For Jason Mewes, things started out in pieces. But right now, everything in front of him is starting to take shape and turn into something cool.
“(I’m) putting together a Lego slave ship. You know, like, Boba Fett’s slave ship. They have that in Lego” said Mewes, 42, who also has gotten his hands on Lego sets including the Ewok Village and the 1966 version of Batman’s bat cave, just to name a few. “They’re pretty detailed.”
It’s evident that the New Jersey native’s real-life personality is only a toned-down version of his iconic portrayal of the long-haired, loudmouth stoner Jay, opposite his quiet, trench-coat-donning cohort Silent Bob (played by fellow Jersey native Kevin Smith) in various Smith-directed comedies: “Clerks” (1994), “Mallrats” (1995), “Chasing Amy” (1997), “Dogma” (1999) and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001). Together, they’re sometimes lovingly referred to as the “New Jersey Chronicles.”
Part of the reason the character and the actor are so similar is that Smith envisioned him in the role from the outset.
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“When Kevin is like, ‘I wrote a script. I want to direct a movie.’ I thought, ‘Cool.’ And he was like, ‘I wrote a part for you,’” Mewes said. “I thought he would use one of those VCR camcorders they film Christmas and stuff on. I was like, ‘Oh, you’re really making a movie.’”
That movie, “Clerks,” along with Jay and Silent Bob appearances in the other films, has helped turn the movies into cult classics and made Jay and Silent Bob cult heroes, much to Mewes’ surprise.
“It wasn’t really until after ‘Mallrats’ that I noticed people coming up and saying, ‘I love Jay and Silent Bob,’” he said. “I still didn’t think it would continue to grow and people would continue to follow the characters and enjoy the characters years and years later.”
Part of the reason Jay and Silent Bob have persevered has been for Jason’s own personal health and survival. The weekly touring comedy podcast “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old” was started by Smith in 2010 as an interesting, often hilarious type of back-and-forth about their respective lives that doubles as a recovery check-in and accountability tool for Mewes, who has battled drug addiction. Now, not only do fans come up to him in a Starbucks to offer support, but when he meets people at the various cons, he learns that overcoming his own struggle has inspired people to overcome their own.
“That to me is unbelievable, because when I first did it, I had no idea it would be help people, and that’s been a big gift and an amazing part of the whole thing.”
Whether it’s creative endeavors, family life or his pop culture obsessions, Mewes has had a very good couple of years. He is directing his first film, “Madness in the Method” (he also stars in it) and said there is the possibility of another movie featuring Jay and Silent Bob “before I feel like we’re too old.” He and his wife have a 2-year-old daughter, Logan. Plus, 2016 gave him plenty to get excited about, including “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the huge DC Comics crossover episode on The CW (“The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow”) or getting to see his all-time favorite comic book character, Deadshot, properly portrayed in “Suicide Squad.”
Mewes will be at Lexington Comic Con this weekend with Smith and other “Clerks” cast members, including Brian O’Hallahan (Dante), Marilyn Ghigliotti (Veronica) and Scott Schiaffo (Chewlies gum rep). Mewes said having so many “Clerks” characters in one place doesn’t happen very often. But like one of Mewes’ Lego sets, things just seem to be coming together.
If you go
Jason Mewes will participate in several events including a recording of “Jay & Silent Bob Get Old” at 8 p.m. Fri. in the Patterson Ballroom ($35), Q&A at 1 p.m. Sat. in the Regency Ballroom, the “Clerks” reunion Q&A at 1 p.m. Sun. in the Patterson Ballroom and the “Clerks” group ($90-$105) and Jason Mewes ($45-$60) photo op at 3 p.m. Sat. and Sun. in the Elkhorn Room.
If you go
Lexington Comic & Toy Convention
What: Sixth annual media extravaganza featuring exhibits, events, vendors, photo ops and celebrity guests, including Robin Lord Taylor (“Gotham”), Kevin Smith (“Clerks,” “Comic Book Men”), Lee Majors (“Six Million-Dollar Man”), Michael Rooker (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Jewel Staite (“Firefly”), Ric Flair (pro wrestler), Seth Gilliam (“Walking Dead”), Gates McFadden (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Bruce Boxleitner (“Tron,” “Babylon 5”) and many more actors, creatives and artists.
When: 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Times are for general admission open floor times. Check online for VIP admission times and special events.
Where: Lexington Center, 430 W. Vine St.
Tickets: $40 Fri. only, $45 Sat., $30 Sun., $60 Sat. and Sun., $80 VIP weekend.