I sat down with Kevin Smith to discuss his latest film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and ended up talking about his dick size, my dick size (?) and how he is a sloppy lay.
by Jen McNeely
Kevin Smith is a legend in cult cinema (CLERKS, CHASING AMY, MALLRATS) and thus I was slightly nervous to interview my scatalogically inclined and perverse mentor. But as soon as he walked through the room decked in his usual over-sized black t-shirt and shorts, looking for a window to perch by and smoke, I immediately felt at ease to discuss the most vulgar of intimate anecdotes. What better way to get comfortable then to launch right into a conversation about dick and pussy? After all, this is a film about porn.
“So Kevin, tell me why you decided to make a film about porno. When did the idea come to you?”
“The porn slant has been around since like ’96.”
Brewing for over a decade, Kevin admitted to being very into the idea of making a film about, ‘normal’ people fucking. After all, haven’t we all seen enough fake tits and annoyingly perfect orgasms?
“Tell me, what was your first porn experience?”
“I think I was about twelve. I was at a family friend’s house. She went out to eat with my parents and I was rummaging around through her video cassette drawer.”
Snoopy bastard. (eh, like we all aren’t guilty of this.)
“I found one in an old VHS box and it had a label on it – I don’t remember the name of it, which is weird.”
Little Kevin then pressed play and was floored by what he saw:
“It was the first time I saw insertion, which is strange when you are twelve, you’re just like ‘wow’. I remember they had sex in a pool and the entire score was a harmonica. Actually, not even harmonica, might have been a kazoo. I was like, that is the music of sex, a kazoo.”
I’d rather an erratic violin or tribal drum – but to each their own.
“So they were having sex in a pool?”
“Yeah, the dude came in the pool. Considering I had never seen anything before, it was pretty out there. The cum was just floating.”
Quick and dirty visual of icky floating milk curds and then moving right along I ask:
“What was it like working with this cast, and specifically Seth Rogen?”
“Yeah yeah yeah he’s [Rogen’s] a fucking whiz at ad-libbing. He buttons jokes, comes up with alternative lines – here’s a dude that no matter what is in the script – anything he ad libs is organic to a scene. Sometimes when you are on a set people ad lib but it’s unusable. For instance, on Degrassi”, which Smith was filming for twelve hours just the day before, “I was adlibbing just to make people laugh but none of it was usable to the show. Seth is really great in being able to ad lib and you are sitting there going ‘I could totally use that.’ It doesn’t take you out of the movie, it doesn’t distract from the scene. It actually keeps the story moving forward. I mean – you welcome a guy like that.”
“How was the overall camaraderie when you are doing scenes like, um – for instance the anal sex one where the shit falls over Lester’s (Jason Mewes) face?” (oh, come on – I had to ask)
“I mean, in a scene like that there are two people fucking, and then the dude who ends up being a target of sorts.” he says with a smirk: “The target scene…I think everyone who worked on the film came to the set that day just to see how it was going to work. The cannon that Kenny, the special effects guy created, was pretty ingenious – but we had to test it before we shot. We grabbed one of the A.D.’s (lucky him) tarped him up with plastic bags, stuck him out in the parking lot and hit him. Everyone was like, ‘wow, that’s disturbing’. ” I take a moment trying to imagine what it would be like to get a cannon of fake poo splattered all over me. Ha ha ha. Eww. Okay, back to fucking:
“In terms of the actual sex part – you couldn’t ask for two better people to fake fuck on film then Jason Mewes and Katie Morgan (who plays the more than willing porn actor Stacey),” Smith declares with absolute respect.
“Hmm-hmm –yeah.” I respond like I totally know how amazing these two would be to fake fuck.
“Katie, in her day job, knows how to real fuck on film, and Mewes has just been air humping since he got out of the womb.”
Yeah, he does seem like he’d be really good at air humping – classic. Smith continues:
“It was kind of a match made in heaven.”
Now on to a more serious question – well, kind of:
“You’ve always created characters that are non-ambitious, dudes who like to get wasted…what is it about these types that you are so fascinated with?”
“Cause it would have been me. It was me and it would have been me if CLERKS hadn’t taken off. If it weren’t for CLERKS – that would have been it – over-educated and unambitious. They called it slackers in the nineties…I dunno what they call it now but that’s my mindset. If I didn’t have this job, that’s what I’d be doing: sitting around, working only when I had to at a menial job, and spending the rest of the time just bullshitting.”
Drinking beer and bullshitting with Kevin Smith for a weekend? Sign me up. He was so humble about his success, like the success of CLERKS was some accident.
“What was the most rewarding part about making this film?”
