Kevin Smith on His Heart Attack, Avengers 4 & the DC Universe | Comic-Con 2018 | MTV

Kevin Smith on His Heart Attack, Avengers 4 & the DC Universe | Comic-Con 2018 | MTV

– Kevin, Kevin
Smith, welcome back. – Happy to be here, sir. Always happy to be here. I tell you every time,
I’m gonna say it again just so we can give
you a cheap plug. Your Instagram is
one of the most entertaining Instagrams
on the planet. You always have a rotation of
famous faces coming through and you make ’em do
(beeps) up things, (Josh laughs) and that is impressive. So I always like to
give you props for that. – We’re gonna do the
audio version of doing (beeps) up things,
saying (beeps) up things with Kevin Smith right now. (laughing) In all earnestness we’re
so happy you’re here that you’re doing well. – I feel great. – You’ve been through a
lot the last six months. – You would think, but
oddly enough, like not. Like five months ago
I had a heart attack and that sounds harrowing and I remember in the moment, of course there were moments
of it that were like, well this sucks, but it was not painful. And that’s the thing like,
when you’re not in pain you’re like oh, this
ain’t a problem. When the doctor told me like, he’s going your LAD
is 100% occluded, that means blocked up with
cholesterol and stuff, and he goes we have
to go up there, we have to go up
through your groin into your femoral
artery and put a stent in your artery if that
will open it up if we can. I said oh, okay, my
mom’s had one of those. And the doctor goes,
oh is there a history of heart problems
in your family? And I said, well my mom’s got a stent in her
heart, that’s all, plus my dad died of a
massive heart attack at 67. And then he’s like all
right, we gotta go fast. So they went in and
before he did it he said something really cute, He goes, Dr Leidenheim,
he’s my doctor, he goes, you’re
a comic book guy. I said, I am. And he goes, all right, that LAD, that artery
that’s blocked, we call that the widowmaker. And he goes, you know why? I said no and he goes, because in 80% of the
cases of 100% occlusion, the patient always dies. He’s going, but you’re
gonna be in the other 20% ’cause I’m really
good at my job. And he dove into my
crotch and saved my life. It was pretty fantastic. (Josh chuckles) So, but there was no pain. – So many stories
start that way. – I know, you never have those. There was no pain. Well I was a kid
in the seventies, so I expected a heart attack
to be like Fred Sanford’s. Whenever Redd Foxx was
having a heart attack, he was like it’s bad, he’d clutch his chest and
throw his arm out real far. I felt no pain whatsoever. I couldn’t catch my breath, that was the only difference. So it wasn’t like
harrowing, it wasn’t bad. Only in as much when the doctor game me that information
where he’s like you know 80% of the
cases (bleep) die. I was like well that’s
new information, I’ve never faced those kind
of odds that I know of. You figure every day
you leave your house, 50-50 you’re gonna drop dead
like you get hit by lightning, hit by a car or trip
over a (bleep) dog that bites your jugular. As you bleed out you’re
like but I loved dogs. – It’s probably not
50-50, it’s probably more. – A little higher on
that one probably. (laughing) But this was definitely
like the closest that I know that I’d
ever come to being dead and there was never any pain. So much so that I was able to maintain
philosophy throughout. I was philosophical
through the whole thing. I was going well,
if this is the end I’ve had a really good life. I wasn’t sitting there
going like Jesus, save me. I figure I had no
point in praying ’cause God’d be like
you made dog (bleep), go (bleep) yourself. (Josh laughs) So I didn’t bother trying
to plead for my life. Instead I was filled with
this eerie sort of calm where I was like well, this
is it and it could be it. Like your 20% is
pretty low and stuff, so if this is the
end, how do you feel? And I felt actually pretty good. Not like yeah, I’m
done, I aced this. But there was this weird
sense of completion that nobody ever told me about. The only person who
came close my mom, my mom had died
on the table once while they were
working on her heart. She was gone for like
a minute and change. And so I talked to her on
SModcast once after that. I was like all right,
so tell us about it. And she said I
remember I was talking to the anesthesiologist
and then (snaps) just mid sentence I was gone
and I remember floating. I was like floating up? She’s like no,
floating down a stream. And I was like what
did it feel like? And my mom goes
it felt like every responsibility I
ever had in this life (snaps) instantly evaporated. She’s going I never
felt so free in my life. All of my worries were
instantly eliminated and stuff. So I was all right, so lived in this best of
all possible world 65 years, you were dead for a minute. Which is better? And my mom was like I
