Director Smith dishes advice in new memoir

Kevin Smith says he has learned a lot of tough lessons in the two decades since breaking into the film industry with his indie hit Clerks,and now he wants to pass them on....

Written by Reuters | Published: March 30, 2012 5:23 pm

Kevin Smith says he has learned a lot of tough lessons in the two decades since breaking into the film industry with his indie hit Clerks,and now he wants to pass them on. Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From A Fat,Lazy Slob Who Did Good,Smith’s fourth book,hits the shelves in the United States. In it,Smith focuses mainly on the highs and lows of the last five years of his career.

“Film is one of the only art forms where you’re like,‘I want to express something,give me $20 million and Ben Affleck in order to do it.’ I’ve done that,” he told Reuters. Smith,41,made Clerks for under $30,000 at the local convenience store where he worked. The movie went on to win awards,was acquired for distribution by Miramax Films and pulled in over $3 million in theaters.

Since then,the New Jersey-born Smith has written and directed films including Dogma,Chasing Amy and Zach And Miri Make A Porno. Some were critically acclaimed,while others,like Mall Rats and Jersey Girl,were panned. He vowed he is working on only one more live-action feature: Hit Somebody,a story that follows the life of a Canadian hockey player from 1950 to 1980. After that,he plans to focus mainly on podcasting and his Internet radio station,SModcast.

Smith has built a large online following,and ‘Tough Sh*t’ started as a number of tweet responses to questions from some of his more than 2 million Twitter followers,which he began compiling on his Silent Bob Speaks website named after one of his more famous characters. The end result is what Smith calls “part memoir,part advice to me.”

“If you like me,I’m a good role model,and maybe you want to do the stuff I’ve done. But if you don’t like me,you use that as fuel too,and you say,’If this fat chump can do it,I should be even more successful,’” he said. The book covers a wide range of topics from Smith’s difficulties directing Bruce Willis in the buddy flick Cop Out to his veneration of hockey great Wayne Gretzky to drug use and his 2010 public feud with Southwest Airlines. Smith labeled the incident with the low-cost U.S. airline,in which he said he was ejected from a flight for being too big for his seat even though he could buckle his safety belt and put his arm rests down,one of the lowest points of his life.

After he was escorted off the plane,he unleashed a barrage of complaints about his treatment on Twitter and Southwest eventually apologized. But not before the press picked up on Smith’s “too fat to fly” tweets. “You had about 5,000 news articles on Google based on the tweet that I wrote,using my own words against me. That was hands down the low point,” he said.

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