Interview with Vigilante Diaries star Jason Mewes
Fans of Kevin Smith are no doubt the same fans of his trusty side kick Jason Mewes. For years most only knew him as half of the duo Jay and Silent Bob, but over the years he has made a name for himself as an actor in his own right taking on a wide variety of roles. His latest film the Vigilante Diaries thrusts him into the world of action and I had the chance to sit down with Jason and discuss his latest project and how he has taken his career in its direction it is today.
Bobby: How did you get involved with the Vigilante Diaries?
Jason: It started as a web series that me, Paul Sloan and Christian Sesma. They came up with the idea and the script and then asked if I wanted to be a part of it. I got to put in my two cents and then we started trying to get money for it as a TV series or movie or whatever. We started thinking of these ideas and it started as a web series and we did a couple of episodes and threw it out there and saw that people really liked it and then someone contacted Christian and they liked it and wanted to throw some money towards it to make it into a movie. We didn’t have a lot of money, but were passionate and had all these ideas on how to shoot it and I think it turned out awesome. It has gone far past what I expected it to be. I didn’t get to go with them, but they went away and shot a portion of it with Michael Jai White and I got to sit and watch it with the cast and crew when finished and I think it’s awesome. The production quality for the money they had and getting Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Michael Madsen, and Danny Trejo, I am just super stoked from where it started to where it is now.
Bobby: I’ve been a fan of yours all the way back to Clerks and love seeing you branch out and do different things. Did you have to go through any kind of training for a film like this for the action side of it?
Jason: No, but I wish I did honestly. I think it was fun with what I got to do, but I feel there were options for me to do more if I was physically able to do it. It’s not that I was asked to do anything I couldn’t, but what’s cool with them is that I was able to put my input so when we did the fight scenes and stuff I could suggest things. So I had the option, but we were limited. I wish I had the time to do some working out and learning some cool stuff, but I didn’t and lesson learned. I am going to start doing that though so that when the opportunity arises I can throw in my two cents on some of the action.
Bobby: You did get to flex the muscle you are known for with the fast paced dialogue. How much of that was improved and how much was scripted?
Jason: It was nice because being a part of it since the beginning. Paul and Christian gave a nice outline to where things were going, but I did get to throw in a lot of adlibbing. It was great with all the action being thrown around because I didn’t have to stick to the dialogue as long as I got the point across. The adlibbing was my chance to develop that character a little bit, but I didn’t want to get to lax and goofy because then it would just seem like Jay. I was trying to avoid that while still having fun and making him cool and different.
Bobby: While you are mostly known for your work with Kevin Smith you have done a ton of stuff on your own now. How do you go about choosing projects?
Jason: For me right now is just trying to do stuff that’s different. I get comments sometimes of people who think I am great but the movie I was in was horrible and don’t get me wrong I don’t always think the script is brilliant, but if they are asking me to play a role that is really different I’m interested. Of course I have played roles that were just like Jay, but those are usually because I think the script as a whole is great. The film may be super low budget and I will look at the movie and think it’s not that great, but I think the character is different than normal so I want to do it and put it out there so if people see it even if it sucks and I do a good job they can see me doing different things and am good at that. That is sort of how I have been picking and choosing for the past few years to just characters that are different than Jay.
Bobby: It’s been great seeing you branch out and you have been doing a great job.
Jason: Thanks, I am just trying to do different things and the next thing I really want to do is direct. I have already directed some music videos and a short film, but I really want to direct a feature. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is looking good. We are really close to getting financing and if it all goes as planned hopefully by October I will be directing my first feature. I am excited about that, but it’s not set in stone yet so hopefully it works out. Directing is something I really want to do, but I also wrote myself into the script. My friend wrote it but we came up with the concept together and there are some serious monologues that I would get to do. It does go back into the realistic goofiness of myself, but there are some serious parts. I think it can be really good so hoping it pans out.
I am also working an animation role that I am really stoked about. Again I play a stoner guru that I am really stoked about, Jimmy the Janitor. We did a TV show that ended after two seasons but there is going to be a cartoon movie that wraps up the storyline.
Bobby: If the Vigilante Diaries does as well as it should are there discussions already about possibly revisiting this universe?
Jason: Yeah I hope so. I have been talking to Christian and Paul about it. From what they gather right now the people that invested in the first one are interested in a little bit of talks about more. So I hope so because not only did I have a blast and think the movie as a whole turned out really well, but I think it really could go into some other cool places. I hope it does well enough so that these financers are willing to put more behind it.
Bobby: Awesome. I’m a huge fan and want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me and wish you luck on this and everything in the future.
Jay: Thank you very much and you have an awesome day.
Check out the Vigilante Diaries in select theaters and iTunes now and coming to On Demand, Blu-ray and DVD July 5th.