Driis Music


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Eliza Dushku &
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith
June 29, 2001

...spoilers ahead...

MD = Michael Dequina; Q = Other press; ED = Eliza Dushku; JS = Jennifer Schwalbach Smith

MD [to Jennifer]: This much be a switch for you since I'm sure you've been on the other side of things like this.

JS: Yeah, it's just mindblowing. I'm delighted; I'm having a great time. But I also loved writing too, and that's how I met Kevin. I interviewed him [for USA Today], and, you know, we fell in love, and we're married less than a year later. So that whole part of my life holds, of course, a very special place in my heart. But I just had a blast doing this movie, so...

MD: So do you think maybe you'll have a new career, that you'll be doing more acting jobs?

JS: Next time Kevin makes a movie. I think I'll always be in--

MD: So you'll be the female Jay Mewes then; you'll be in every single one...

JS: Exactly, exactly! [Laughs]

Q: Do you think it could ever work the other way around for a guy interviewing a woman?

JS: [After a pause] Absolutely.

[Everyone laughs]

MD: We're focusing on Eliza now.

ED: Hey you boys. [smiles]

Q [to Jennifer]: I've been curious how you guys, especially with the baby around, handled the challenge of keeping a family together because it's such a strenuous schedule.

JS: It's insane. Luckily Kevin and I are very close to my parents, and they live with us--along with Jason Mewes and Malcolm Ingram; we have a very big family under one roof. My parents were able to bring Harley to the set every day. She ran around; she played with the girls; she had her own little miniature director's chair next to Kevin's behind the monitor. She dug it. There was an orangutan there every day--what kid wouldn't be delighted? So, yeah, it was hard, and it was something that I wasn't used to because I'm usually with her all of the time. So I'd get a little bit weepy every once in a while when she would have to go home for a nap or whatever. But she did fine. She had a great time.

Q [to Jennifer]: How did they get her to dance to the music like that [in her scene as Baby Silent Bob]?

JS: You want to know how? That was the worst day of filming that Kevin has ever had because Harley was a little bit over one-and-a-half at the time, and she doesn't take directions. She wouldn't wear the hat. She wouldn't sit in the stroller. She kept speaking, and we've been encouraging her for months to "speak, speak," and now we're like, "Shh. You don't talk. You're Silent Bob. Get into the character!" And she was just a nightmare, and we were so embarrassed because we're these two parents trying to do our thing, the huge audience of people [was watching]. It was brutal, but we ended up dragging out in the freezing cold rain in New Jersey a television, putting The Teletubbies in, and putting it right next to the camera. So [Harley was] watching The Teletubbies because we were desperate; absolutely desperate.{END SPOILER}

Q: Eliza, how was it being one of the girls in this film because most of [Kevin Smith's] films have pretty much been kind of a guy's club?

ED: It wasn't a guy's club anymore once we got on, I have to say! Four girls running around set together in black latex catsuits--there weren't a lot of people telling us no. [laughs] It wasn't really a guy's set anymore--that is basically the answer to that! [laughs]

Q: Shannon [Elizabeth] said you guys liked going out and having some fun. Any stories?

JS: Whatever are you referring to? [laughs] Anything specific?

Q: She said she was more low-key, and everybody else kind of wanted to have fun and party.

ED: The three of us [her, Jennifer, and Ali Larter] were in every scene together basically, and we really bonded and we really got close in turning into this sisterhood. It was actually like we were this girl gang.

JS: That's true!

ED: Most times you go on films, and you finish up the day, and you're like, "God, get me away from these people!" or it's catty with other co-stars. But we were so...

JS: ...in love with each other we'd hang out after hours.

ED: We just hung out at Kevin and Jen's afterwards, or we'd go and meet out, or we'd play with her baby, and we got along so well. But also in terms of dudes, I've never really had a problem with that. I've kind of always been a guy's girl, and I grew up with three older brothers, so that doesn't really threaten me too much.

Q [to Jennifer]: Was acting something you always wanted to do?

