Kevin Smith Talks Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Editor's Note: Warning -- adult themes, language

In Kevin Smith's latest, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks star as old friends and roommates who, when times get tough, decide to make a porno for online distribution. Oh, and fall in love. Smith chatted with us about the project, his love of romantic comedies, his next project, and why you're probably going to have to wait a long time for the comic-book geek to make a super-hero movie of his own.

Cole Haddon: I think it's fair to say that Zack and Miri is your first full-blown romantic comedy.

Kevin Smith: I love rom-coms. I just can't stand it when they're sanitized and cleaned up, and it ends with a kiss. I like mine to have the fucking happen, and then everything falls apart. And I like people to speak candidly and frankly and use harsh language. Not to be a show-off, but because everyone I know speaks like that. When I see something like Made of Honor, I'm sitting there thinking, "Why am I watching this?" And my wife is going, "Yeah, why are you watching this?"

CH: Why are you watching it?

KS: I like romantic comedies and I like Patrick Dempsey. I've loved him since Loverboy. He was awesome in Loverboy. And he was awesome in Can't Buy Me Love when he was doing the dance and shit.

CH: Do you like porn as much as your romantic comedies?

KS: No, I like romantic comedies more, but I do like porn very much. Not so much for titillation anymore. I've been married for ten years, so sex is built in and free. So porn isn't something I use as a tool anymore. I haven't jerked off to a porn in I can't tell you how many fucking years. But I look at porn every morning. Every morning I wake up, I do Google news, Guardian UK, and then I go to the free porn sites -- any of the numerous ones I've bookmarked. Just by virtue of the fact that it shocks me that every time I click on it, I never see the same face twice. Always different people, always. It just makes you feel like the whole world is taking naked pictures of themselves. And I'm always looking for that one person I know because, by sheer process of elimination, I'm going to see someone I know. Only recently I realized I'm looking at the wrong pages. Everyone I know is, like, 38, so I have to start looking at cougar-like sites.

CH: You're switching it up for your next movie. A political drama, right?

KS: Yeah, it's not a comedy. It's called Red State. I call it a horror movie, but most people are like, "This is not a horror movie." It's not a traditional horror movie in terms of a slasher running around in a hockey mask or some such shit, however people define a horror movie. But for me, it's horrifying subject matter, so that, by de facto, makes it a horror movie. But very straight forward, very bleak, very dramatic. So it's a big departure.

CH: Will Red State play if Obama wins?

KS: Oh yeah, it still works. I mean, look, Obama is going to win. I don't think it's an "if" at this point. But it still works. It's not about George Bush or George Bush's presidency or the last eight years under Republicans. It's more about the climate of the country itself, regardless of who's in the White House.

CH: You're know as a screenwriter, but do you have a backlog of screenplays the rest of us would be clamoring to see get made?

KS: [Zack and Miri] would've definitely sat in the drawer had Seth not wanted to do it. Seth was the linchpin for me. Seth was the reason I wrote the movie. Saw him in 40 Year Old Virgin and said, "I've got to write this dude a movie." If Seth had said, "No," I would've just stuck this in a drawer and not done it cause he was the whole reason it worked for me. Weinstein Company was like, "Do you have a backup if Seth says no?" and I'm like, "No, it's Seth or no." Luckily he said yes. I generally don't write to store stuff. I'm a manufacture-for-use kind of guy.

CH: You've written comic books, you have a comic book store, you know the world better than most of the people in the movie biz. Any chance you're going to finally pick a franchise and claim it as your own?

KS: Not really. For me, it's the best time in the world to be a comic book fan because the movies have just taken a jump. It was always cool when anybody made any comic-book movie, but now they're making them really good. Dark Knight, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk I felt were really good comic book movies this summer, Dark Knight being the clear leader by transcending comic book movie into just a great film. So I'm happy to watch those movies. I just don't think I got it in me to pull one of those off. And I think if I do make one, I give up the right to make fun of other people who do make them and make them poorly. Right now, nobody's making them poorly.

Editor's note: Kevin Smith is probably the only person in Hollywood who's seen both of next year's biggest movies -- Star Trek and Watchmen. We got him to preview both for us!

Read Kevin Smith's preview of Star Trek and Watchmen.