Driis Music


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Mark Hamill
June 29, 2001

...spoilers (and tangents) ahead...

MD = Michael Dequina; Q = Other press; MH = Mark Hamill

MH: Is your mind reeling with Legally Blonde and Final Fantasy and--what else have you seen? Scary Movie 2?

Q: Not yet. We're really focusing on this.

MH: Well, that must bug your families. You know, here you guys get all these comp'ed seats, but you go out of town. Do you see movies in your hometown, too?

Q: I live here.

MH: Oh.

MD: Most of us here are local.

MH: Oh.

Q: I'm from Milwaukee, so I'm a little out of my--

MH: Yeah, but do you get tickets for... like are you the most popular guy on the block?

Q: Oh gosh, no.

MH: All the staffers on Letterman love it 'cause he doesn't go to anything. So they comp them on--you know, producers... all this stuff. Everybody's like vultures hanging around, getting his comps.

Q: We were just talking to Kevin, and I asked him how he approached you. Did he say, "Hey, we'd like to take everything you kind of started out with and flip it on its head?" What was the reaction when he approached you with a character called "Cock-Knocker"?

MH: [laughs] Well, I just read it--I thought it was "Clock-Knocker"!

[Everyone laughs]

MH: You know, that's good, because there's so many things I didn't get in this movie. I'm so out of the demographic--

[Everyone laughs]

MH: And I just wanted to go see how the young people live. But, no. First of all, I'm a big fan of his. I write comic books, and so does he, and we're comic fans, so we have that in common; I really knew his point-of-view from reading Wizard and Comic Buyer's Guide and so forth. He was one of those guys--and I feel this way about [The Simpsons creator] Matt Groening, even though I've never met Matt--where you read an interview, and you go, "Oh my God, it's like my best friend in high school! I know this person exactly. I know I could sit down with him." And as it turned out, it was true. Within 20 minutes, I wasn't on edge in any way; I wasn't self-conscious in any way. It was just like somebody I was really comfortable with. Years ago, before I saw Clerks properly where you watch it from start to finish, [son] Nathan came in and goes, "Dad, you gotta see this; this is so funny!" And he pushes the button, and it was just this throwaway piece of dialogue where the guy goes, "So, what do you think on the Death Star. Was that independent contracting, or did they do in-house?" [laughs] And I just thought, it's such a literal comment to make about something that's so... It's like "Should we put shutters on?" It's so great to have that become just a touchstone in pop culture. I'm always surprised and jarred when you're watching something, and someone makes a reference [about Star Wars]. And it's on sitcoms, editorial cartoons. You know as well as I do. The "evil empire" during the Reagan years--all of that stuff. On Politically Incorrect, Roger Hedgecock, who was the ex-mayor of San Diego, went on about how the early [Star Wars] movies were metaphors for the Reagan administration. I'm listening to all of this, of course, thinking, "Why am I on this show? Who cares what I think?" [laughs]

I like not expressing every thought in my head publicly. There's this wonderful quote that there's glory in the unexpressed thought. Now we have a voracious appetite; there are whole stations, 24 hours a day, that must be fed information--Access Hollywood and all of these programs. Someone said, "Does it bother you when people call you Luke?" And I said, "Well, not only do they know my name, they know Peter Mayhew played the Wookiee." That's really something. I mean, these kids--to have an 11-year-old ask you, [grabs my arm] "Was that a travelling matte shot?" "What?!" You know, these kids really know their stuff.

Q: But I gotta tell you... last summer I tell my wife, "Alec Guinness is dead," and she goes, "Aww," and [my] oldest niece says "Who's Alec Guinness?" I'm not gonna say, "Colonel Nicholson" [from The Bridge on the River Kwai]; I'm gonna say, "It's Obi-Wan Kenobi!" And she goes, "Who's that?"

MH: Wow. I'm sure the Lucasfilm people are looking for her even as we speak.

[Everyone laughs]

Q: She was born in 1982 or something.

MH: Sometimes people apologize, "I'm so sorry; I haven't seen those movies." I say, "Isn't that great?" I remember how long I avoided Gone with the Wind. Somehow I just didn't see it, and I was in college, and "eh"; I eventually saw it. But sometimes that's your only claim to fame. "I'm the one who didn't see that!"

Q: I think we all imagine most of the Star Wars parodies you get offered are not this creative. What are some of the lame ones people have asked you to do?

MH: That's true. I've been asked to do a lot of things, either just in cameo situations or whole movies that are based or derivative from George's [Lucas] movies. I never really considered it at all; it's just easier not to. I know when I heard that Mel Brooks was doing Spaceballs, I said, "You know, if he calls, I love Mel Brooks so much I know I'll do it." But he never called, so in a way I was disappointed but relieved at the same time. I always thought that i's just too easy, and I shouldn't do that. But with this, you could tell from the moment that Nathan showed me that moment in Clerks, and then all the way throughout his works, you see that there's a real affection for the material on his part. He's like one of the first generation of filmmakers where that's part of his vocabulary much [in] the way John Ford's films or Hitchcock or whoever the film schools teach. To have him be able to take his childhood icons and play with them must be great fun for him. And I thought for most teen comedies, this one seemed to be pretty good-natured despite all the language and pot smoking and oral sex demonstrations... [performs the universal gesture for cunnilingus]

[Everyone laughs]

Q: Can I get my camera real quick for coverage of that? [laughs]

MH: [laughs] "I'm the king of the clit!"-- I read this on the page going, "How is this going to work?" See, I've been going through development hell, and I rewrite and rewrite for other people's focus groups; I'm just insane at this point. And you read this guy, and you know that this is so from himself without readers and all the sort of analyzation that goes into every word; it's so refreshing.

