Kevin Smith's "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" stumbled at the box office — it debuted with a meager $10 million — and thrust the writer/director into an emotional crisis of the why-am-I-on-this-planet variety, but the comedy did bestow one gift on its creator: marijuana.
And as Smith has stated on many occasions since, pot became the catalyst for a career second-wind. For that, he has "Zack and Miri" star Seth Rogen to thank.
"One of the most talented people I worked with in my life was Seth Rogen," Smith explained to MTV News during our live-stream interview on Tuesday. "I got so much from him. He re-energized me in a weird way. I became a stoner because of Seth Rogen."
Up until that point, Smith said he'd only gotten high a handful of times. But on the "Zack and Miri" set, he marveled at how Rogen — whom he called "a functioning stoner" — could toke up and not only make it to work on time but have "brilliant ideas" and be "constantly writing [and] productive." So on the last day of shooting, Smith finally gave into Rogen's request to smoke pot.
"I went up to him and was like, 'How about we go to the editing room tonight, watch some cut footage, and maybe share a joint?'" Smith recalled. "He goes, 'Finally!' And it was awesome. We sat back, watched some footage and sat there smoking. And I loved who I was. I loved how the inhibition dropped away and I loved just being honest."
Smith said the last two years of his life have been his most productive, including finishing two films and launching a podcast network on the Web, all thanks to the power of the herb.
"That dude gave me the greatest gift I've had in the last five years," Smith said. "The moment I start smoking, I start working. ... That way, no one could ever take it away from you. No one could ever say, 'You fat, lazy piece of sh-- stoner!"
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