EXCLUSIVE: Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson In Clerks II
Dante and Randall are back in the sequel to Kevin Smith's classic 1994 hit film
Kevin Smith fans can rejoice! Dante and Randall are back! That's right, Clerks II is the latest in the long line of Kevin's 'Jay and Silent Bob' series, and the sequel to the independent movie that started it all - Clerks!
Jeff Anderson (Randall) and Brian O'Halloran (Dante) came back for this film with mixed feelings. Even with a great relationship with Kevin, Jeff was a little worried about doing this movie just because of the stereotyping it could cause. But, obviously he agreed and they shot the film. Rosario Dawson joined the cast as Dante and Randall's new boss at Mooby's; Trevor Fehrman plays their nerdy teen co-worker.
I had the chance to sit down with Jeff and Brian and just chat with them about their lives. We spoke about the movie, but we also got into sports; Brian's a huge Jersey and New York sports fan - Jets, Mets, Knicks, and Rangers. However, Jeff isn't; he's a die-hard Denver Broncos fan, even naming his dog 'Elway' after quarterback John Elway. Brian ragged him on that, but I reassured him that he was not alone in his East Coast love for the 'blue and orange'; my cousin from Baltimore is a Broncos fan as well.
I also asked them about the whole experience of being in this franchise; here's what they had to say:
So after the first film; did you ever think there was going to be a second?
Brian O'Halloran: I didn't even think there was going to be a first, the way that shoot was going. We're clapping our own scenes, I'm holding the boom (mic) for his scenes and he's holding it for mine. We were shooting in black and white and talking about the most vile things at the time that I thought it would just be something I would have on video cassette - yes, I said video cassette.
So after the shoot was over, what was your reaction when Kevin told you the movie got picked up?
Brian O'Halloran: Yeah, when we went to Cannes, I found out all four screenings were sold out; I went to the last two screenings and that audience was really amped up. That's when Harvey Weinstein was in the audience, and later that evening, Kevin told me, 'Hey, we got picked up; it's going to be seen!' 'Really? Where?'
How was France this year for this movie?
Jeff Anderson: Yeah, it was pretty amazing, the festival itself is a crazy thing anyway. The reception that the movie got was incredible, coming off a week of bad movies.
And you guys got an eight minute standing ovation?
Brian O'Halloran: Yeah, traditionally the artists are in the middle and when the movie is over the lights hit you. People were standing and crowding the isles; Kevin already had a pack of cigarettes out and was ready to go. Harvey was a few rows back and we looked at him and he said, 'Don't move, don't go.' And it was funny, after the eight minutes, it was funny to hear how that story grew. We left, we got back to our hotel and Harvey was like, 'Did you see that - 10 minute standing ovation!' And then about 10 minutes later, 'Did you see that, 15 minute standing ovation!' And then a little while after, 'It was a 20 minute standing ovation!'
What's that relationship you have with Bob and Harvey?
Jeff Anderson: We were promoting the movie on a tour; Kevin called my cell, but I didn't answer it. I called him back and Harvey answered the phone and asked us, 'Hey, it's Harvey, do you want to stay out on the road for more?'
Do people ever come up to you and recognize you as Dante and Randall?
Brian O'Halloran: I was at a Rangers game, and this guy got up and asked me, 'Hey, are you that guy from Clerks?' I said, 'Yeah.' And so he turns to the guy next to him and hits him and says, 'See, I told you, dude!'
Jeff Anderson: I never get recognized as myself.
Brian O'Halloran: But it's always dudes, it's never chicks.
Speaking of that, with your reputations in this movie, how is it dealing with women? Do they ever not want to date you because of your roles?
Jeff Anderson: With me, it's always hurt me; if I'm ever dating someone, their friend will clue them in like, 'You know who that guy is, right?' 'Oh my g-d, I can't date Randall." It's always a bad thing when it comes to dating.
What does it mean to be part of this franchise?
Brian O'Halloran: It's nice that it's thought of in that great respect; we could be part of The Twilight Zone. It's never hurt me, it's really nice and it's a nice greeting.
Jeff Anderson: It's been nice for me; a few times a week, you get fan letters in the mail. For a long time, I got mail from people in prison; for a good month, I was getting it from a prison.
Are you fans of 'interspecies erotica?'
Brian O'Halloran: I never have been, nor will I ever will be interested in interspecies erotica - please, get that out there.
So where did that even come from?
Jeff Anderson: That's all Kevin Smith, you got to take that up with him.
So when you see that part in the script, what's your first reaction?
Brian O'Halloran: Yeah, I was like, 'There's no way the Humane Society is allowing this!' It would be something we could always animate in ten years. But it was definitely weird reading it.
Jeff Anderson: And it was weird filming it, cause going into it, Kevin always thought the movie was going to be NC-17, he was going for it. He was telling Zak, the actor, 'Just go for it; do this, do that.' And we're sitting back going, 'Oh, no.' I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the MPAA and it came out an R.
Brian O'Halloran: Oh yeah, that was the best day of shooting; no one was going to miss that day! That, and then the dancing scene with the hot dancers.
Are you a dancer?
Brian O'Halloran: No, we check out dancers.
What do your parents think about this movie?
Brian O'Halloran: My mother saw it for even the first one; she was laughing harder at some points than I was. I had to question, 'You're makin' me wonder, mom.'
Jeff Anderson: My mom told me a couple months ago, she had a couple friends over and they were watching Clerks. That kind of blew me away; it was kind of like, 'No one was holding a gun to your head?'
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Brian O'Halloran: The go kart scene; there was hardly any dialogue and just us driving.
Jeff Anderson: For me, the scene was cut out of the movie, but it will be on the DVD. It was coming back from the go kart track; it was a scene in the car and I was having a conversation with Brian about how he could impregnate his own mother through masturbation. It's about an eight page scene that's a very convincing argument.
Brian O'Halloran: That's the weirdest thing about it.
Jeff Anderson: That was one of my favorite scenes and it was cut out because of time, but it will definitely show up on the DVD.
What's next for Dante and Randall?
Brian O'Halloran: I don't know, Grumpier Old Clerks? I don't think the Dante and Randall characters will be back in a live action, but an animated feature will probably happen in about two years.
What do you want to see?
Brian O'Halloran: I don't know, that's the wonderful thing; I leave it up to Kevin. I wouldn't mind having more women, but at this point, how are you going to upgrade from Rosario Dawson! That's when people will go, 'Alright, now you've done it; ok, that's bullsh*t. No one would give up Rosario Dawson.'
Jeff Anderson: You know, I don't think I want to see these guys back in a live action; Clerks II is a nice book-end to Clerks. It's a movie that stands on its own, I love the way it ends, back where they were. And it ends with Kevin's mom, doing the exact same part that she did. It ends with a Soul Asylum song; they were on the original soundtrack and the song fits so well. I don't think you go back to it and mess with it again. I'm a fan of this and I like the way this turned out; it's just time for me to turn away.
You can see Jeff and Brian, along with Jay and Silent Bob, Rosario Dawson, Kevin's wife, Jen Schwalbach, and Trevor Fehrman in Clerks II when it hits theaters July 21st; it's rated R.