was an added bonus when I found out I got to play a monkey.
You play Kit, a badass robotic ninja monkey. Obviously his voice is your’s, but there also seems to be a lot of you in how the character comes across. So with that said, did you have some freedom with the role?
I had to sort of try to speak in the bounds of the dialogue in order to match the mouth of the monkey, but they let me really play a lot with a lot of what I was saying and getting to add a bit of improv and stuff when my back’s turned or I’m off screen. That was a lot of fun. Again, I got to add a little bit of “business” to that, which is always fun. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it did, so it was good.
The film itself has quite the impressive ensemble cast – the likes of Taylor Kitsch, Jennette McCurdy, James Woods, Carla Gugino, Tom Green, Jon Heder. Did you get to work side-by-side with those guys or did the vocal recordings take place separately?
You know, it was a bummer because they didn’t do any of the recordings as a team, which would’ve been fun. And I think there’s definitely a benefit to that, getting to bounce off each other with the dialogue and all that stuff and play around. But there’s pros and cons to that. And also, it’s nice to do it by myself because this way if I mess up I can stop and ask to go again or ask “Hey man, can I try to do this or do that” and there’s no one waiting on me and stuff. So, again, I think that would’ve been fun but it was also nice to just do it by myself.
Mewes as Kit (right) in Bling
In terms of animated efforts, obviously you’ve done stuff like Clerks: The Animated Series and Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, but you’ve also done some kid-friendly work like Noah and now Bling. As you’re a father now, how is it to know that you’ve got something that your daughter can watch in a year or two’s time?
That’s really awesome. I’m very excited about that. It’s not always that I get to do a fun cartoon with monkeys and stuff. Right now, I don’t think she’ll necessarily understand the dialogue, but again, she can watch the cartoon characters run around and play. I think that’ll be really cool. We were gonna watch it together but she started getting sleepy yesterday and the day before, so I just watched it alone. So I’m very excited to let her watch it. I’ve even thought about letting her watch Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. Again, she won’t understand the dialogue, but I was hesitant because there is Ralph Garman’s character who runs around as a giant weiner. But this is good because there’s animals and stuff.
And working previously on Noah, is that something that you recorded vocals on individually or did you get to work side-by-side with the likes of Michael Keaton?
Yes, that was the one movie that I actually got to work with the other actors on, and that was really nice. But it was also so nerve-wracking to me as we were bouncing off each other in that, and if I messed up or wanted to say something different or try it again because, you know, I don’t wanna make Michael Keaton wait on me. That was a lot of fun, though.
As a loud-and-proud comic book fanboy, how cool was it to be working with Batman himself, Michael Keaton?
It was great! Honestly, I got to meet him years before that at a benefit and he was the nicest guy. He was the one guy at the benefit… Jennifer Jason Leigh was there, and Gillian Anderson was there, and Jack Nicholson, and all these people, but he was the one gentleman who was just so nice. It was so cool, and it was an honour to have worked over the years with so many great people. I feel very blessed to have worked with so many great people. It’s not something I’d planned. And recently I got to film a scene with Johnny Depp, which was really cool. Johnny Depp’s, I think, one of the best actors out there. So I got to do a scene with Johnny Depp and that was fantastic. I just feel very blessed that I’ve gotten to work with all of these people, but yes, the original Batman was nice. Now I’ve worked with two Batmans.
Indeed, you’ve worked with Ben Affleck plenty of times before. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks as if he’s going to absolutely nail the Batman role in Batman v Superman…
I think he’s gonna do well, too. Him in the suit, they have the voice modulator for when he’s in the Batman suit, so he can’t ruin that. But Bruce Wayne, I think he’s gonna be perfect as him. When I found out, a lot of people asked me what I thought. I always said he’d be a perfect Bruce Wayne; he’ll be a smooth, sort of cool Bruce Wayne. I think it’s gonna be really good.
Mewes as Jay in Clerks II
You’re this regular Jersey kid who almost just fell into acting. After having played Jay in your first few features, did you find it hard to land other roles and that people put you in a certain box? Was it hard to break out of that stereotype?
