Scott Mosier has been Kevin Smith’s producer since Clerks, but their latest film, Jersey Girl has perhaps been the toughest sell. After the failure of Gigli, Smith has spent almost all his interviews explaining to press that his film is not a Ben and J-Lo story. Mosier said Smith expected this and prepared accordingly.
“I think he’s so seasoned at this point and I think it’s something he knew going in that I think he knew when he entered into that junket that the first four questions were going to be about that and all about that,” Mosier said. “So I think he was ready for it. But you know what? It’s necessary. And it was necessary now that the movie’s coming out to answer those questions so we can position it the way it’s supposed to be. This is our opportunity to make people think about the movie in a different way than what the perception has been from back in the time. Once the other movie came out and our name was getting thrown into those articles, whether you want to do it or not, it was important for us to go out and say we’re not that movie. We have nothing to do with that movie. Our movie is a completely different experience. So I’m sure he’s tired of it, but I think he knew that it was something that he needed to do.”
As the first film out of Smith’s “Askewniverse,” Mosier recognizes the importance of maintaining the original fan base even when moving on. “I mean, ‘Jay and Silent Bob [Strike Back]’ is completely influenced by that [fan base]. It’s an entire movie made based on that fan base that was created over the internet. Not just the internet. I think the fan base goes even beyond that. But at this point in our career, it’s extremely important. Even with this movie where one could contend that it’s not necessary, that we’re going for a different audience, but there’s still a fan base that’s important. It’s something that you want to carry over. We’re not making this movie to disregard them. You want them to come along, and if it’s not their favorite, because they all have their favorites some people swear by ‘Chasing Amy’. You can go through all the fans and there are still people who swear by each individual movie. There are still people who think ‘Clerks’ is the best thing we ever did. Some people say ‘Jay and Bob’. There’s always somebody to vote one of the movies number one. So I hope fans will come, even if it’s not their favorite of the six, there will be elements. So far, the response on the website from the fans that have seen it has been pretty favorable.”
One treat for fans may be the new View Askew logo, which features a CGI Jay and Silent Bob acting out a slapstick skit. “There’s a guy named Chris Bailey who was the director on the ‘Clerks’ animated series and he not only does traditional 2D but he works in 3D. He’s working on ‘Garfield’ now and he’s working on a few films, so we’ve kept in touch. Kevin had the idea, for the 10th year he wanted to do a new logo. And so Chris directed and hired people, built and did the whole thing. That’ll be the logo for a while.”
Though the film is PG-13, Mosier hopes parents will decide whether young kids should see the film. “Any kid over 13 I think would be fine. Of course there’s elements of any 13-year-old. There’s different types of 13-year-olds but it should always be the parent who’s making the decision as to what their kid can handle. But I would say anyone over 13, and then underneath that, I do think that’s when the parents need to step in, see the movie and decide whether they think there’s anything in there that they would feel uncomfortable. I’m not a parent, so I’m not going to say it’s fine for everybody because every parent has to make their own decision. I mean, I personally don’t feel that there’s anything in there that’s that offensive and that a kid shouldn’t see, but once again, that’s the decision of a parent.”
One scene has two seven-year-olds showing their private parts to each other, one of the tests of single father Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck)’s parenting skills. Mosier assured fans that the kids were handled safely in that scene. “Any time you’re doing any work with kids, there are representatives of the state with them. There are people providing you with guidelines all the time, but then as adults, you talk to the kids about it and make sure they know what they’re doing and make sure the parents are comfortable. It’s one of those scenes where you talk about it with everybody so everybody knows exactly what it is. But then you end up shooting it in a way where it comes off like it might’ve been more compromising than it really was. To be on the set, there was a little boy, but he was wearing his underwear and stuff.”
Mosier will not be producing The Green Hornet with Smith because he decided to take some time off from the business. “It was my choice to make and I’ve been traveling a little bit in the last few months, just taking some time off. We’re at the 10 year mark at this point. It’s been a full decade and I just wanted to take a break and sit back. ‘Green Hornet’ just happened to be the movie that came next. If it was ‘Fletch’ or something else, I would sit that one out too. It wasn’t anything revolving around the specifics of that movie.”
Jersey Girl is now playing.