As a kid growing up in New Jersey, Kevin Smith couldn’t imagine a time where the Avengers, the X-Men and his other favorite comic book characters would be the biggest heroes in pop culture.
His love of comic books and science fiction were relegated to the realm of the nerd. He never saw his interests on the big screen. So, Smith took it upon himself to bring that world to the mainstream.
“For me, making films was all about putting in all of the things I was passionate in my life: comic books, comic book shows, comic book conventions,” he said. “That was stuff that I wanted to see up in the big screen, because that would feel like my world.”
Smith has gone on to become a noted director of films, such as “Clerks” and “Mallrats,” as well as a comic book writer, TV star and producer, podcaster, and about a dozen other roles.
He will be headlining Indy Pop Con this weekend in downtown Indianapolis, promoting his new film “Yoga Hosers.” The bizarre horror-comedy centers on two 15-year-old yoga enthusiasts and their battles against an army of bratwurst monsters. The film stars Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp and Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose Depp.
In advance of his Indiana appearance, Smith shared his thoughts about “Yoga Hosers,” comic conventions and the state of pop culture.
Kind of famous
“Conventions are the only place in the world where I’m considered ‘famous.’ If I walk into a comic con, probably 95 percent of people recognize me. Out in the real world, not at all.”Career goals“When I was striving to be a filmmaker, I wasn’t trying to win an Oscar. I thought about, ‘How can I show the stuff I’m into? Wouldn’t it be great to show a comic book convention? Wouldn’t it be great to show people talking about comics?’”
Striking a chord
“In the theater, ‘Mallrats’ died. But on video, it became an anthem. I never understood why, but I get it now because I feel like I’ve met everyone who loves that movie. The consensus is the same: you showed my world.”
New world of pop culture
“If you were me 30 years ago, you were a freak and an outcast. Now, it’s normalized. We never dreamed we’d see (Captain America) and Iron Man in the same flick, and now they’ve done it so many times, it’s standard at this point.”
“Now you’re seeing all of your favorite properties from your youth come to life and capture a new audience, the younger audience. That makes you feel younger as well. It’s very rare that people in my age group get to identify with younger people. The thing that overcomes that is the childlike whimsy.”
Creating female heroes
“I’ve been taking (my daughter) to the movies the same way my dad took me to the movies. I usually pick the movies, and it’s usually the things that I’m interested in: Superman and Batman and Spider Man and Iron Man. I thought she was just as into those films as me. One day my wife said to me, ‘Kevin, she loves them because you love them.’ There’s nothing for her in those movies. Those movies are about dudes, from the perspective from a man. You look and there’s a scarcity of movies you can bring your daughter to if you’re a dad that you can enjoy together, where it’s not gender-alienating. So if you see a hole, fill it. After years of saying that, we tried to make one.”
Need to be remembered
“You don’t want to be forgotten. That’s why people do anything in life. I got lucky, early on I expressed myself at a young age, and boom, I got paid to play pretend. It’s a wonderful thing. But ‘Clerks’ was 22 years ago. The beast needs to be fed at all times.”
Kevin Smith at Indy Pop Con
What: Smith will be introducing and screening his new film, “Yoga Hosers.” Following the film, he’ll do a live broadcast of his podcast “Fatman on Batman.”
When: Film starts at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. The podcast broadcast will start at 10:30.
Where: Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave, Indianapolis
- Passes to attend the Q&A with Smith and see “Yoga Hosers” are $15.
- Tickets to the broadcast of “Fatman on Batman” are $15 for general seating and $30 for premium seating.
- Tickets from the screening and broadcast are separate from entry into the convention.