An Interview with the “Clerks”
BY KEVIN CARR
Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson play Dante Hicks and Randal Graves in the new Kevin Smith comedy “Clerks II.” Kevin talks with Brian and Jeff about the success of the first film, what it is like playing the clerks and what it was like coming back to play them more than ten years later.
Excepts from the interview follow. To hear the entire interview, click here.
7M: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FILM?
JEFF: I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Going into this, I was skeptical. I didn’t want to do this movie. They dragged me in kicking and screaming. Almost literally. And I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
7M: WHY WERE YOU HESITENT?
JEFF: I don’t know. “Clerks” was a weird movie. I always attributed a large part of the success sort of to the back story. The black and white look of it was just as big of a character in the film as we were. What are we going to do? How do you replicate that? Do you go back to shoot black and white? If you do that, you’re trying to do the same movie. Do you go back and shoot color? If you do color, then it’s weird, and you’re trying not to do the same movie.
I didn’t understand how it was going to happen or how he was going to pull it off. He was also approaching me with this on the heels of “Jersey Girl” where he was getting fairly beat up, and I was questioning his motives and why he was all of a sudden coming back to Jay-Bob stuff. I was also concerned that more often than not, sequels leave a bad taste in the mouth of people, and I didn’t want to do this with this movie.
Now watching the movie, I’m pretty happy with the way he pulled it all together.
7M: ARE YOU AFRAID OF BEING TYPE CAST?
BRIAN: I still live in New York and New Jersey, so I do a lot of theatre. Those type of roles, number one, aren’t written for theatre. And number two, I get to play a lot of different characters that I’m happy with. If I go back out to L.A., which I’m thinking about doing, and I start being handed scripts like, “Okay, in CSI, a convenience store clerk gets killed,” that’s when I’d figure it out. But I don’t think so.
JEFF: If I were pursuing any other work, I’d be concerned about it. But being I’m not, I’m not too concerned about it.
7M: WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO KISS THE BOSS’S WIFE??
BRIAN: It was kind of odd. It’s very rare that you have your friend/director asking you to make out with his real wife numerous times, while he watches and videos it, or films it, rather. It was kinda weird and uncomfortable with the of position she was in and everything. You don’t want any type of mishap to happen or anything because the next thing you know, I’m out and Charlie Sheen or Seth Green is in, so to speak.
JEFF: That was my biggest disappointment. As soon as I got the script, I thumbed through it so quick, like, “Who am I kissing? Who am I kissing? Who am I kissing?… Dammit!”
7M: BRIAN GETS ALL THE TAIL IN THESE MOVIES.
JEFF: All the time!
BRIAN: Many fine, fine looking women.
7M: SO IS RANDAL GAY?
JEFF: [sarcastic laugh]
BRIAN: But you will be seeing him in “Brokeback Mountain 2.”
7M: DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH THE CHARACTERS?
BRIAN: I can identify somewhat with the angst they feel that ten years has gone by and they think life is passing them by. I can relate to that.
JEFF: I do more so now than I probably should. I think it’s supposed to go the other way. I think I should have originally identified with him and be moving from it. I seem to be drawn toward this guy. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of us.
7M: DOES THE MOVIE GO TOO FAR, OR NOT FAR ENOUGH?
BRIAN: I think it’s at it’s perfect level. You add too much heat, and it overboils. You don’t add enough, and it’s just a warm, gazpacho soup.
7M: WHAT’S NEXT? ARE YOU GOING TO DO “VULGAR 2”?
BRIAN: Ohh… so many people have asked on this tour, and I’m kinda frightened about it. I hope Bryan Johnson doesn’t hear any of this.
JEFF: “Even More Vulgar”! I’ll absolutely tell you that you won’t see me in that one.
7M: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE SPECIAL WITH THE FILM?
BRIAN: There’s a commentary track you can download off of iTunes. After the second week of release, you’re gonna be able to download from iTunes.com or Clerks2.com a commentary track which they recorded in which you’ll find out the behind the scenes of stuff. So you’ll download it onto your iPod, go back to the theater, put your iPod on and cue it up to the opening credits. And as the movie’s still on in theaters with an audience, you can hear the behind the scene of the donkey show, the pussy troll, the ass-to-mouth, all that fun, fun stuff.
JEFF: It was me, Kevin and Scott Mosier. It’s a very funny commentary track, actually. We spend, I don’t want to say little time talking about the movie, but we get into some very bizarre topics. It’s funny.