“I can tell you the shit that wasn’t rewarding, like having to deal with the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) with the rating and trying to find a poster that they would approve. Having “PORNO” in the title was a real red flag for some. It became very difficult to get a trailer put through, TV spots put through, poster.”
“What’s your take on that? Are you just like – ‘what the fuck?”
“Sometimes I’m just like –it’s 2008!!! Porno is so mainstream. In a world where…okay twenty years ago, or okay – shit, thirty years ago –,” doing the math on how old he is, “okay, let’s see. If I was twelve, oh god – was that twenty five years ago I saw my first porn? Ugh, I feel so old. Twenty five years ago, porn, I could understand people being like ‘OH That’s so wrong and dirty!’ but now you have porn at your fingertips with the internet. It’s prevalent, it impedes on your daily life whether its surfing a website or you are just getting spam: ‘Make Your Dick Bigger’, it’s everywhere.”
“Spam is ridiculous.”
“Totally, and God forbid you click on one of those links, cause then you are inundated for life. I mean, I did once because I was like ‘I would like to make my dick bigger’ and now I get tons of fucking spam.”
“I also get invitations to make my dick bigger.”
“Well, you and me are probably at the same starting place, dick wise.”
For a moment I’m distracted trying to imagine Smith’s penis. Then this distraction transforms into an imagined version of my pretend penis. Would Kevin and I ever be naked in a locker room comparing sizes? I have a vagina – for the record.
Back on track, Smith continues:
“It was just kinda strange for me, because people at the beginning were like ‘I dunno, porno in the title’. And I was like UGH – it’s the 21st century dude – porno is not the worst thing in the world anymore. There are still pockets of resistance.”
“Yeah – I mean there are films out there, like Blindness where there are scenes of very violent and disturbing gang bangs. Why don’t they receive the same protests?”
“I mean some people, well, most people, associate porn with people who are kind of broken or damaged in some way and I dunno, you talk to Katie Morgan, one of the most centered people I’ve ever met, she’s very fond of saying – ‘porn didn’t find me, I found it.’ She has no broken childhood story, no rape, no molestation. She was just like ‘I like to fuck and it pays very well’, and I was like – ‘you are a statistical anomaly based on anything I’ve ever read on the subject.’ AND every thirteen year old boy’s fantasy – the porn actress who actually likes porn! They exist, but you don’t hear about that because it’s not sexy. You generally hear about the people who are like ‘I was at wits end and then I turned to porn.’ This film is kind of like that but in a different way. They’re (Zack and Miri) not two people who are stuck who decide to join the porn industry, they are just like ‘well let’s just DIY it.”
We look at each other with a sort of glance that reads, ‘fucking right – DIY it!” Then Smith reveals:
“The movie is not so much about porn as it is about making your first flick. Really, the whole thing is just a dressed up version of how we made CLERKS – minus the sex.”
Curious I inquire, “So, did you go to strip clubs for inspiration?”
“Going into a strip club to film this was the first time I’d been in about three or four years. It comes to a certain point when you know…I remember my father said to me once, when I was like twelve: ‘Boobs are boobs…why do you care about boobs? You’ve seen one pair, you’ve seen them all.’ I was like – ‘you are out of your mind, what are you, gay?’ Actually I never said that to him,” he chuckles, “then the older I get I think, yeah you are right – how many times can you see someone naked? There’s always a curiousity factor about seeing someone without their clothes on, but it’s not always salacious like ‘I wanna see that person with their clothes off and then I want to fuck them.’ Sometimes it’s just human curiousity – ‘oh, so that is what that person looks like with their clothes off’. Also – once you are married and you are seeing nudity every day – whether you want to or not – umm, it’s just kind of – well, you are like – why would I bother going to a strip club when I can see this at home for nothing?”
“There are so many different kinds of porn like plastic, girl on girl, midget, S&M – what are you into?”
“I like amateur. I dig watching normal people have sex. It’s tough to get your head around porn with great lighting and like beautiful hair that never gets matted. I mean, I’ve had sex and my sex is very very boring – very sloppy and I’m a total bottom and I don’t get up on top. There’s something very nice, down to earth and organic about a camera and just two people fucking.”
Since he shared a secret, I did too: “I was on red tube the other day for the first time.”
Smith’s eyes light up, “YES!”
Realizing that we both enjoy watching regular couples doing it, the conversation was just about to get really juicy, but unfortunately – time was up.
Go check out Zack and Miri Make a Porno – you will laugh, be grossed out and perhaps inspired to get it on with a camera – if not for shit (let’s hope), at least for giggles.