Kevin Smith talks “Clerks III” and “Tusk” during 2013 New York Comic Con

Media Mikes had the pleasure of attending the AMC “Comic Book Men” panel held during this year’s Comic Con Convention in New York on Oct. 10-13. The panel featured show creator Kevin Smith along with cast members Brian Johnson, Walter Flanningan, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic. Though the panel was originally meant to discuss season 2 of the hit AMC show the audience quickly turned it into their opportunity to grill Smith about a few of his other upcoming projects, namely “Clerks III” which Kevin had this to say.

Kevin Smith: “Clerks III” is currently going well enough to where the script is done and we are just waiting on finding our money. In an effort to keep my mind off of worrying about finding money for that movie I wrote this film titled “Tusk”. That is what I am going to be doing next. In a few weeks I will be heading to North Carolina to start filming. The film stars Justin Long and Michael Parks and it’s basically about a kid trying to turn another kid into a walrus. The film is based off of a UK add on a Gumtree website where there was actually a guy who made up this hoax about a person looking for someone to wear a walrus costume they made. The hoax was done by a guy named Chris Parkinson who we reached out to and actually made a producer on the film. Without his dopey idea I wouldn’t have come up with this. So while waiting on the money for “Clerks III” which I wanted to take to Sundance as it will be the 20th anniversary of the first “Clerks” films things were looking less and less likely so I wrote this stupid walrus movie. I wrote it in about 20 days under the mindset of not really wanting to make a movie but if I had to what would I want to see. I loved Michael Parks in “Red State” so I just built this around him with the idea that it would make it easy for me to sit on set for weeks and weeks as I would get to watch Michael work. When I got the script done it was like pornography and Michael Parks. (Laughs) We just pushed the ideas we had and thanks to some really good weed we said “fuck it” and tried pretty much everything. Over the next couple of months this film started to become more real than “Clerks III”. This is a much smaller scaled film that is easier to get in and out of. “Tusk” has now taken the place of “Clerks III” at Sundance this year as I thought fans would want to see something different rather than just more “Clerks”. We will still be doing “Clerks III” however not until March or April of 2014. I hope to have it done for the 20th anniversary as the original film came out in October of 1994. All of the crew from “Comic Book Men” will be in this film as could most of the people here in this room. “Clerks III” is going to be a massive fucking movie! I say that without a hint of irony.

Marilyn Ghigliotti reflect on her role in “Clerks” and on news of “Clerks III”

Marilyn Ghigliotti is best known for her role of Veronica in “Clerks”. With the director, Kevin Smith, announcing that “Clerks III” will be his final film, Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Marilyn about the news and reflects on her role in the original “Clerks”.

Mike Gencarelli: How can you reflect on Kevin Smith’s latest news to make “Clerks III” his last film?
Marilyn Ghigliotti: Well, it would be great. I think a lot of people really want to know what is happening with the characters anyway. I do not know if Veronica would be brought back or not – it would be really nice if she was. I am constantly asked that question about a third film. I was just lucky enough to work on the first film and play that character that everyone loves. In the same respect, I like the fact that fans are curious but I only know the same as them right now [laughs].

Mike: Why do you think these characters resonate going on 20 years now?
Marilyn: I think because they are believable. Everybody can relate to these characters. I am thinking because Kevin Smith had a lot of things against him but he beat the odds and was able to make this film possible without a studio. Since then it has just grown over the years. I have even had a nine year old girl come up to me and said that she loves the film [laughs].

Mike: Reflecting back on “Clerks”, at what point did you realize that this little film wasn’t going away?
Marilyn: It was when we were all at Sundance, which is when Miramax bought. Brian (O’Halloran) and I knew that the meeting was going on and we waited on pins and needles to see what was going to happen. When we got word it was bought by Miramax, where were really excited. Even then though, we didn’t know what to expect but we knew it was going to be a little more than we anticipated.

Mike: Do you have a highlight of working on that film?
Marilyn: All of it really. Next year is 20 years since it was filmed, so it is quite a long time. It was just a great experience. I remember we went in very late to shoot and at the time I was working at a salon as well. So I would be lucky to get an hour or two sleep after shooting before going off work. During shooting we got to meet the town drunk that would come in and buy cigarettes very late. We had hot bagels that we weren’t really suppose to have. So things like that.

Mike: Did you have any challenges with the sharp and quick dialogue for Veronica?
Marilyn: Oh yeah! I kind of trip-over my tongue naturally. You can even see, during the scene when Dante is painting Veronica’s nails. Kevin had enough film that he probably could have done a few more takes but I just kept tripping over my tongue. Even though, I come from theatre, which includes a lot of lines to memorize for a stage performance. For me learning lines is always a stressful thing. I want to be able to say them correctly as they are written.

Mike: Did you ever get approach for a role in “Clerks II”?
Marilyn: No, it never did. I did get to go to the premiere out in Red Bank though. I can see why she wasn’t in the film. But I could also could have seen a little cameo with her in it as well. There are many possibilities that I can see for Veronica in “Clerks III”. I know that Kevin writes his stories on how he is feeling at that moment, so it could have nothing for my character as well. But I am still hoping.

Mike: Besides acting, telling us about your work as a make-up artist?
Marilyn: Before I started acting, I was a practicing hair stylist in a salon. At a certain point, I was looking for something new. I was always interested in the entertainment field growing up, in some respect. I always wanted to take dance lessons as a kid and used to always watch musicals. I just ended up falling into it and I am happy I did. My parents brought me up telling me to get an office job or become a secretary to have financial security. Nothing against my parents but I am glad that I fell into this.

Mike: Tell us about what you have planned for next year?
Marilyn: There is one project called “Geek USA” that came about from the sound guy, Phil Bladh, who I worked with on “Alien Armageddon”. It was based on his prom when he was in High School. I was originally supposed to play his mom but there was a scheduling conflict. So I just play a store clerk and hopefully the scene isn’t cut [laughs]. It was fun though! I also just did a day on Neil Johnson’s latest film “Starship: Rising”. He was the director of “Alien Armageddon”. It was only one day but I love getting to work with him and he puts me in these roles that you wouldn’t normally expect to see me in. So, that was fun to do and I like getting to show range.

Brian O’ Halloran talks about the future of “Clerks”

Brian O’ Halloran is best known for playing Dante Hicks in the “Clerks” series. He also recently appeared in the horror film “Mr. Hush”. Brian took out some time to chat with Media Mikes to discuss the future of the series and also his love for working in theater.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the film “Mr. Hush”?
Brian O’ Halloran: I met the director, David Lee Madison, at a horror convention and he was finishing up the edit for the DVD release. He told me about the film and asked me to be apart of the teaser for the sequel. I said sure that sounds fine. So we shot my scene earlier this Spring and he edited in to the end for the DVD release. It is kind of a tease of the tease.

MG: What do you enjoy most working in the independent horror genre?
BOH: The reason I like working with independent filmmakers is that you are not dealing with a studio and them telling you what you can/can’t do. Yes, there is a struggle with independent that you have to do out and find distribution and sell your piece. Don’t get me wrong I like that studios can bring in everything you need to make your film. But with independent films, I find that the storylines are stronger personally because they don’t have the money to do the flashy special effects and giant budgeting for A-list celebrities. You have to count on a better script to bring people to your project. These writers and directors really put in their heart and soul. As far as the horror genre, there is no other fanbase that I find that is well as hardcore fans. They are like the Howard Stern fans of film. Horror fans don’t let you slide either, they are not afraid to let you know when something sucks. But that also keeps the genre honest, if you think about it.

MG: Looking back on “Clerks”, almost 20 years, how can you reflect on its cult status?
BOH: What is great about it is that it is this timeless piece of filmmaking. It is about this guy that gets calls in on his day off and everybody can relate to something like that. It speaks to generation after generation. I am glad the fanbase has followed along these characters and are still asking “when is there going to be another?”. They are still interested in it.

MG: What’s the word that I hear about Kevin Smith resurrecting “Clerks: The Animated Series”?
BOH: You are hearing the say thing I have been hearing [laughs]. I should be talking to Kevin soon about this. But I would love to bring this back. I think it is a lot easier and cheaper to produce something like that then it was to do back in 2000, when we first do it. At the time it wasn’t really the right outlet for us, especially since ABC screwed us and only aired two episodes. When he twitted about a few months ago, I got blasted with emails asking if this was true. To today that was still one of the easiest and best jobs I have had. We also had such great guest stars the first time like Alec Baldwin, Gilbert Gottfried, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Woods and Michael McKean. I know that still today so many people love it. So I would love to do it again.

MG: Smith also recently teased “Clerks III” on Broadway, care to comment?
BOH: I saw that also. I saw that someone recorded his saying that during a recent book signing. He say that I would obviously be on board since I come from a theater background, which is true. It is going to be Jeff (Anderson), who is going to be difficult to get on board. He was also difficult when we did “Clerks II”. Until he saw some of the footage and was satisifed that we were going to do it right, then he was on-board. To get him to do a movie, where it is five weeks of shooting and then done, is one thing. But trying to get him to do seven-eight performances a week for six months, that is going to take a big bulldowser. I think if he is not on-board, no one would do it. It would be impossible to replace him. So if it happens, I do theater all the time and it would be the highlight of my theater career. To get to hang out on Broadway, I would be completely down.

MG: Besides film you do a lot of theatre, what do you enjoy most about stage?
BOH: I enjoy most the live feedback from the audience. If it is a comedy, you are earning their laughter and that is awesome to feel that energy. The opposite side is that while working it each night you are able to correct or improve on your performance. Each night is a new adventure. It get’s my blood going.

MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
BOH: I am working right now on a comedy web series and right now it is called “New Jersey Theatre Players”. There will be a website, NJTheatrePlayers.com but is still under construction. We are just getting a bunch of friends together and just having fun. It is based on a community theater in New Jersey and the kookiness that happens with that. We just started shooting it at the end of August. Hopefully we will have the first few episodes completed by December and ready to launch by the beginning of the year.

Book Giveaway: “VDAMISNOS” by Clerks’ Scott Schiaffo [ENDED]

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING, THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EVERY WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Scott Schiaffo is known best for playing the role of the Chewlies Gum Guy from Kevin Smith’s debut film “Clerks”. To celebrate the book release of “VDAMISNOS” written by Scott, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the book. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite quote from the film “CLERKS”. This giveaway will be open until Tuesday February 28th at Noon, Eastern Time. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

In this bold collection of prose, tales, and streams of semi-consciousness, actor and musician Scott Schiaffo (“Clerks”, “Vulgar”) takes you through the depths of existential angst, addiction, and near death experiences. This book reflects a troubling time in a gifted man’s journey.

Click here to read out raving review of “VDAMISNOS”
Click here to check out our interview with Scott Schiaffo
Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.com