Whether you were rocking out to Nirvana or being Saved by the Bell, nothing presented the 1990s pop-culture better than Kevin Smith’s View Askewnivers. Now cult classic actor and director Kevin Smith and his production company View Askew gave us classics like “Clerks” (1994), “Mallrats” (1995), “Dogma” (1999), and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001). With each new film, the View Askewniverse grew, adding actors who were at the beginning of their careers like Ben Affleck, Jason Lee and Michael Rooker. “Mallrats” was even one of the earlier Stan Lee cameos (the same cameo Lee can be seen rehearsing in his Captain Marvel cameo).
It’s been nearly a decade since fans have gone to theatres to see a new Kevin Smith View Askewniverse film, and the lack of immature jokes has taken its toll. But now… they’re back! “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” is in select theatres across the country and Kevin Smith fans can rejoice.
Part of Jay and Silent Bob’s epic return to theatres was filmed here in New Orleans, the “Hollywood of the South.”
“I would say I am a fan of Kevin Smith’s View Askew films,” says Kelli Ledet, lifelong New Orleans resident and extra for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.” “My favorite is honestly a toss-up between ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ and ‘Dogma.’ I love them all though and really I can pinpoint where I was on my personal journey when each one came out.”
Ledet was originally slated to be a regular extra, but while she was waiting for makeup, she was chosen to play a zombie. Wardrobe workers dressed them in torn clothes, and production assistants reapplied fake blood to their bodies throughout the night. Though the blood felt “awful,” Ledet said she was able to meet both Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
“Kevin Smith came in and talked to us as a group at one point, and Jason Mewes played around a lot in between takes and interacted with the extras,” Ledet said. “For the final scene, Kevin thanked us all, shook our hands, and really seemed nice.
“The movie is very tongue-in-cheek and really does an excellent job of absolutely poking fun at itself. It felt like it was a great send-off that touched every one of his previous View Askew films. I was surprised at how much was cut too. We filmed a ton of stuff. It flowed, but it was just amazing as to how much content was cut out. I am hopeful for a director’s cut.”
While “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” is only open in select theatres, and the film has since finished a brief run in New Orleans, fans can see it when it comes out on Blu-ray or digital release. Thankfully, Smith has plans for more films, namely “Clerks 3,” which has not announced a premiere date yet.
Photo of Kelli Ledet and Star Jang courtesy of Kelly Ladet