The spirit of Mallrats took over Minneapolis for the weekend during the city's second annual Comic Con.
The legendary Kevin Smith came to the State Theatre for a Q&A that lasted a whopping two and a half hours, covering everything from his classic films to how surprisingly great Minnesota (and our weed) is. Smith's View Askew comrades and co-stars Jason Mewes and Michael Rooker were also in town this weekend at the convention, teaming up for their own Mallrats-themed Q&A.
Here are the best bits about Mallrats, Minnesota, and everything in between.
"The first time, when we made Clerks, people didn't expect shit. I can deliver on that... In many ways Mallrats was our first fucking movie."
On buying local weed before shows: "You lose 100 percent of your ability to predict what your speech patterns are going to be like... I thought this was going to be weak. Guess not... now I'm just stoning out."
On Minnesota: "I love Minnesota. It's the Canada of America!" Smith also talked about how much Jason Mewes liked shooting in Eden Prairie: "They fucking loved us."
Why they decided to film Mallrats at Eden Prairie Center: There was a big tax break... and the Eden Prairie Mall was operating at only half capacity, so it was easy to film there. While Smith would love to return to a local mall, working on any part of Mallrats 2 in Minnesota will depend mostly on whether or not there are tax breaks, but also whether they can work out the logistics of shooting in a mall where foot traffic won't interrupt filming.
On Purple Rain: "I've purified myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka... and I was like, 'My tits are bigger than hers!'"
Smith's favorite Minnesota moments: "Everything is a fucking memory here."
Smith recalls taking Joey Lauren Adams to a Denny's by a Best Buy and starting to fall for her there. (He ended up writing the indie cult classic Chasing Amy for her.) "That was the first mature woman that changed my life... at a Denny's in Minnesota. As I'm sure happened to you."
Smith also ended up taking a bunch of cast members to and from the airport during the original Mallrats, so he still knows the lay of the land. When he watched Fargo for the first time, he was excited because he recognized so much: "I know that fucking route! It makes you feel famous."
On that cookie stand from Mallrats: A guy (also named Kevin) came up to the mic to tell Smith he's been telling the story wrong for years. He said there wasn't actually a cookie stand in the mall, and that Smith and his cast would buy cookies from his coffee shop.
Even better? Smith gave him a great tip: He bought a cookie with a $100 bill and said keep the change. "Are you sure that wasn't Affleck?" Smith joked. The coffee shop guy then revealed that Michael Rooker one-upped Smith and tipped an entire Benjamin on his $3 cookie.
After the upending of the legend, Smith ended up promising, "I will now tell the cookie story better than my heart knows."
More details on Mallrats 2 becoming a reality now: Smith recounted his relationship with producer Jim Jacks (who also convinced Rooker to play Mr. Svenning), who was really supportive of Mallrats, and lobbying Smith to actually follow up on what they were calling Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall -- even though the original flopped at the box office.
Jacks had a system for producing films involving three note cards: one for current films, one for future projects, and one for dream projects. Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall made its way onto the third card and stayed there for years alongside other acclaimed projects that Jacks ended up making.
Jacks passed away in early 2014, and Smith eventually found out that Mallrats 2 was still on that third card. He vowed to make Mallrats 2 happen: "I can make the movie he wanted us to make."
Jason Mewes and Michael Rooker
Mewes on meeting Rooker: Mewes had been watching a bunch of Rooker's films with Smith. Right before he met Rooker he thought, "Oh my gosh I'm about to meet Henry. Is he gonna tie me up and spank me?"
Rooker on playing Claire Forlani's dad, Mr. Svenning: "I could be attracted to her! I'm not old enough to play this chick's dad!"
Rooker on Mr. Svenning's signature shaved head: Two days before they were supposed to start shooting Mallrats, Rooker when to the salon to get his hair died a salt-and-peppery gray. He sat in foils all day, and when they rinsed the bleach out, his hair was completely orange. On top of that, the bleach had burned his scalp, so he had little chemical burns on his head, too.
Rooker then went to Jacks's hotel room to play it off like he was going to be Mr. Svenning with orange hair: "I thought he was gonna have a stroke." Immediately afterward, Rooker went to his own room and shaved his head without anybody's permission -- much to the shock and dismay of the assistant directors and makeup artists.
Rooker showed up to the set with a bare scalp, burned by bleach, and covered in little pieces of toilet paper where he'd nicked himself while shaving. He was brought over to Smith, who was playing on his Gameboy. Smith looked up, said, "Okay," and went back to his game.
"That's when I knew we had a relationship made in heaven," said Rooker.
Mewes on going back to the mall: "The vibe is gonna be nostalgic. I'm gonna feel 18 again."
Mewes and Rooker prove they're still into potty humor: Way back when, the two met at a cast party that featured a hot tub, and now they're all about hot tubs.
Mewes: "We're gonna go from this panel to the hot tub." Rooker: "Farting in a tub is fun." Mewes: "Have you ever tried catching them?" (He then imitated chomping down on imaginary bubbles.) Rooker: "Eating beans before hot tubbing is the best."
Mewes on Rooker accidentally breaking Jason Lee's skateboard behind the scenes during Mallrats: "Jason took it like a champ. I mean, how can you not when you're up against Rooker?"
Rooker on chocolate-covered pretzels: "I just have this thing for chocolate-covered pretzels. I'm like a child who wants to hold it and squish it in my hands. Maybe this time I'll have a few out of an unopened bag."
Mewes on working with Rooker again: "Yeah, why don't you get me into your movies?!"
Which facilitated this ridiculous moment at Comic Con:
Also, this happened: