Kevin Smith's love affair with Canada continues to evolve.
First, the New Jersey-born director declared his love of "Degrassi" on "Speaker's Corner" way back in the '90s. A decade later, he guest-starred on "Degrassi: TNG." Then he became a fixture at Canada's answer to Comic-Con, Fan Expo. And now his TV show "Spoilers" has made its way onto the Canadian airwaves.
And that's not all. He describes his upcoming horror movie, "Tusk," as an "ode to Canada," and his new hockey-centric miniseries, "Hit Somebody," promises to be bursting with Canadian-isms. His relationship with Canada is getting so serious, he's working on taking it to the next level by becoming a bona fide citizen. "Canada's just the land of dreams for me right now," Smith says. "Canada's so in my blood it's crazy."
We caught up with Smith early one Sunday morning to chat about "Spoilers," the movie chat show he debuted on Hulu last year that's been resurrected for a second season by The Comedy Network in Canada. Don't expect a typical movie review show. Instead of dissecting films and assigning them ratings, "Spoilers" features candid conversations with average moviegoers and celebrity guests like Jane Lynch.
HuffPost Canada TV: Why do you think you have such a strong affinity for Canada?
Kevin Smith: I think that coming from Jersey has something to do with it. Canada kind of has that Jersey thing going for it, where Jersey is right next door to New York -- it's the centre of the f**kin' universe and everyone talks about how cool New York is. Same thing with Canada -- Canada has a very loud, identifiable noisy neighbor. I think Canada is just the quiet older brother or sister who says yeah, [America] is great. I think that's the Jersey sensibility as well.
What can we expect from the new season of "Spoilers"? Who will be guest-starring, and what movies will you be talking about?
The guest list is cool, but they told me not to say anything about it. It's not my friends. People are like you've gotta have Affleck! I'm like shit, I doubt that dude would ever sit with me, because I would ask the weirdest f**king questions. But it will be cool nonetheless. Also, I guess the big change this season is we move to a stage. We got the production designer from "Homeland," John Kretschmer. He came up with what looks like the floor of a movie theatre after it's done, with giant overturned candy and cups and ticket stubs and shit like that. It immediately screams f**kin' fun. Which is cool, because basically the show is people sitting around talking about movies. That was always the best part of the movie to me, talking about it, going to see flicks with my Dad, or when I was older, going to see flicks with my friends in high school on Friday night, even though sooner or later they were like let's go f**kin' drink and I was like no, let's go see "Ghandi," this will be amazing.
I'm sure there must be cases where you know someone who's worked on one of the films you're talking about. Do you ever get any flak about negative reviews?
No. To be honest, I never go in there swinging. I'm never like: it's shit, and the people who made it are Nazis and abortionists! Having been a filmmaker, I know that nobody sets out to make a bad movie. I know how many jobs it takes, I know the effort. For me, that tempers everything. I'll never be the guy who's like oh, this is shit, they never should have tried in the first place.
Is Jason Mewes back this season?
He might be back. He won't be the stagehand dude he was last season. He's a producer on the show, and his wife [Jordan Monsanto] is the big-time producer on the show. I think we're going to bring him back for a section -- and this is a very big Canadian homage section. I always loved "Speaker's Corner." So I think we're doing this version of that called MewesTube, where we'll solicit one minute movie reviews on YouTube and then Jason will collect them and edit them into a little clip package and then come introduce it every week.
I know you refer to him as your hetero lifemate -- what do you think the secret to your long-lasting relationship is?
You know, he is as loyal as they come. I would say that dude believes in me more than anyone on the planet, with the exception of perhaps my wife. But on some days, even more than my wife. There's some shit where my wife is like, "Oh Kevin, don't do that." But Jason Mewes has never once said we shouldn't do [something]. He is so f**kin' intrepid it's crazy. We've known each other going on 25 years or something. For the first half let's say, I've always safeguarded him and tried to keep him out of drugs and try to point him in the right direction and shit. But lately, for the last three years of his sobriety, he's been my flat-out business partner, and he's followed where others have not. He's a believer for some reason.
Your wife [Jennifer Schwalbach] is also one of the producers -- what's your work dynamic like?
It's pretty simple, man. She'll weigh in on shit, and generally be negative about it. [Laughs] She won't want to hear that, but it's true! And then it'll force me to look at it in a new way, and sometimes it improves, and sometimes I stand my ground. At the end of the day, she's the gatekeeper. A lot of the stuff I do, an agent will say don't do that, and I'm like are you f**kin' nuts? This is awesome! If I had a bucket list going and someone said where would you want TV shows, one, of course, would be on the network I watch every f**kin' show on, AMC, and the second would be to have a Canadian TV show. And now I've got 'em. So expect me to die in the next 10 minutes. [Laughs]
I was listening to your podcast where you interviewed your daughter, and she was talking about how much she loves My Chemical Romance, and then I saw that Gerard Way was one of your guests on "Spoilers." What's it like for her for her father to have access to her heroes?
She digs it, of course, but it's really humanizing. It's one thing to be like oh my God, there are these untouchable people who do this thing. And for me, I'm like here, meet that person, see how touchable that person is, and see how doable something is. Her meeting Gerard Way is a really great thing for her as a potential artist, as someone we're trying to raise with a down-to-earth mindset. We try to do that as much as we can living in Los Angeles. It's like, don't worship celebrity -- worship art, worship what that person has done. And the best way to do that is to meet that motherf**kin' person, and have a conversation.
You had a great cameo on "The Mindy Project." How did that come about -- are you a fan of the show?
I am. F**k, I love her to death, I think she's funny as f**k. How it happened was my friend Ralph Garman was like hey, my friend works on "The Mindy Project," he wants to know if you want to do this cameo thing. I was like yeah, totally. He was like, it's on a plane! I was like, awww. But then I was like yeah, f**k it. It was cute, and enough time has passed from that incident where I was like yeah, fine, I can totally have fun with this. I went and just had a f**kin' blast. She was really cool. There was talk about coming back, and I was like f**k, I'll come back anytime anyone's on a plane! I'll come back every episode -- make me the show's Schneider ("One Day at a Time"). I'll f**kin' totally be there.
"Spoilers" premieres on Friday, December 6 at 9:30 PM EST/PST on The Comedy Network.
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