JS: No, never. I lived in L.A. for seven years before moving to New Jersey with Kevin, and I never once thought about it because I was a writer, and that's what I did, and I enjoyed it. I just am kind of a chicken. I couldn't imagine myself going--I still can't, even after doing [the movie]--imagine going and auditioning for anything; that takes a lot of balls. I just think you have to be born with the talent and the backbone to be successful. So, no, I never wanted to act before; I've never even been in a school play. And now, even after having done it and having such a great time, I still don't think that I can go out and pound the pavement. I will be in all of Kevin's movies and be happy with that.

ED: She's so humble though she was absolutely brilliant. She said, "I can't act"; "I changed my lines"--she was so nervous. Ali and I, even--

JS: I was nervous, but why was I nervous?

ED: Because Kevin told her that we were gonna hate her.

[Everyone laughs]

ED: Kevin said, "You do know that since you're my wife, and you're on that show, the two other girls who are actresses are gonna think that there's favoritism going on, and they're gonna tear you apart, baby."

JS: And I was just like, "Oh God, really?" [laughs] I never spent a lot of time on a set anywhere. [Kevin and I] were together during Dogma, but I was living out here, and he was in Pittsburgh, so I would go visit, and everybody was real nice, and then I left. He's like, "You're gonna be down in the trenches," and I was terrified. And then I met [Eliza and Ali]; in the first day, we were cool. So I told him to stick it.

ED: And she was such a treat. It wasn't like she was the director's wife, and she didn't have to wait out in the cold, and he wasn't shacking her away in the trailer. She totally got her hands dirty and was one of the girls and delivered, man--every single time, every single day, and every single line. She was prepared, and she was professional, and so we just all loved each other. Well, maybe you guys are like, "Yeah, right!" But seriously, it was [like that]. And it's rare--I've done many films, and it's just not that vibe all the time.

Q: Are you guys planning to participate in the DVD?

JS: Yeah. During the filming of the movie, Malcolm Ingram and I filmed a documentary. We have about 80 hours of everything--interviews, behind-the-scenes things, Kevin at home, and when we travelled elsewhere. Basically since January we've documented it all, and we're gonna chop down 80 hours into two and put it on the DVD. So that was kind of a cool way for me to stay involved with the project and with everybody that I loved so much even after I was done filming [my scenes].

Q [to Eliza]: So it's pretty safe to say you would work with View Askew again if Kevin came calling?

ED: Yeah, definitely.

Q: Did you find as a director that he's particularly fatherly, or... what's his style?

ED: He called me "Duck-Shoot" the whole movie. "Hey, Duck-Shoot!" Fatherly? Not quite!

Q: Wasn't it at your first sit-down that he came up with that?

ED: Yeah. [I heard that] Kevin's supposed to be doing a new film, and I was familiar with his previous films. I grew up in Boston, and a lot of my friends had always been big fans of Mallrats and Clerks, so I was familiar with the characters, and I remember always being kind of intrigued by them as well. And I loved Jay--I just thought he was kind of bizarre and funny, and I loved his "screw you" attitude. So [Kevin and producer Scott Mosier] asked me to come in and meet at the Four Seasons bar. I showed up, and they had said, "Look hot" and "Be nice," so I went, [in a sweet voice] "Hi, how are you doing?" and they were total jerks. And I'm like, "What the--?! What's your deal, dude?" And they were, "What do you mean, what's our deal? Dude?" They started making fun of me about being from Boston, and started making fun of Buffy, and said, "Oh no, we're not making a movie, we just wanted to bring you down here and see how many girls we can get to come to the Four Seasons..." And I was like, "Whatever!" [laughs] I'm like, "Screw that!" But then, I guess that was kind of what they wanted; I don't know. Or they wanted someone who could give it back to them. Jen said they had a handful of other interviews that day with girls who would come in for maybe ten minutes. Now, looking at the role that he cast me in, I can see what he wanted, I guess. It turned into a four-hour sit-down where we just were rapping about the east coast, but he never told me about the movie. And finally, I was like, "All right. It's Friday night. I gotta go, guys. See ya around; thanks for playing, and see ya later!" So a couple of months later, he called and invited me on. But even just after that first sit-down, I was like, "These guys are kind of cool." They're not your typical kiss-ass filmmakers, and we also had a lot of things in common, we're both kind of anti-Hollywood--not "anti-Hollywood," but it's not...

