Thu January 31, 2013
Arts & Life

Mewes Speaks: ‘Jay’ On Marijuana, Sobriety, And Getting Old

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith – widely known as stoner icons Jay and Silent Bob – are bringing their popular (and very raunchy) live podcast to Boulder Friday.

Their road show Jay and Silent Bob Get Old has been taking the actors all over the country, sharing whatever’s on their minds and mingling with fans of the Smith-directed films.

The show, usually known as the SModcast, is being billed as POTcast for the Boulder stop. Jason Mewes, the “Jay” to Smith’s “Silent Bob,” says that’s very much by design in light of Colorado’s landmark passing of Amendment 64.

I spoke with Mewes about being typecast as a stoner, and about how doing the show has helped him hang onto sobriety.

Colorado was one of two states to legalize marijuana in the last election. Did you and Kevin (Smith) have the show scheduled in Boulder before the vote?

“We were already looking into going out to Colorado. We had been talking about it because I’d done a Q and A there years ago, I think it was in Boulder. So I told Kevin it was a blast and that we should check it out, bring the podcast there. But after they legalized [pot] and made it official, we definitely made a point to make it definitely happen.”

Credit Rob Blatt / Creative Commons/Flickr

Do you ever feel typecast as a stoner type? Just curious if you’re looking for different roles to play other than the stoner icon…

“Yeah, for years, that was the only role I was getting offered. The cool thing is, I’ve done a few movies now, and now people are seeing I could play someone else, you know, the romantic guy, or the crazy guy, or whatever…  I feel like when I go into meetings or auditions, they don’t just expect me to come in for the stoner, slapsticky funny guy.

But definitely for years I felt like it was tough for people to see past the long hair and the stoner persona… For a few years it was like that but not anymore. I’ve done a bunch of different characters now. I played Vinnie, a mobster in a movie ‘The Last Godfather’ with Harvey Keitel.

I think the audience, though, -- even after all these years, and even after listening to the podcast for two hours and me talking about being sober and not doing anything, they’ll think I’m just talking about [not doing] the heavy drugs.. (laughs). And afterwards they’ll still offer me—you know, like “Hey man, you wanna come smoke out with us?” People still assume I smoke.”

You’ve been pretty open about dealing with substance abuse, and getting sober. You talk about it a lot during the podcast. Is that helpful for you?

Jason Mewes casts a wizardly spell over Pittsburgh
Jason Mewes casts a wizardly spell over Pittsburgh
Credit Anirudh Koul / Creative Commons/Flickr

“Definitely, it’s been very helpful. We started the podcast for that reason. Kevin had been doing SModcast for years. He asked me why I had relapsed after I almost had five years sober, and I explained to him that I feel I wasn’t talking about it enough, I wasn’t really accountable to anybody. And Kevin was like, ‘Well, there you go, this will be the podcast. And you can talk about it, the 20 years of us working together, and you sneaking off to do drugs, when you were sober, when you weren’t sober…’ And it’s been a big help for me.

Just me telling stories – even though I can laugh about it now, it reminds me that, it’s funny now talking about it, but I don’t ever want to be in a spot again where I don’t have electricity… and I’m using candles so I can see in my apartment, and my apartment catches on fire… Even if I have 931 days [sober] today, I don’t want to forget how bad it got. And talking about it all the time reminds me.”

A lot of people are looking forward to Potcast on Friday.  Do you think you’ll get grilled on your favorite strains, or the coolest names, now that marijuana is legal here?

“I don’t have any favorite strains from experience, but I know they have funny names. I know they have OG Alien... out here (in California) they have Skywalker... I’ll definitely be able to sit and chitchat with them about the different names.”

Maybe they’ll name one after you guys...

“You know what? That would be awesome… (laughs) I don’t know what it would be, Jay and Bob? Or would it be The Schnoot? That would be great.”

POTcast With Jay and Silent Bob takes place at the Boulder Theater Friday, Feb. 1.