Commentary

Kevin Smith talks hockey, new DVD

Originally Published: July 11, 2010
By Kelley Carter | Special to Page 2

SmithStephen Lovekin/Getty ImagesDirector Kevin Smith (right) attends the premiere of his movie "Cop Out" with some cast members.

Turns out, Silent Bob isn't all that silent.

When Kevin Smith -- the director, writer and actor behind that pop culture figure -- talks, he fancies the naughty words. Like, he really, really, really likes to drop a good f-bomb in the middle of a conversation -- just like any other true-blue red-blooded hockey fan.

And when he delivers them (or really anything he says), much of it is done so in a stream-of-consciousness way; trust that all of it is pretty hilarious.

Dressed in an Ottawa Senators jersey, Page 2 recently sat down with the director -- his DVD "Cop Out," which stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, is released Tuesday -- and he chatted about his love of hockey, playing goalie and how when it comes to sports, he kind of feels like the fat kid looking in on the outside of the restaurant.

My boss said you were going to write for us on Page 2 …

"I remember that email being asked to write for ESPN and I was thinking, 'Wow,' it was so weird to be asked that question because I am so, so so not that guy, never was growing up. I mean, honestly if you asked me to name every team in the NFL, I could not. I probably couldn't name 10 in the NFL or the MBL -- or what is it, MLB?

Yep. MLB.

"MLB. See? I'm just not that guy. Hockey is the only thing I was ever gravitating toward. Hockey I can talk religiously about, so I felt like when the dude was like 'do you wanna write here?' I was just like, 'dude, they're gonna feel that I'm a fraud.' Sports fans, they're worse than movie fans. They're religious."

We love that you're so flattered that we wanted to talk with you today. Our audience loves Kevin Smith movies, but we also hear you're quite the hockey fan. Why hockey?

A: "It's the artsy-fartsy answer, but I think it's the one sport that makes the closest allegory to life. We're all goal oriented in life and every day, the simple goal is live to the next day, you know that's it. Hockey is the very distillation of that. You have a goal, somebody's standing between you and the goal, get around them succeed, that's it. That's life, man. Baseball ain't the same thing. You can't do that in baseball. Hockey game -- people are playing with such passion and enthusiasm.

And do you play hockey?

"I can't play hockey. I mean, I try to play street hockey, can't play ice hockey. My team won a tournament up in Redford, Ontario -- Wayne Gretzky's hometown. His dad does a hockey tournament, the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey tournament, and last year was the first year that I found it online. I had no idea it existed, and so I got in touch with him and said I'm gonna bring up a team and I'm gonna bring up other teams and string the heads up, because when I go somewhere people tend to come with me! We came and it wound up huge.

What position do you play?

"I've always kind of played goal. I started playing street hockey in '90 with my friends at the recreation center. They introduced me to my friend Walter Flannigan, and we have this dude who hung out with this dude & who had CP; he had like the crutches with the handles on 'em, but you wouldn't know he had CP, but he was so athletic, it was crazy. He played everything. He was handi-better-at-everything-than-Kevin-Smith; this dude was a true athlete, he just had the crippled leg. He played goal on one side, because he couldn't stand, so he played on the ground, on his knees, on the catcher's kneepads with a catcher's chest plate, a baseball mitt and a bare hand with a baseball pitching glove on it. He didn't have a waffle board because he had to brace himself on the ground as well as play goal. So we start playing with them, I had never played before and my friend Walter is like 'you wanna play?' And I was like 'yeah, I would like to play' and he was like 'why don't you be in the other goal' and I don't know what it was because I had seen hockey played before, but because he was on his knees, I was just like 'alright, I guess I should just be on my knees.'

I'm impressed with your knowledge and love of hockey. The premise of "Cop Out" is that Bruce Willis' character is chasing this 1952 vintage baseball card. Did you ever think about making it a hockey card?

I hit this exec and said, 'You know what, dude? We gotta change the baseball thing, nobody watches baseball, it's gotta be a Gretzky card.' And he got really white because he's like 'oh man, it's gotta be this baseball card. It can't be hockey, that ruins the whole movie' and I was [messing] with him just to see if he would react and I was like 'we've got to clear it and get Gretzky, we should have a Gretzky appearance in the movie as well' and he was like 'Oh my God. Are you sure?' and I was like, 'no I'm kidding. It works as a baseball card, it's kind of nice as a baseball card.' "

And up next you're making "Hit Somebody," which is a hockey film, right?

"I will be. I'm right now on page 81 of the script. It's big. it's gonna be big. I mean big, in terms of long, it spans a life. We go from 1950 to 1980, and Seann William Scott is going to be my guy, the guy that plays the lead. It's based on the song that Warren Zevon recorded."

Kelley L. Carter is a freelance entertainment reporter. She can be reached at Kelley@thekelleylcarter.com.

Kelley L. Carter is an Emmy-winning entertainment journalist who has written for publications including USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, Vibe and Essence magazines. She also regularly provides expert pop culture and entertainment commentary for outlets including CNN, E! and the TV Guide Channel.