Whether you were rocking out to Nirvana or being Saved by the Bell, nothing presented the 1990s pop-culture better than Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse. Created by the now cult classic actor and director Kevin Smith, his production company View Askew gave us classic like “Clerks” (1994), “Mallrats” (1995), “Dogma” (1999), and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001). With each new film the View Askewniverse grew, adding actors who were at the beginning of their careers like Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Michael Rooker. “Mallrats” was even one of the earlier Stan Lee cameos (the same cameo Lee can be seen rehearsing in his Captain Marvel cameo).
It’s been nearly a decade since fans have gone to theatres to see a new Kevin Smith View Askewniverse film, and the lack of immature jokes has taken its toll. But now… THEY’RE BACK! “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” is now in select theatres across the country and Kevin Smith fans can rejoice.
Part of Jay and Silent Bob’s epic return to theatres was filmed here in New Orleans, the new “Hollywood of the South.” I recently had the chance to speak with one of the film’s extras. “I would say I am a fan of Kevin Smith’s View Askew films. My favorite is honestly a toss-up between Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Dogma. I love them all though and really I can pinpoint where I was on my personal journey when each one came out,” says Kelli Ledet, lifelong New Orleans resident and extra for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”
“Originally we were just extras, but while I was waiting in the makeup line, my friend Anne was pulled aside to be “Zombied.” They asked if she was paired with a SIlent Bob and they came and got me. They tore our clothes and then we had to sit through makeup. The fake blood was AWFUL, and throughout the night they would apply it over and over again.
“Kevin Smith came in and talked to us as a group at one point, and Jason Mewes played around a lot in between takes and interacted with the extras. For the final scene, Kevin thanked us all, shook our hands, and really seemed nice.
“Filming reaction shots was weird. We would start at a mark that was usually attached to a crane, and as they would start to roll someone would yell out things and they wanted to film our reactions to it. So, you are looking at a piece of neon orange tape and making facial reactions to things like “nipple twisting!”
“The movie is very tongue-in-cheek and really does an excellent job of absolutely poking fun at itself. It felt like it was a great send-off that touched every one of his previous View Askew films. I was surprised at how much was cut too. WE FILMED A TON OF STUFF. It flowed, but it was just amazing as to how much content was cut out. I am hopeful for a director’s cut.”
While Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is only open in select theatres, fans can hope to see it when it comes out on Blu-ray or digital release. Thankfully, Smith has plans for more films, namely “Clerks 3,” which has not announced a premiere date yet.