liked the other side. And I was like why? And she’s going I’ve
never felt that free. No concern, no worry. Like Jacob Marley said, we wear the chains
we forge in life. My mom realized she forges
a lot of chains and stuff. So it always stuck with me. And I don’t if it’s
because she said that or because I genuinely
experienced this, but when I was on
the operating table, that’s what I had a sense of. Like this weird sense of
like oh, this ain’t bad. I’ve been trained to
believe this is the worst thing that will ever
happen to me, of course. ’cause we all wanna
live, nobody wants to die and we don’t know what’s
on the other side. But I had this weird feeling
of like oh, I’m done, like I’m finished. And it wasn’t like
oh, I’m done, I’m sad. I was like oh my god,
I got to the end, like there’s an end game, like I should be
happy, it’s done. And I felt a sense
of accomplishment and also a sense of like oh man, I’ll never get killed in my
sleep by a home intruder, like I was listing, I won’t get eaten by a shark, that was a big deal for me. So I was like if I die
here this works out. And then (bleep)
Leidenheim saved my life. So I’m here is my point. – Does it reorder, ’cause I would imagine
that kind of thing can reorder personal priorities, but apropos to comicon
and your career, does it reorder the
list of projects and the kind of things
that like you know what, I wanna get certain
things, shit done? – There is a bit of that. Like if you’ve ever paid
attention to my career, you could look at
it from the outside even not being deep into it, go oh he just fuckin’
does whatever he wants. Like I saw that walrus
movie, he’s out of his mind. (Josh laughs) So I’ve never been the
guy that’s like man, if only one day I
was brave enough to do the movie
that I wanted to do. I’ve always left it on the table
professionally so to speak. Whether people like it or not I can’t do anything about that. But professionally I’ve
always gone for it, ’cause you get
once at this life. Personally, I never treated
myself the same way. Personally I was sedentary, personally I was like
well, I accept this and this is what I am and
that will never change. Which is weird, because one day I was a guy that worked in a convenient
store and I didn’t accept that and I changed it and
became a filmmaker. But when it came to
my physical health, I just accepted it. I was like oh well,
I’ll never see my high school weight again
or something like that. So after the heart attack there was a nutritionist
in the hospital and they were well
what’s your next step? And I was like I dunno, I mean obviously I don’t
wanna come back here again. And the nutritionist said like have you ever thought
about changing your diet? I said I diet all the time. She said no, not
changing your diet, like not dieting,
change your diet. And I was like what? And she’s like well,
people that eat vegetarian or vegan diet, they tend to have
lower cholesterol. My kid has been a vegan
three years at that point, she’s in the hospital with me and she hears the
nutritionist go vegan. She’s like yes, tell
him he has to do it. (Josh laughs) One of us. She wanted me to join. And so I said ’cause I talked
to Leidenheim, the doctor, and she said when I
was leaving that day, ’cause I was in the hospital
for less than 48 hours, so I was leaving I
was like I feel great. He goes that’s bad. I say why is it bad? He’s going because, he’s
going you feel great, look how easy we’ve made this. He’s going back in the day if you had this
same heart attack, like we’d have to
crack your chest open, saw open your bones,
open your heart, and then the mend
time on that alone is something like
three, four months. So you’d know you
went through something and you would desperately
change your life. He’s going but look at you, you’re out in less
than 48 hours. He’s like you know what
happens to people that do that? They go this is easy
and they go back to their same (bleep) life. And he’s like if I’m lucky, I will see them in here
again before they die. But if I’m unlucky,
(snaps) they’ll (bleep) go. So he’s like it’s in your court. So at that point I
was like all right, maybe it’s time to
do something healthy. And I figure I ate
any way I wanted for like 47 (bleep) years, so I was like I’ll try one year of going vegan and
see if it works. Now I’m a terrible vegan ’cause
I (bleep) hate vegetables, I don’t eat any vegetables. So that makes it
difficult right away. – [Josh] Right, yeah. – But peanut butter
and jelly, vegan. (Josh laughs) You have to find
the little places. – You’ve got that sweet spot. – Exactly. So I don’t eat the greens, but I still smoke
those, I don’t eat them. But I won’t eat the
animal food products, the cheese and milk,
none of that stuff. And oddly enough,
weight just starts kind of coming off when
