Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith’s alter egos Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in almost every View Askewniverse movie, with one exception. In 2004 Smith released Jersey Girl, a romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, and Liv Tyler about a man trying to reconnect with his young daughter.
Jersey Girl was intended to mark a shift to the mainstream for Smith. It was his first movie not set in the View Askewniverse and saw Smith commanding a $35 million budget. Sadly, it was not a hit. Critics dismissed it as overly sentimental and conventional, and it ended up a certified box office bomb with a measly $36 million box office haul.
Mewes was notable by his absence from Jersey Girl and was planned to play “Delivery Guy” in the movie. However, at the time Mewes was struggling with substance abuse issues, so Smith recast the role. Now, in an interview with Jackass‘ Steve-O on his Wild Ride! YouTube show, Mewes has gone into detail on what happened:
“For one, it was like, ‘I need you to get better, or you can’t be around the house. And, you can’t do the next movie.’ I was supposed to be in Jersey Girl, but I couldn’t be in it. It wasn’t so much that Kevin was like, ‘I’m not putting you in it 100 percent because you’re getting messed up and you’re in a bad place.’ It was more like, ‘You have a warrant out for your arrest, and we’re filming in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh,’ or wherever they filmed it, and you could get arrested and then we’ll have to shut the movie down.”
Fortunately, Mewes has been clean since July 2010. Since Jersey Girl, he’s been cast in every other one of Smith’s movies and other projects, recently voicing Stinkor on Masters of the Universe: Revelation.
Smith is currently hard at work on Clerks III, which will take inspiration from his near-fatal 2018 heart attack and show his characters attempting to finance and create an indie film about their lives, neatly closing the loop that began thirty years ago with the original Clerks.
Clerks III is expected to release later this year and Smith has hinted a trailer is imminent. More on that as we hear it.