Chris Bain [Interview]

Hello Dear Readers! We are about to kick an amazing Shooting Clerks related weekend that you are all going to love! And we are kicking things off in a major way with one of the major players from the film itself, the great Chris Bain!

Chris Bain is a brilliant actor who recently took on the task of playing the legendary Jason Mewes in Shooting Clerks, a film we have been fanboying over here at TWS for quite some time now. And when I was given the chance to talk with one of the film’s prominent cast members, I simply had to jump at the opportunity! And just as I expected, he is a hell of a nice guy who gives some amazing insight into not just his work on Shooting Clerks, but on how he found his way into the world of acting has continued to thrive within the profession.

The man has a whole lot to say, so how about we just jump right into it? Ladies and gentlemen, the wonderful Chris Bain!

When did you first discover your passion for acting and the world of film and television as a whole? When did you realize you wanted to make a living in this world?

I’ve always been a film buff. From an early age my dad instilled that in me,  letting me watch films like Indiana Jones and Highlander really whetted my appetite for visual storytelling. Even now, at thirty years old, I still view going to the cinema as an experience and associate it as a bit of an adventure. I’ve always had a passion for acting and love the thrill of being someone else, although I started that journey somewhat later in life, at around twenty-six years old I realised how passionate I am about it and decided to take the plunge and forge a career out of it.

How did you manage to become involved with Shooting Clerks to play the legendary Jay Mewes in this brilliant biopic? Were you well versed in the View Askewinverse prior to taking on the role?

A few years prior to Shooting Clerks, I didn’t consider myself an actor, at all. I did it occasionally as something to do, unprofessionally as a hobby. A good friend of mine knew someone who was making a short film based on a podcast that Kevin & Jason recorded and needed someone to play Mewes. That someone was Chris Downie. We met, discussed the production and the role, I auditioned for him and took the part. Kevin & Jason viewed the finished production and were so taken by it, they decided to host it on their SeeSmod YouTube channel. I knew from then that working with Chris was special and that he not only had a unique vision but a lot of talent too. About a year later, he mentioned that he wanted to produce a feature based on the trials and tribulations Kevin faced when making Clerks and wanted me to play Jason again. Needless to say, it was a decision that didn’t take me long to make. Previously, I had watched Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in High School so I was familiar with Smith’s work but I wouldn’t consider myself a fan at that stage. From preparing to play Mewes in Shooting Clerks I ensured that I was familiar with Smith’s entire back catalogue and discovered a great appreciation for his work, I’d definitely consider myself a fan now!

And how was your experience portraying one of the most infamous and beloved stoners in the history of cinema? Was it a tad nerve-racking to play a person who is still very much alive and would eventually witness you portray his character on the big screen?

I think for any actor, to play a real life person who is also still alive comes with some trepidation. I knew how passionate and devoted Kevin & Jason’s fans are and wanted to make sure that not only I play him in the way that you would expect, that you are used to so that my performance is authentic and believable, but to ensure that it’s a sincere performance too. It’s easy to mimic someone, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make sure that yes, this is the Mewes everyone knows and loves, but that you also see some aspects of his character that he isn’t immediately associated with so that my depiction is rounded and believable. I have met Jason previously but wasn’t able to attend the New Jersey screening that he and Kevin attended in August due to other acting commitments. However, I have heard that he was pleased with my performance. As long as the man himself is happy then I hope I’ve done him justice!

Shooting Clerks has already been released to some mighty acclaim in the states, and will have its UK release date on January 16th. After being a part of this project for so long, what does it feel like to finally see the film come to fruition and finally being shown in front of audiences? Is it surreal in any way?

I’ve been lucky enough to attend four separate screenings of Shooting Clerks prior to this one. With the cast & crew I was at the screenings in Orlando, New York, New Jersey and in Edinburgh too and the audience reaction has not only been incredible but also humbling. It’s wonderful to see such a phenomenal response to a film that everyone involved worked so hard on for the best part of three years. I’m just glad that people like it for what it is, not only some excellent performances and funny lines, but a wonderful piece of filmmaking with a lot of heart.

Aside from obviously portraying the legendary Jason Mewes, if you were given the chance to portray another legendary figure from the world of film, who would it be?

It’s such a difficult question to answer. For me, it would have to be someone who made a difference, not just someone who has achieved a lot in the world of film, but who made a genuine difference to the lives of others. I think it’s important to bring to life a story like that. It may seem cliché but that’s why I’d choose Marlon Brando, not only a giant in cinema who revolutionised screen acting, but a man with a huge heart who used his fame and recognition to raise awareness for various causes and charities. Also, a role like that would require a lot of make up as I look nothing like Brando!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ve been keeping busy. I’m still relatively at the beginning of my career and although I’ve been lucky to appear in some fantastic productions and do some excellent work, I’m still starting out. I have a few projects that I’m working on, but as ever, I  can’t say too much at this stage. Watch this space!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Being a huge fan of another cult film, The Room. I saw The Disaster Artist in the cinema the other day and loved it. It’s one of the first films in a while where I have ended up crying with laughter during it. I think it’s quite apt that we’re screening our film in the same cinema that James Franco showed The Disaster Artist in when we appear in London.

Shooting Clerks featuring Chris Bain as the legendary Jason Mewes will have its London premiere on January 16th at the Prince Charles Cinema – 8:45pm. Tickets are available HERE.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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