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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Who is Jason Edward Mewes?

Who is Jason Edward Mewes? The entertainment world knows him as a American television and film actor known for playing foul-mouthed drug dealer Jay, the vocal half of Jay and Silent Bob from the "View Askewniverse" films of Mewes' childhood friend Kevin Smith. He has appeared in all of Smith's films that he wrote and directed except Jersey Girl and Cop Out.

Early life

Mewes was born June 12, 1974 and he grew up in Highlands, New Jersey, living with his mother, a heroin addict, who died of AIDS in 2002. He never met his father. He himself started using heroin in his early 20s, and remained addicted for the next decade.

Career

While he is mostly known for acting in films, Mewes also has worked in television. He voiced the role of Jay in the short-lived Clerks: The Animated Series. He, along with Smith, performed in the films Scream 3 and Bottoms Up and on Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. He appeared in two episodes of a three-part story arc in which he and Smith film a new addition to Smith's New Jersey films entitled Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh? at Degrassi Community School. They appear again on Degrassi (in a two part episode), at the premiere of Jay and Silent Bob go Canadian, Eh? in Canada. Mewes, Smith, and Degrassi star Stacie Mistysyn made the cover of Canadian TV Guide. He and Kevin Smith will return to Degrassi: The Next Generation for some of the final 4 episodes of season 8, entitled "Paradise City". In 1998, he starred as "Gary Lamb - Ground Activist" in a series of Nike commercials directed by Smith.

In Scarface: The World Is Yours Mewes provides a voiceover for a thief who steals some tapes. The character's dialogue, consisting mainly of constant stream-of-consciousness profanity, is entirely consistent with that of Jay's character.

Mewes starred in the pilot episode of Smith's sitcom, Hating Hal; it never advanced beyond the pilot stage.

During a radio interview on WJFK 106.7, Mewes confirmed that at one time, he had a deal with Kevin Smith that, if he stayed sober, they would make Clerks 2. He also stated that he is doing a film called K 11 with Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed, and that he dyed his hair black for this role.

Personal life

Smith entered Mewes into the first of a series of drug rehabilitation clinics in 1997, after noticing Mewes was nodding off during the recording of the Chasing Amy commentary track. Mewes' attempt at sobriety was short-lived; in 1999, he was arrested for possession of heroin and a syringe, in violation of his probation.

He also stole Smith's ATM card and charged $1,100, and had heroin shipped to the hotel where the press junket for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was being held. Smith had taken Mewes in to live with him and his wife, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, but kicked him out after he was caught using again. In another attempt to get clean, Mewes moved in with his mother, who gave him OxyContin to ease the withdrawal symptoms; Mewes was soon addicted to that substance as well.

In 2001, a warrant was issued for his arrest and in April 2003, he surrendered himself and pleaded guilty to probation violation charges. He was ordered to enter rehab and was told if he violated parole again, he could face up to five years in prison. In the same year, he made another attempt at sobriety after he fell asleep with a lit cigarette, nearly setting himself on fire; to date, he has remained sober.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1994 Clerks Jay
1995 Mallrats Jay
1996 Drawing Flies Az
1997 Chasing Amy Jay
1999 Dogma Jay
Tail Lights Fade
uncredited
The Blair Clown Project Witness #3
Spilt Milk

2000 Scream 3 Jay
Vulgar Tuott the Basehead
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Jay
2001–2002 Clerks Jay 6 episodes
2002 R.S.V.P. Terry
High Times' Potluck Guy
Hot Rush

2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead Jay the MC as Jay Mewes
2004 Powder: Up Here Evil Villain
2005 Degrassi: The Next Generation Himself 4 episodes
My Big Fat Independent Movie Answering Machine voice
Tom 51

The Pleasure Drivers Counter Monkey
2006 Clerks II Jay
Feast Edgy Cat
National Lampoon's TV: The Movie

Bottoms Up Owen Peadman
Jack's Law Bobby Mewes
2007 Netherbeast Incorporated Waxy Dan
Gone Baby Gone

The Tripper Joey
2008 Bitten Jack Video
Zack and Miri Make a Porno Lester
Tattoos: A Scarred History Himself
Fanboys Himself cameo
2009 Tom Cool

Midgets Vs. Mascots Jason uncredited
Silent But Deadly Thomas Capper post-production
Repo T.J. post-production
Shoot the Hero Nate post-production
Mitch and Stu's Quest Stu pre-production
The Science of Cool Coach Cambria In production
2010 Noah's Ark: The New Beginning Ham voice
Big Money Rustlas

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