you’re eating plant-based. It’s been crazy. So that was the big
change was professionally, it was like I went vegan,
drop some pounds and stuff. I mean personally. Professionally, it
reordered things. Like we had this
pilot for Hollyweed we shot like two
and a half year ago, right around the
time of Yoga Hosers. So right before we went to
Sundance with Yoga Hosers, we were shooting Hollyweed. Then we went to Sundance
with Yoga Hosers and Yoga Hosers happened. And then right after that
on the heels of that, Freemantle, the people
we made the pilot with, they were like hey, we
tried to take it out, nobody’s interested. So all of January 2016
was the suck for me. I was like this is the
worst it’ll ever be and then I had a heart
attack two years later. I had no idea what
the worst was. (Josh chuckles) So there I am with this
pilot that nobody wanted and I loved it. I thought it was fun, it’s
like Clerks in a weed store. And I’d written
the role of Randall in Clerks to play myself, which is why it has
all the best jokes. And the closer I got
to the production I was like I’m no (bleep) actor, I can’t do this. Why did I write a
part for myself? I will take a part
with no speaking lines and that was Silent Bob. And oddly enough I
didn’t ask myself like I’m not a director, why do I think I could direct? That one I can get
my head around. – For whatever reason
the acting part– – The acting one was tough. Critics years later would be
like you can’t direct (bleep). (Josh laughs) But in the beginning
of my career– – You were right. (laughs) – Yeah, you had no idea how
close you were to right. So I scared myself out
of acting in the flick and then it went on
to be what it was and I was in it as Silent
Bob and that was fun. But I always look
at that Randall role and be like (bleep). Like if I was in charge,
if I was Randall in Clerks, we would be up to
Clerks 29 right now. Like that many (bleep) sequels. – (chuckles) So this is the way
to get at that a little bit? – This is. To do Hollyweed is for me to
do Clerks in a weed store. And it comes full
circle where it’s like two roads diverged
in the yellow wood and I chose the one path
and boy it was great. But now I get to come
back to that same point and be like well what happens
if you would’ve went that way? What happens if you
did trust enough in yourself to make
pretend with words as opposed just using your face and goofy expressions
as Silent Bob? So Rivit TV came along, it was a guy, Marcus,
that we knew from working on something at Fox
back in the day. And Marcus was
working at Rivit TV and he had this
interesting platform where he’s like what
we’re gonna wanna do here is take pilots that
didn’t go anywhere, put them up in front
of an audience, and if they really like them, they can provide the funding
and you go forward from that. They can pre-buy a
season of the show. So I was like oh my god, like I’d be way down for that. ’cause I enjoyed
making Hollyweed and then I remember
when we made the pilot I was at my then adult thinnest. So my logic was always like if
we were working on that show, I would have to stay
relatively thinner. I would have to stay
on the thinner side so I look the same. So that was the reason to do it. I was always sitting there
going it will keep me thin and I’ll get to act with words. And then when we wound up
doing up a PS to the pilot for releasing when we
released on Rivit TV, because Frankie Shaw was one
of the characters in the pilot, she played one of
the characters, she went on to do SMILF. She got her own
show on Showtime, she’s doing incredibly well. So we can’t be like come back
here and be in our weed show. So we had to kind of write
a conclusion to her story, which included
putting me on camera like thinner than I was
when we shot the pilot. So when we did it they were
like what are you gonna do, how are you gonna address it? I was like I’ll just make
up a joke on the spot. And so while we were shooting, Donnell goes Pete, that’s
my character’s name, Pete, you look thin today. I was like do I? Thank you, I said I felt
bloated all day yesterday. I said but then I
got up this morning, took a huge shit, feel
like I lost 40 pounds. (Josh laughs) And so it’s kind of fun,
even on the freak value, even if you’re like I don’t wanna watch that
show about weed, to watch me go from one
weight to another in it. – It’s your Castaway,
basically. (laughs) – A little bit. Oh my god, I’m stealing
that line, Josh. (laughing) It is my total Tom Hanks, man. It’s my Castaway moment. – So where are you at in terms of directing comic book stuff? Obviously the last few
years you got a chance to get involved in
Flash and Supergirl. Is there a show out there
that you’d like to explore? Berlanti keeps making
like three more shows announced every day. – Greg Berlanti will
not (bleep) stop making these amazing
comic book TV shows. Yeah, I owe him a
great debt of thanks, because he put
those shows together with his creative teams and
whatnot and their casts. And they have allowed
me those shows, and Greg and his team themself, have allowed me
to go into a world that I never really had much
of interest in going into. I love comic book movies,
comic book properties, I love watching them, I love not picking them apart, but celebrating them
and stuff like that, love anticipating the next one, but making those things seemed, like whenever you see
those behind the scenes they’re like we’re on
day 200 of Spiderman and you’re like who
the (bleep) could do anything 200 times in a
row, let alone Spiderman? So it takes a lot more
energy and attention and talent most
importantly than I have. I like doing stuff where the characters talk
about those movies. Like that’s what I’ve
been doing for years. So I like going to
Flash and Supergirl because I get to then
play in that world, you get to play with kids
wearing colorful costumes having ridiculous powers and showing off incredible
feats of strength. But I love those shows more so than the comic book
movies that they do, because on TV you get to
pull the taffy a lot longer. You get to fall in love with
the cast and characters, know everything about
them and what not, dive deep into their lives. So people always ask me like don’t you wanna make
a comic book movie? And I’m like nah, I’m not
talented enough to do that. Russo brothers, they can
do that in their sleep, they know what to do and stuff. I’m not, I’m the guy that
likes to watch that stuff and I don’t have the
patience or the ability to sit through one of
those things making it. I don’t know if it would
turn out very well if I did. A lot of people are like you
love this comic book stuff. Just ’cause you love something doesn’t mean that you’re
gonna be great at it. Sometimes, particularly in the
field of comic book movies, it’s been interesting
to watch people who are not from the genre, who don’t touch the material,
suddenly interpret it. We saw that with Tim Burton, one of the greatest comic
book movies of all time. 1989 Batman, Tim
Burton very famously talks about like I
don’t read comic books. Who was it? Bryan Singer when
he made the X-Men, he was not a comic
book guy either. So there’s something to be said for like grabbing people
from outside the medium who have a passing
familiarity with it, not somebody who has so
much invested in the game where I’m like well Thanos
would never do that. (Josh laughs) And they’re like well
maybe not on the page, but we’re making a movie here. I’m like well fuck that. – We’ve just spent three
days arguing this Kevin. We have to move on. (laughs) – That’s what it would be, it would be me arguing
on set a lot of the time. So I like watching them, but making them is not for me. Closest I get is when I
jump into Berlanti land. That’s fun ’cause it’s
nine days in and out. And also, when you make one
of them comic book movies, you have a chance to disappoint so many (bleep)
people, so many people. And I disappoint people on a
regular basis with my own shit. So to take something
everybody knows and suddenly disappoint them
with that, who needs it? If I do a Flash or Supergirl, if it sucks, just wait a week,
another one’s coming (Josh laughs) and I’m sure it’ll be great. – So Batwoman is
coming apparently. – Isn’t that fantastic? I was telling my kid yesterday, she’s like Batgirl’s coming. I was like Batgirl’s
coming to the movies, Batwoman’s coming to TV. They’re two different
characters, let me explain. And then I went into it. – So do you put your
name in the hopper or do you text Greg and
be like that sounds cool, I’m available? – Last time I texted
Greg was from the, well I had texted
him few months ago, but I texted him
from the hospital the night that I had the
heart attack and stuff ’cause a lot of people
were sending texts and emails going are you okay? And he sent one and I wrote
back to him being like I’m fine, I’m doing notes on
my Flash episode right now. ’cause I was sitting
there watching Flash and taking down like
cut notes and stuff. And he’s like bro, you don’t
even do the heart attack right. He’s like you’re supposed
to enjoy it and stuff. So I would, I would
totally reach out to him. I saw the trailer
for this Team Titans that they’re doing on
the DC Universe app, which you know, the
buzzword of Comicon 2018 is (bleep) Batman. – We’re gonna get
to that, trust me. – (laughs) Who knew? – It’s on my list,
don’t you worry. – It’s crazy. (Josh laughs) That’s where are right now. – Always a geek,
always welcome here, we love you around here. We’re so happy that
you’re doing well. – Love being here, love
being above ground. – (chuckles) We agree with that. You’re welcome
here anytime, man. – Thank you. – Enjoy your comicon as always. – You as well, man. Excellent seeing you.
– It’s good to see you, buddy.



  • moeshickenyay

    Wait a year, and he’ll be back at his fighting weight, pretty hard to keep up the regime to stay at the weight he’s at, after decades of inactivity and obesity. Wish him luck, I’ve been down the same road and know the immense discipline it takes to maintain the behaviour you need to exhibit to stay healthy.

  • MarVal 911

    "that walrus movie, he's out of his mind", that's exactly what I thought after watching "Tusk" hehe.

  • Natalie Zayas-Bazan

    I met him on Thursday as he left the hotel and holy crap he’s sooo skinny. I would have never recognized him if someone else hadn’t.

  • Yako Sinn Romero

    Ty Jesus Christ for saving him too. God doesn’t like religion He likes His followers that obey His commands

  • mark harmon

    anyone else sick of him talking about his heart attack? good lord he tells the story every fucking interview.

  • Thomas Kelly

    He makes a good pount at 13:05. Nicholas Meyer made arguably the best Star Trek film, Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, and he was not that familiar with Star Trek to begin with. So certainly not a fan in that sense.

  • James Leffel

    "You get to play with kids…" you say…?

  • Lare Alexander Short

    He dove into my crotch and saved my life

  • Yautja Prime

    Now Kevin will be killed and eaten by a home invading Shark haha

  • Jacob Copley

    This is like the 15th interview where I heard the same story. I'm not complaining at all, I'm saying that Kevin is such a great storyteller that I'll listen to the same one over and over. I could listen to this guy talk about ANYTHING. So glad that he's still with us.

  • Mr. Pacanelli

    my hero

  • wrcallofduty82

    Kevin’s sitting??? 😮

  • Comixs Fan

    This guy's not just alive, he's living after a massive heart attack that should have killed them. Love you Silent Bob, keep doing the Lords work!!!

  • Jacob Dominguez

    Great interview!

  • JR

    IDK why, but I think Kev would make the hero hide behind a rock if he made a superhero movie.

  • B Lidge

    He needs to buy a jacket that fits

  • K0NY718

    I like Kevin but jeez man let the interviewer ask a question, he just rambles on non stop

  • actionthatsucks

    Where was there any talk of Avengers 4????

  • Michael Midnight

    Man those two!

  • Jess Manuel

    Fake. No Avengers 4 topic.

  • Lee Presson

    Kevin is Hollywood's nicest guy.

  • Thirsty Trash Panda

    Title is clickbait bs

  • m I o . o I m

    Kevin Smith is a true artist. a legend. He revolutionized indy film. He built a shared universe before Marvel did. This man a creative powerhouse.

  • Rocco Of The Desert

    Does MTV have to resort to clickbait titles? That's pathetic.


    This guy is fucken awesome aha

  • Carl Ellyn

    Love you Kevin, but timing to take over your "OMG my life was amazingling in peril", is everything! – home the host rallys!

  • Icepick Media

    I went to a comic con in Seattle a few months ago(post-heart attack) and Kevin was a panel moderator and also did photo ops with fans. In most photo ops, you go in, picture, DONE! Hardly even get a chance to make eye contact with the person. Kevin took the time to speak to each and every person, COMPLETELY Ignoring the photographer telling him to hurry. He’s such an incredible person and I’m blessed to have been able to tell him how much him and his work meant to me and how happy I am for his good health.

  • Linus Knight

    couldn’t last the first 45 seconds without mentioning the heart attack.

  • wickedpissa25

    "He dove into my crotch and saved my life." – a perfect quote

  • Dat Harass

    I've been on a string of Kevin Smith interviews lately… I think I'm a fanboi…

  • Michael McGrath

    Such a shame he survived

  • bogey2230

    " People that eat vegetarian or vegan seem to have less cholesterol " – Takes steak out of freezer to thaw for tonight's dinner.

  • Tyler Tomsen

    Perhaps the calmness you felt was the meds they give you to chill out and/or the anesthesia.. I've heard many stories of ppl about to go under feeling 'good' and they were not dying.

  • Wey Cool

    wow he lost a lot of weight!

  • Wey Cool

    Kevin can really talk!!!!

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