(CBS) -- Kevin Smith can pinpoint exactly when he fell in love with comic books as a kid growing up New Jersey.
“When I was like 9 or 10, my father bought me a yo-yo and he was like, ‘Let me teach you how to do this.’...But the yo-yo was right next to a comic book rack, so I was like, ‘Can I get a comic book?’ So he was like, ‘Throw in a comic book.’ So I got this Superman family annual that begins with Superman and Lois Lane waking up on a cloud bed...I open that as soon as I get in the car and I’m like, ‘This is sexy!’...And I started reading it,” the 42-year-old screenwriter/director recalled in an interview with CBSNews.com. “And there’s my dad trying to teach me how to do cats cradle with the yo-yo and I’m like, ‘Are you out of your mind? Superman has sex—in the sky! We shouldn’t be doing anything but marveling at this’...So, that started me down the rabbit hole of superheroes.”
So, when Gillette approached Smith to be part of its “How Does the Man of Steel Shave?” initiative, saying “yes” was a no-brainer. But Smith says he actually thought the shaving company approached him for another reason: “In my heart of hearts, I thought they came after me because they’re like, ‘He shaves. That’s a dude who knows how to keep a good beard!’”
Smith says he’s very proud of how groomed he keeps his beard and thought for sure that was the reason Gillette called him. “They’re like, ‘No, not at all. It’s because you like comic books.’”
In his Gillette video segment, released in the weeks leading up to Friday’s “Man of Steel” movie premiere, Smith offers up his own theory on how Superman shaves, debunking theories involving laser vision and a kryptonite razor. (Check out the video here for Smith’s theory).
So, how often does Smith shave? Apparently every day—so he doesn’t look like a “mountain man.” “Also, I use it to shave my face because I have such a fat face,” he joked. “I shave [my beard] to make it look like I have a chin bone and cheek bone.”
When he’s not busy shaving, Smith has been cranking away at the script for “Clerks 3,” the follow-up to 2006’s “Clerks 2.” He’s narrowed it down to 120 pages and recently submitted the draft, cast list and budget to producer Bob Weinstein. He hopes to shoot the movie between August and November of this year. “Bob has about a month to make a decision...and then if he says yes, we’re off to the races with Bob. If not, I’m going to try to finance it myself,” said Smith, who says he wouldn’t use Kickstarter or another crowd fundraising site to fund the project.
“My dream is to put my house up for it. I live in a really sweet house that I bought from [Ben] Affleck years ago. I’ve been in it 11 years now. I still call it Affleck’s house, but I lived in it longer than him,” explained Smith, who’s still close friends with Affleck. “It’s a really nice house in Hollywood Hills. And every time I think, ‘What if Bob says no? I’m like, ‘You’re living in yes. This is how you pay for the movie.’ I know some cats are like, let’s Kickstart it. For me, if I jump into a Kickstarter pool and say ‘Clerks 3’ it’s guaranteed to soak up $5-7 million bucks. And it’s not because I’m such a great guy but because people love ‘Clerks.’...So, if I do that, that’s a bunch of money that doesn’t go to a bunch of other indie filmmakers who want to make their films.”
Smith, who released the original “Clerks” in 1994, is still very passionate about the process of filmmaking. “I’m a storyteller. I remember seeing ‘Slacker’ on my 21st birthday and I was like, ‘Wow, anyone can make a flick.’...Indie films in the ‘90s made it feel like anyone can tell a story.”
Although he loves the craft of making movies, Smith says “Clerks 3” will be his big-screen swan song.
“It’s not like I’m going away to the mountains; I do a bunch of things,” he said. “But the kind of movies I make it doesn’t make sense releasing them in theaters. I can keep the cost down in production...I can not a take salary...But when it comes to marketing and selling it, I have no control over that. And that’s when things go nuts...So the stuff I like to do—just people talking to each other—is very inexpensive. You can put that up on YouTube...So ‘Clerks 3’ will be the last time that I go out there and we spend money on commercials and stuff like that. That’s why I’m getting out of this game.”