Totally, especially in the beginning. I can’t complain, though, even though it stunk that people would only offer me the funny stoner guy. At the time, I was just honoured as it wasn’t my plan to act. I did a couple of movies, but it wasn’t until after Mallrats that my buddy offered me a role in Drawing Flies and I was like “Well, maybe this is something that I can do”. So I got an agent and a manager, tried to get out there, and I got some offers to play in little indies and stuff, the same type of character. I think it’s nice that people even thought of me, because there’s tons of people who can play those roles, but as time went on I wanted to do more challenging characters and different characters. Someone asked me yesterday why I’ve done a bunch of movies that aren’t really good, to be honest. I was, like, even if the movies aren’t great, not that I’ve found every script that I’ve done or movies I’ve been in to be great, but even if the movie’s not that great then it’s a cool character to me or challenging. So I want to do this movie or play this character to challenge myself and show that I can do other characters. As time went on, I’ve been offered other stuff. Don’t get me wrong, some people, if they ever paid attention to the stuff that we’ve got going on… My agent will go to guys and be, like, “Hey, you’re casting this movie. What about Jay for this role?” And then they’ll be, “Well, does he have long hair or short hair?” It’d be nice if it wasn’t the case, but I can’t complain because I love playing Jay and that’s what got me started and even got me thinking of being in the movies and of doing entertainment.
To us, one of the coolest things that had been on TV for years was Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. The show was criminally only two seasons, but how cool was that to be involved in?
It was really cool, man. It was such a fun show to be in. I had a blast on set. It was cool because all the kids on that show were super stoked to be doing it, so they’d all come to work happy and looking forward to the day. They all bonded and we’d have a blast doing it. And I agree, I think the show was super fun. The writers were really creative and I can’t wait for the animated movie. I actually go tomorrow to record all my dialogue for my character. And we’re putting music together to sing two songs in the movie, so tomorrow I go sing these songs and do some ADR. The animated movie should be out in like a month or so. The script is great, it’s so fantastic. It’s literally like the two seasons of Todd the live show wrapped up into this one movie and funnier. So I’m really looking forward to it. I agree with you, the show was fantastic.
Mewes as Jimmy in Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
Obviously most people will know you as Jay in Kevin’s movies, but you’ve been such a busy guy over the years with what other projects you’ve been involved in, including fun stuff like The Tripper, The Watermen and Noobz. To date, is there a particular favourite movie of your’s? Would it maybe be headlining your own film with Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back?
Mallrats, definitely. Jay & Bob is a very close second. I had such a blast on Jay & Bob. Everybody involved, like Will Ferrell, were so much fun, but Mallrats is my favourite because, even though we’d already shot Clerks, Mallrats was the first studio movie. In Clerks, when shooting that it was just with 8 or 10 of our friends, and I’d go back to work roofing after shooting it. I’d wake up at 7 in the morning roofing. Then we were in Minnesota in a really nice hotel, going to the mall and there’s wardrobe and there’s craft service and…
And Stan Lee…
Yeah, it was just so surreal to me. Every day was such fun. To me, it would literally be like waking up and winning $100,000 a day on the lottery. That’s how I’d feel for that whole thing. I’d just be like, “This is amazing! I can’t believe I’m shooting a movie and I’m working with Stan Lee!” And Jason Lee was such fun. It was all so much fun. I’ll never forget it. So that movie to me will always be my favourite and the most fun I’ve had. Again, the movie itself I like a lot. I love the banter back and forth between TS and Brodie, and there’s talk about comics constantly, and there’s hanging out at the mall, and of course the goofiness of Silent Bob swinging through the air to try and break the stage down with schematics. The movie is my favourite, then Jay & Bob definitely a close second because I had so much fun on that one. All of them I did, honestly, were great, but those two stand out in terms of having fun.
There’s currently Clerks III and Mallrats II/MallBrats on the horizon for yourself, but what else can you tell us about what you’ve got coming up?
Hopefully Mallrats or Moose Jaws are next. Moose Jaws is part of the trilogy from Clerks II. So all that’s going on, and hopefully I get to direct this movie or we should start shooting Moose Jaws.
Bling is now available to watch for free exclusively on Google Play.SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.
CLICK TO BUY!
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: