Jason Mewes’ filmmaker friend Kevin Smith played an important role in making him an actor. He found Jason a very witty and funny person, and knew that he would be successful in pursuing a career in acting. Jason first faced the camera in 1994, playing a foul-mouthed but likeable drug addict, ‘Jay,’ in Smith's low budget comedy ‘Clerks’, which was a hit.
The funny characters of ‘Jay’ and ‘Silent Bob’ (played by Smith) became so popular that the characters were used in four more films directed by Smith. These were ‘Mallrats’, ‘Chasing Amy’, ‘Dogma’, and ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.’ Their characters appeared in ‘Scream 3’ as well.
In 1995, Jason was featured as ‘Jay’ in ‘Mallrats’, a comedy film which was written and directed by Smith. Smith had also planned a sequel, ‘MallBrats’ in 2015, but later in 2016, he announced that instead of a film, the sequel would be made into a 10-episode television series. However, the project got shelved, as Smith could not find a buyer.
In 1996, Jason Mewes starred in ‘Drawing Flies’, which was a comedy film written and directed by Malcolm Ingram and Matt Gissing. Jason appeared as ‘Jay’ again in ‘Chasing Amy in 1997. This romantic-comedy drama, written and directed by Smith, won two awards at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards.
In 1999, he was again cast by Smith as Jay in the fantasy comedy film ‘Dogma’. In the same year, he appeared in three more films, ‘Spilt Milk’, ‘The Blair Clown Project’, and ‘Tail Lights Fade’, directed by Malcolm Ingram. He also provided his voice for a thief in the video game ‘Scarface: The World Is Yours’.
In 2000, along with Smith, he was featured in ‘Scream 3’ a film directed by Wes Craven; in 2011, a sequel to the film, ‘Scream 4,’ was released. In 2000, he played a car wash employee in the black comedy thriller film ‘Vulgar’, written and directed by Bryan Johnson.
Along with Smith, Mewes co-hosts ‘Jay & Silent Bob Get Old’, a weekly podcast where he talks about his battle with drugs, amongst other topics. The podcast was taken across the US and to Australia, Canada, and the UK.
For two years, he appeared as ‘Jimmy the Janitor’ in 26 episodes of a Canadian television series titled ‘Todd and the Book of Pure Evil’, which was telecast from 2010-12.
He and his wife Jordan Monsanto co-produced the animated movie ‘Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie’ in 2013. The movie was based on the ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ comic book written by Smith.
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In 2013, he appeared as Eddie Brooks in the third episode of ‘Hawaii Five-0’. In 2016, he was seen in the films ‘Bling’, ‘Shooting Clerks’, ‘Yoga Hosers,’ ‘The Flash’, and ‘Vigilante Diaries.’
In October 2017, Jason Mewes performed at the American Comedy Co. for a special one-night show, where he told funny stories derived from his entertainment career so far. He also talked about his long battle with drug abuse.
He then returned as the talkative ‘Jay’—as a celebrity guest—at a Wizard World pop culture convention in Oklahoma City. He hinted that shooting for a ‘Jay and Silent Bob’ sequel would begin in January 2018.
Struggles with Substance Abuse
Jason Mewes has always talked openly about his long battle with drug abuse which started when he was a teen. He became addicted to heroin while he was shooting for ‘Chasing Amy’ and ‘Dogma’.
Smith admitted him to a rehabilitation clinic in 1997. In 1999, Mewes came to know that his mother had been diagnosed with AIDS. In an effort to get sober, he moved in with his mother, and started taking medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms.
In 1999 he was arrested in New Jersey for having heroin in his possession. As a probation sentence, he was ordered community service and drug counseling. In 2001, when he failed to make his routine appearance in the court, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In 2002, following his mother’s death, things became worse for him. In April 2003, he surrendered at a New Jersey court and pleaded guilty for violation of probation sentence. He was put into a rehab program for six months. However, he was allowed to go to Los Angeles for film shootings with a warning that if he failed to appear in the court, he would be sent to prison for five years.
He then started living with Smith and his wife but soon he was evicted after he was caught using drugs again. During this period, he had stolen Smith's ATM card and withdrawn $1,100. He was also caught in a hotel with heroin. Smith admitted him in various rehab centers. When his condition became worse, Smith declined to cast him in ‘Jersey Girl’ in 2004.
Frustrated with Mewes’ behavior, Smith and other friends left him, following which he fell deeper into his afflictions. After a fire broke out at his home due to his addiction issues, Jason returned to New Jersey, and was ordered six months of court-mandated rehab or a year in jail. In 2006, he said in an interview that he had given up on drugs and alcohol, but in 2009 he relapsed after undergoing a surgery.
To help him stay away from drugs, Smith started the podcast ‘Jay & Silent Bob Get Old’ where Jason talked about his struggles with drug abuse. He has been sober since June 2010.