Who is Kevin Smith?
Kevin Smith is an American director, producer, scriptwriter and actor. As a comic book writer, he authored “Silent Bob Speaks”, “Chasing Dogma” and “Spider-Man / Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do”. As an actor, he portrayed the character of Silent Bob in films like ‘Clerks’ and ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’. The television series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ proves his acting ability to portray his own fictionalized version. Born in New Jersey, this multi-talented person’s first film ‘Clerks’ presents his outlook on America’s consumer culture that he experienced while working as a clerk at a convenience store. Besides being the director of this film, he was also the producer, scriptwriter and one of its actors. Though his second film ‘Mallrats’ failed at box office, the success of his third film ‘Chasing Army’ compensated his financial loss he faced after the release of ‘Mallrats’. He received death threats for his next film ‘Dogma’ that deals with issues of Christian Church and Catholic belief. The sequel of his popular film ‘Clerks’ was named ‘Clerks II’ and it earned him critical acclaim. He has also left his mark on television.
Childhood & Early Life
Born in a Catholic family of Red Bank, New Jersey, United States, Kevin Smith is the son of Donald E. Smith and Grace, a homemaker.
He studied at Henry Hudson High School, New Jersey. After graduating from there, he attended classes on creative writing programme at The New School for Social Research. But he left the course after one year when the authorities complained about his undisciplined behaviour at the institute.
In 1990, he attended the Vancouver Film School for four months. After leaving the course, he was uncertain about his future. Therefore, he joined a convenience store in Leonardo, New Jersey, as a clerk.
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While working as a clerk at a store, he watched ‘Slacker’, a low-budget successful comedy film by Richard Linklater. This film played a crucial role to inspire him about low-budget filmmaking.
After his interaction with Scott Mosier, one of his classmates in film school, he decided to write the script for his first film ‘Clerks’. Besides working as its scriptwriter, he also produced this film along with Scott Mosier.
In 1995, his film ‘Mallrats’ was released. Distributer Gramercy invested $5.8 million for this film. Unfortunately, the film failed at the box office.
His next film ‘Chasing Army’ appeared in 1997 and it got huge success at the box office. In 1999, his film ‘Dogma’ was released - it discusses the religious issues pertaining to Catholic belief. As a result of its controversial theme, the movie saw huge protests and he even received death threats.
In 2001, his film ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ appeared. He wrote the script and directed ‘Jersey Girl’, a comedy film released in 2004. Despite being a big budget film, it did not receive expected success at box office.
In July 2006, his film ‘Clerks II’ appeared and it earned him wide recognition in the film fraternity. In the following year, he directed the pilot episode of ‘Reaper’, a television series for which he also served as an executive producer.
Released in 1994, the film ‘Clerks’ introduced him as a director, scriptwriter and producer besides one of its actors. This film tells the story of two store clerks. The entire film was shot in black and white.
Through ‘Clerks’, he introduced the popular characters like Jay and Silent Bob who also feature in most of his films and these characters had a crucial role in the success of those films.
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His second film ‘Mallrats’ was released in 1995. This is a romantic comedy - he directed and wrote the script himself. This film is about two lazy persons and it presents the characters of Jay and Silent Bob once again after ‘Clerks’.
The film ‘Chasing Army’ was released in 1997. This film reflects his mature skills in dealing with issues like love and loss.
His film ‘Dogma’ was released in 1999. Premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival, this film created much uproar due to its religious theme.
In 2005, his first book “Silent Bob Speaks” appeared. This book contains a number of essays through which he analyzed pop culture, film as a business and his personal life.
His comedy film ‘Clerks II’ was released in July 2006. This film depicts the story of Dante and Randal, the two slackers and their funny activities as clerks of a fast food restaurant. The film received success at box office.
Released on October 31, 2008, his film ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’ is a romantic comedy film that depicts the story of two roommates and their effort to make an adult film. This film failed at box office.
Awards & Achievements
His film ‘Clerks’ bagged the Filmmaker’s Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994. In the same year, this film earned him awards like the Prix de la Jeunesse and the International Critics’ Week Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, a former reporter and an actress, in 1999. They have a daughter, Harley Quinn. Kevin lives with his family in the Hollywood Hills, California.
This renowned film director confessed about his usage of marijuana while working on the set. He stated that smoking marijuana helps him to be more creative and productive.