JS: It's just you're not from here.

ED: So we're a little prejudiced in some ways, maybe. So yeah, I would love to work with Kevin again. And then as he made the film, he's a great guy. He's genuine; he's down-to-earth; he's talented; he knows what he wants. But he also trusts you as an actor, and he makes it kind of collaborative in developing your role. He had this game that he loved to play with me where right before action, it was like, "roll film, sound, speed," they were doing the slate, and he'd go, "Hey Duck-Shoot! You know, right before you walk up to Shannon, I want you to turn to Ali and say, 'dadadadada,'" and I was like, "What?" The first time he did it, I'm like, "He's gotta be crazy." And he gave me four lines that he wanted, literally. And then he goes, "OK? Great. Action!" I went up, and I kind of threw them out, and it turned into a habit. A lot of my lines in the film--when I said them, that was the first time they came out, and they were kind of spontaneous. It was fun though.

JS: And he loved it.

ED: It added a whole new energy. It was like a game, and I've acted for many years, and so it kept me on my toes. He's a character, but he's fun to work with.

Q [to Eliza]: In real life, Shannon couldn't beat you in a fight, could she?

ED: You're gonna get your ass kicked! [laughs] I don't know. I'm not one for violence; I have a machine gun on my shirt!

Q: Well, you know, you kind of do it on a regular basis [on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel], and she's a model, what can I say.

ED: You just answered your own question. [laughs]

Q: What about the fight scene, though?

ED: The fight scene was a lot like fight scenes that I did on Buffy for a year. But Shannon did great. She kind of said, "Eliza's done this before; it's not fair," but she was fine. We had amazingly talented stunt people teaching us. It was actually funny because my stunt double I knew from the past because she was Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double the entire season I was on Buffy, so I was always fighting her because they'd always put an actor with a stunt double. Now she was mine, so she taught me a lot. It was very similar to Buffy; you shoot a big master, and then they pop you in.{END SPOILER}

Q: Are you still in the cast of either of the shows?

ED: Not technically, no, but I'd love to go back. I love those guys, and I had fun doing it.

Q: So the network change [of Buffy from WB to UPN] really isn't affecting you.

ED: I don't know much about it, but it hasn't affected my personal relationship with them, no.

Q [to Eliza]: So what do you have in the future? What are your films coming out?

ED: I have Soul Survivors coming out in September. This movie called City by the Sea coming out in, I think, October or November--

Q: That's with [Robert] DeNiro, isn't it?

ED: With DeNiro, yes.

Q: How was that?

ED: It was exciting. It was the second time I worked with him [the first being This Boy's Life], and it was the same director [Michael Caton-Jones], so that was a double team with both a director who I love and with Bob, who's great.

Q: It must be different now that you're an adult.

ED: It was completely different. I went from kicking him in the shins and him pinching my cheeks to five-page sit-down scenes where I'm playing a heroin junkie with a baby. It was really insane but really spectacular. I learned so much. And then I have The New Guy coming out in, I think, November. And that's a comedy, like a There's Something About Mary, but in high school.

Q: Very busy.

ED: It's been a good year!

Q: True Lies 2?

ED: And True Lies 2? I don't know. I heard about it, but I haven't heard anything about an actual script.

Back to First Roundtable: Shannon Elizabeth

Eliza Dushku signatureJennifer Schwalbach Smith 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: Eliza Dushku & Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith/© Michael Dequina
Presented by A-Frame Studios

Fifty Filmmakers

Driis Music

Headshell Ltd

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