KEVIN SMITH Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » kevin smith


Name: Kevin Patrick Smith                                                                   
Born: 2 August 1970 Red Bank, New Jersey                                                     
Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, film                 
director, and the founder of View Askew Productions. He has also enjoyed some               
success as a comic book writer and actor. Smith's films are often set in his                 
home state of New Jersey, and while not strictly sequential, do feature                     
crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon, the View                 
Smith was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, the son of Grace, a homemaker, and                   
Donald Smith, a postal worker. He has an older sister, Virginia, and an                     
older brother, Donald Smith, Jr. He was raised in a Catholic household and                   
attended Henry Hudson Regional High School in Highlands, The New School for                 
Social Research in New York and the Vancouver Film School, where he met Scott               
Mosier, his producer in every movie that he has made. He majored in film, but               
dropped out halfway through his studies, electing to take a partial tuition                 
reimbursement in order to help finance his first film. Smith is married to                   
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith. He named his daughter Harley Quinn after character               
Harleen "Harley Quinn" Quinzel from Batman: The Animated Series. Although                   
Smith was raised Catholic he has said on Back To The Well, the Clerks II                     
documentary, that now he only goes to mass on days before he starts production               
of a movie, and the day before it premieres. He never smoked until his debut                 
film, Clerks, where he used the cigarettes as a prop, but never actually inhaled.           
In fact, he has said that prior to filming Clerks, he was a staunch non-smoker.             
Today, he does smoke regularly. Smith's weight has always been a defining                   
characteristic, and has gained him unwanted media attention.                                 
His first film, Clerks, was shot in the same convenience store Smith worked for             
the sum total of $27,575.00. It went to the Sundance Film Festival in 1994,                 
where it won the Filmmaker's Trophy and was picked up by Miramax before the fest's           
end. In May of 1994, it went to the Cannes International Film Festival where it             
won both the Prix de la Jeunesse and the International Critics' Week Prize.                 
Released in November 1994 in two cities, the film went on to play in fifty                   
markets, never playing on more than fifty screens at any given time. It was a               
critical and financial success, earning $3.1 million.                                       
Initially, the film received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, solely for the                   
graphic language. Miramax hired Alan Dershowitz to defend the film, At an                   
appeals screening, a "jury" consisting of members of the National Association of             
Theater Owners reversed the MPAA's decision, and the film was given an R rating             
Smith's second film didn't fare as well as his first. Mallrats received a                   
critical drubbing and earned merely $2.2 million at the box office, despite                 
playing on more than 500 screens. The film marked Jason Lee's debut as a leading             
man. While it later found its audience on home video, earning the title "cult               
classic", Smith has said of the movie "It was a six million dollar casting call             
for Chasing Amy."                                                                           
Widely held as Smith's best work, Chasing Amy marked what Quentin Tarantino                 
called "A quantum leap forward" for Smith. Starring Mallrats alumni Jason Lee,               
Joey Lauren Adams and Ben Affleck, the $250,000.00 film earned $12 million at               
the box office and wound up on a number of critics' year-end-best lists, and won             
two Independent Spirit Awards (screenplay and supporting actor for Lee).                     
Smith's next film, Dogma, had an all-star cast and found itself mired in                     
controversy. The religious-themed comedy starring a post-Good Will Hunting Ben               
Affleck and Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Alan Rickman, Linda Fiorentino,             
and Smith regulars Jason Lee and Jason Mewes raised the ire of the Catholic                 
League due largely to a reference about the Virgin Mary having post-Jesus                   
intercourse with her husband, Joseph. Smith received over ten thousand pieces of             
protest/hate mail (some of which were showcased on the film's official website)             
and three death threats.                                                                     
The film debuted at the 1999 Cannes International Film Festival, out of                     
competition. Released on 800 screens in November, 1999, the $10 million budgeted             
film it earned $30 million.                                                                 
After the controversy surrounding Dogma, Smith said he wanted to make a movie               
that couldn't be attacked for its content. Focusing the spotlight on two                     
characters who'd appeared in supporting roles in his previous four films, Jay               
and Silent Bob Strike Back featured an all-star cast, with many familiar faces               
returning from Smith's first four films. The $20 million film earned $30 million             
at the box office and received mixed reviews from the critics. It was meant to               
be the film that closed the book on the "Askewniverse" - the Jersey-based,                   
interconnected quintet of movies written and directed by Smith.                             
Jersey Girl was seen as a post-Gigli Bennifer movie (also starring George Carlin             
and Liv Tyler) that was meant to mark a new direction in Smith's career took a               
critical beating. Budgeted at $35 million, it earned only $25 million.                       
Clerks II marked one more trip into the Askewniverse, Smith resurrected the                 
Dante and Randal characters from his first film and looked in on them ten years             
later. Roundly criticized before its release, the film went on to win favorable             
reviews as well as two awards (the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival             
and the Orbit Dirtiest Mouth Award at the Mtv Movie Awards). It marked Smith's               
third trip to the Cannes International Film Festival, where Clerks II received               
an eight minute standing ovation. The $5 million dollar film, starring Jeff                 
Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Jennifer Schwalbach and             
Smith himself - reprising his role as Silent Bob - earned $25 million. It was               
named one of the Top Ten Films of 2006 on the British television program "Film               
2006" and wound up on many year-end top ten critics' lists.