Jason Mewes and his character of Jay in the films of Kevin Smith are iconic for legions of moviegoers worldwide. Jay and Silent Bob were the modern day Cheech and Chong counter culture figures for the video store youth. Over the past six years Jason kicked his drug habit, got married and started a family, became a force in the podcasting world and has continued to grow as an actor by taking on roles that cast him outside of his iconic characterization. He’s also branching off into the behind the scenes aspects of producing, writing, and directing. For the people who grew up watching him on the screen Jason Mewes is now proving to be inspiration for them and other’s all over the world.
Terror Time: Hi Jason. Congratulations on the upcoming release of VIGILANTE DIARIES. It’s a very different role from the Jay character. Was there a specific turning point in your career where you made the decision to be taken more seriously and began seeking out more diverse roles?
Jason Mewes: I wouldn’t say there was a turning point where I said I want to be taken seriously in the sense of I should be taken seriously because I’m great but yes honestly for me in the beginning I wasn’t planning on acting so after CLERKS I went back to work and it wasn’t until after MALLRATS that I got offered to play a different character in DRAWING FLIES and after that I came to the realization of wow this is something I can do for a living. So then I wanted to challenge myself by auditioning to play a cop or being in an action movie. It was just the opportunity to have fun doing this as a career to make money doing something I love by playing pretend and seeing the finished movie.
TT: In recent years you’ve really cleaned up your life by beating your drug habit. How hard is it for you to deal with the people who can’t realize that in reality you’re not the Jay character that they associate with the drug culture?
JM: It happens pretty often. Even doing the podcast with Kevin where I talk about being sober now people will still come up to me and say “snooch to the nooch” and they expect me to start dancing. Like at a live show where I’ll talk about being sober for six years and literally I’ll be outside after the show taking pictures and signing items and people will walk up wanting to smoke a blunt with me and asking me to smoke weed with them. They just assume that since the Jay character smokes weed then Jason Mewes smokes weed. Even when I’m in public people will stare and pause and be like you’re that guy and they expect me to be Jay and instead I’m out with my wife and baby and I’m like Hello. How are you today? thank you very much for the compliment. It really surprises them.
TT: That’s wild that some people can’t differentiate between the two. You’ve been a fan favorite at horror conventions and your live podcast shows over the past few years. What’s the oddest fan experience you’ve encountered on the convention circuit?
JM: One that really stands out to me is a guy walked up to me in the bathroom saying you’re that guy and wanted to shake my hand while I’m pissing. I just thought that was weird. I mean my wiener was just in my hand. It’s just really awkward and I’d never want to shake anyone’s hand immediately after their wiener was in their hand. Some of the best experiences that I’ve had are of meeting people who come up crying with tears of happiness saying you saved my son or daughter. He or she listened to your stories on the podcast about getting clean and they motivated him or her and your movies helped them during the withdrawal period. It’s just great to hear those stories because I never expected that from the movies or podcast. I also love the age range I get from fans. At the conventions an eighty-year-old woman will come up to me saying she loves the movies or a thirteen or fourteen-year-old will come up and say my parents showed me your movies. At the last convention there were thirteen and fourteen-year-old girls dressed as Bluntman and Chronic. It’s just shocking to me how well that age range knows the movies. It’s really cool. Just hearing the people say that my story helped them or their loved ones is just so cool and it stays with me.
TT: It’s fantastic that your story and successes in life have helped so many people. Of course MOOSE JAWS is a film people are eagerly anticipating. Are you ready to do battle with the moose?
JM: Oh yeah. Jay and Bob are going to be in there. They’ll be part of the action. A lot of fun stuff. At some of the shows we’ve read small parts of the script and it’s been fun. Jay and Bob will definitely be in a good portion of MOOSE JAWS. It’s not all about Jay and Bob but we’ll be throwing our hats in the ring.
TT: Good stuff man. It sounds like another fun film from the two of you. Are there any projects you’ve got coming out soon for the fans to be on the lookout for?
JM: VIGILANTE DIARIES comes out Friday, YOGA HOSERS will be coming out this year which of course is Kevin’s new movie and I play the part of a rogue cop in one scene with Johnny Depp. It was a blast. I’m hoping if all goes well and the financing comes thru I’ll be directing my first feature film this year. I’ve directed shorts, music videos, and a PSA but I’m really excited for my feature directorial debut. So if all goes well I’ll be acting in and directing my first feature in October. I’ll be tweeting about and updating everyone as it becomes finalized.
TT: Awesome. It looks like Jason Mewes will be taking over the world this year. Thank you so much Jason for the time and discussion and best of luck in your multitude of endeavors.
JM: I’m hoping to man. Thank you Brad and have a great day.
Check out the trailer below