I’ve been waiting to talk to Kevin Smith since Sundance, where I saw him announce his self-distribution plan to the groans and grumbles of Hollywood elite. I was wondering if Harvey Weinstein, his Miramax mentor, ever offered to go in on Red State and if Smith turned him down, holding out for his own plan.
Not only did Weinstein never want a piece of Red State, but he was talking on his cell phone out in the hallway DURING that very Red State screening.
“I don’t do nothin’ because I’m like without this dude, I wouldn’t be here and this is typical Harvey,” Smith shared at the Movies on Demand press lounge at San Diego Comic-Con. “He’s never been fuckin’ polite at a screening, even his own. So why would I expect now it would happen. That’s fuckin’ Harvey, I wrote it off as Harvey.”
An usher asked Weinstein to be quite but Weinstein doesn’t listen to measly ushers. That’s when Smith himself stepped in.
“I don’t know what it was, man, because it was a real defining moment for me. Again, this is the person without whom I wouldn’t have a career. As in every fuckin’ tale of fathers and sons, there comes a moment where you step up and ‘Today I’m a man,’ that kind of bullshit.”
17 years after Weinstein bought Clerks, Smith had to tell him off. “I pull the curtain over, I go, ‘Hey!’ He looks over and I go, ‘Shut the fuck up!’ He goes like this [does a double take.] And I said, ‘Yeah, shut the fuck up! I would never do this to you. I would never come to one of your screenings and act like an asshole. Shut the fuck up!’ He looked like he was going to come over and punch me. I closed the curtain and I sat back down. I was terrified because it was a huge fuckin’ moment. I was like here it comes, repercussions, the other shoe is going to drop, and nothin’. No curtain. I looked and he just left, took off.”
That explains how Smith had the balls to tell off the Hollywood marketing machine after the screening ended. “Then you’ll understand about 70 minutes later I got up on stage and did what I did because at that point, I was fuckin’ fearless. I had just literally faced down God and been like, ‘Shut the fuck up.’”
Red State comes to VOD on September 1, before its October theatrical release.