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The Daily Beast has an in-depth interview with Kevin Smith, promoting his comedy special on Showtime, Silent But Deadly, which is airing this Friday. As you’ve heard, Kevin suffered a heart attack while performing that show. In his interview he talks about the fact that he didn’t realize he was having a heart attack, which he’s discussed before, and he reveals that a lot of his old friends and coworkers reached out to him after they heard the news. One person who didn’t contact him is Ben Affleck. He hasn’t spoken to Ben in years and he thinks that’s in part because he told an unflattering story about Ben last June. Kevin said that during filming of Chasing Amy, Ben, who was 24 at the time as it was 1996, said on set that “a man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face.” Outlets reprinted that like it was a new quote and people understandably took offense, but we were hearing it secondhand 20 years later. You know that Ben held a grudge after that because he’s hyper sensitive about his image and he didn’t even contact Kevin after his heart attack. Here’s that part of the interview, and as a lead-in Kevin said that Linda Fiorentino was really cool to him despite the fact that he’s said unflattering things about her too.
Speaking of Ben Affleck, there’s a pretty harsh dig at his Batman performance in the special. I know you’ve been on not so great terms with him in the past, have you reconnected at all?
I wouldn’t call it not so great terms, but he hasn’t spoken to me in years. No, I didn’t hear from him after the heart attack. Of the Chasing Amy kids, I heard from Jason Lee, but I didn’t hear from Ben. Which is fine. Maybe he didn’t even hear about it. I think he probably plays a more prominent role in my mythology than I play in his mythology anymore. He was in some of my biggest movies, so in my world he’s still a figure. In his world, I haven’t factored in in god knows how f-king long. And he’s gone on to do tremendous, big f-king things. He’s become a massive movie star and a director in his own right. So I don’t think I pop up on his radar nearly as much he pops up on my radar. But I try honestly to—and it probably doesn’t seem that way because I literally make a joke about him in the special—to limit the amount that I do talk about him for that reason. Because I know it always brings him grief or heartache in some way.
The last time I talked about him, there was a Chasing Amy 20th anniversary retrospective screening at I think it was Out Fest in Los Angeles. So I went and did a Q&A afterwards and told what I thought was an adorable story about the young Ben Affleck. When I gave him the script, I said, “At one point in the movie you end up kissing Jason Lee.” And I contextualized it as I set up the story, you’ve got to remember this is 1996. And a young Ben Affleck said, “Kissing another man is the hardest acting challenge an actor will ever face” or something like that. And it was a true story about a young f-king kid in a completely different era. So I told that story and someone tweeted a headline that said something like, “Affleck Says Kissing a Man Is Hardest Challenge an Actor Can Face,” [making it seem] like he said it recently. Out of context, it’s a completely different sentiment. It got him into trouble. Evan Rachel Wood went after Ben on Twitter because of something Ben did not say. I told a story about something Ben said 20 years ago. [Wood’s tweet has since been deleted.] So if you’re Ben Affleck, the only time you probably see my name is in relation to how I make your life harder in some way. So I imagine, even if he did hear about the heart attack he was probably like, “Well, I’m glad he’s alive, moving on.” I’m too much trouble. I realize, even now as I’m saying this, I try not to talk about him and we just did for five minutes. He probably didn’t hear about the heart attack, but he’ll hear about this. “Why is this f-king fool still talking about me?”
Kevin Smith just tells it like it is and that’s what makes him a good storyteller and director. He’s open, he’s honest and he’ll dish the dirt. It sounds like he understands why Ben stopped contacting him, but if Ben hasn’t been in touch in years there must be more to it than just that story Kevin told last year. Kevin is making it sound like he’s no longer useful to Ben and that’s the extent of it. You know Ben pays attention to the press about Kevin because it was only after Kevin donated all his Miramax residuals to women’s organizations that Ben claimed he would do the same thing. Ben definitely knows Kevin had a heart attack and he didn’t reach out to him about it or write a tweet or anything. As Kevin mentioned it’s not like Ben wants him to die, he just doesn’t want to reconnect with him. In Ben’s world embarrassing him publicly is the worst thing someone can do and Kevin is a liability.
Oh and Kevin has lost over 32 pounds and is a Weight Watchers ambassador now! That’s due in part to going vegan. He told The Daily Beast “I’m 47, I’ve eaten a f-k-ton of cows in my lifetime.”
“And it’s a funny ol’ world, Ma, where a little boy’s wishes come true. Well I got a few left in my pocket – and a special one just for you.” – The Wish, Bruce Springsteen. While I was in #redbank for the signing at the @jayandsilentbobstash, I got to see my Mom for the first time since my ticker nearly crapped out on me. We caught up while driving around our hometown of #highlandsnj. This trip had the added benefit of being able to compare heart meds, since Mom is no stranger to the stent herself. Then last night, like a dutiful parent, she listened to me tell blowjob jokes at the benefit for @filmonefest in Atlantic Highlands (and I even caught her laughing at a few)! Love you, Mom! Thanks for making the trip! #KevinSmith #gracevsmith #jayandsilentbobssecretstash
photos credit: Getty and Instagram/Kevin Smith