Q: But you were also saying--the good-natured aspect of it?

MH: Yeah. Look, for instance--I see teen comedies where it's not enough to defeat the villain; you've got to strip him naked, humiliate him, dip him in caramel and rub him in feathers, and throw him into somebody's bar mitzvah, so they're humiliated beyond words. It's just a real mean streak. I think some humor is mean-spirited, no question about it, and funny nonetheless, whether it's Monty Python or Absolutely Fabulous; those English comedies can be pretty harsh. But the best we could come up with for a villain is Will Ferrell? He's adorable! He's dimmer than anyone you've ever seen in your life, but he's not evil; you don't hate him. It's almost like it's a world of its own.

Q: How heavy was the fist?

MH: [laughs] Well, you know what? And, again, this is one of those things where I should've told him this yesterday. It seemed to me walking to the set with a fist that big that instead of looking to the camera and saying, "Not again," I should've looked to the camera and said, "Didn't see that coming." [laughs] But you know, he's really accommodating in terms listening to your own ideas. I told you that I felt immediately comfortable with the guy, that I was in good hands. Now, Lucasfilm had read the script because I've got something in my [Star Wars] contract that precludes me from holding it up to ridicule--or basically, I just can't go do porno movies in my Luke costume.

[Everyone laughs]

MH: That's basically it.

Q: Has there ever been [a porn offer]?

MH: Well, I don't know. I score pretty high on Internet polls of the people you most want to see naked.

[Everyone laughs]

MH: Go figure.

[Everyone laughs]

MH: So, anyway, my lawyer calls me up and says, "You know, there's a thing in your contract; have you cleared this with George?" And I said, Well, no, but shouldn't we have discovered this before I had wardrobe fittings?" I'm in my third day of rehearsal for that stunt fight. But it scared me for a minute because I don't want to upset people, really--I don't like confrontation; I want everybody to be happy. So I was nervous thinking if they asked me to do something just that's really beyond the pale, I'm gonna be disappointed because I want to do this, and I really want to work with Kevin. But one day we were shooting, and we were shooting over the shoulders of Kevin onto me. We broke for lunch, and then they were gonna move all the cameras around and go over me onto Kevin. Of course, this is when it hits me--not when I could've said in the morning, "How about if I say this when they're on me?" When I was in my trailer, I thought, what would be funny is when he says, 'Why do they call you that?' if I dropped that big, pompous actor guy and immediately go into that real conversational, 'Oh, funny story behind that--true story.' I said that to him, and Kevin said, "Well, if you do that, and you turn your head, I could focus on you and then rack onto the other guy." So even at the 11th hour, he accommodated me, and it winds up in the movie, and that really makes you feel empowered; you're in the collaborative spirit. And one of the things I have to say about Kevin Smith's set--and I don't know if any of you guys have visited one--is that they're so much fun to be on. There's no stress; people aren't uptight and chewing Rolaids. It's just like this big playground, and he's so happy to be doing what he's doing. It's like he's got the best, coolest train set on the block, and he wants you to admire it, but he wants you to play with it too. He was asking people, "Do you want to see this sequence?"--people that were just visiting. {HIGHLIGHT FOR SPECIFIC SPOILER}Somebody's mother-in-law was in from Wisconsin; he sat her down and showed her the whole Scooby-Doo sequence.{END SPOILER}

Q: Real quick--can you tell us what you thought of The Phantom Menace?

MH: Well, I thought it was amazing. Most of what I loved is just how much of a cultural event it was. People camped outside the theatres. [laughs] I loved that! Now, I don't know where they bathed.

[Everyone laughs]

MH: Can you imagine the stench in a theatre with people that had been camped out for a month? Amazing.

Q: Would you ever stop by something like that, do you think?

MH: Well, I would've felt a lot better if it was when I was still involved. I hate horning in on other people's stuff; I really do. But I love all that goofy stuff that you don't see anywhere else in show business. Grown-ups lined up for toys in the middle of the night--this, to me, is fun, goofy pop culture at its best.

Q: Has everyone asked you the Phantom Menace question?

MH: Pretty much, and it's difficult because I have to be careful. I don't mind criticism, [but] I think it's easy to say, "Oh, I didn't like this; I didn't like that." I think you should be able to give constructive criticism. In other words, it's very easy to sit back and criticize, but constructive criticism is much more difficult. And if I would just give one note for Phantom Menace, it's that we had the advantage in our films of having someone who was a built-in cynic, who was mocking everything around him. And that took the onus off of this innate corniness of it all. But also I have to remind people that you've got to see it through the eyes of a seven-year-old. I remember complaining about aspects of our movies, and George would say, "Well, no; it's meant to be for a seven-year-old."

Next Roundtable: Eliza Dushku & Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith

Mark Hamill signature


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
The Complete Junket Roundtable Transcripts
The Review
The World Premiere
The World Premiere Invitation

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Mark Hamill/© Michael Dequina
Presented by A-Frame Studios

Fifty Filmmakers

Driis Music

Headshell Ltd

Subscribe to Mr. Brown's weekly movie newsletter, The Movie Report:
Want a Movie Site shirt, mousepad, or mug? Check out
Mr. Brown's
Movie Merchandise.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back poster
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Poster
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back DVD
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back VHS
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Soundtrack CD
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Original Score CD
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Screenplay Book
  • Bluntman & Chronic Graphic Novel

  • Please keep The Movie Report/
    Mr. Brown's Movie Site alive
    by generously submitting a PayPal donation.

    MovieGoods.com is the place to find all of your favorite television show posters.

    Search & Win

    My Amazon.com Wish List

    Movie Poop Shoot

    Film Flam Flummox

    web log free