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JERSEY GIRL

About The Production
"I started writing JERSEY GIRL in 1999,” says writer/ director Kevin Smith, who was working on the Clerks cartoon at the time and wanted to write "something with a little more depth to it, in order to stay balanced.” Smith explains, "My daughter was about six months old and the three of us [my wife, my daughter and I] were staying in a rented apartment for a couple of months. I was thinking about my daughter [and the responsibilities of parenting] and I went upstairs and just started writing. After about two hours, I had the first fifty pages of JERSEY GIRL.” Smith continues, "Those first scenes, including when the twist happens in the movie, didn't really change from that point on. They just sat on my computer for about two years until I was at a Fourth of July party at Affleck's house. He was urging me to write something more like Chasing Amy again, something more character-driven. So I told him about the pages I had written and sent them over to him, and after he read them, he said ‘finish this – this is what we should do next.' So, at that point I essentially started writing the role of Ollie for Ben, and by January 2002 I was finished with the first draft.”

A prolific writer whose work has spanned film, television and comic books, Smith is perhaps most famous for his creation of characters Jay and Silent Bob, two modern-day nomads who begin their cinematic journey in Smith's Sundance acclaimed Clerks and culminate their voyage in the most recent installment of the series, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. But JERSEY GIRL marks something new for the filmmaker, as these recurring characters do not appear in the film. Smith says, "The first five movies we made were all interconnected in one way or another, the most obvious being Jay and Silent Bob. The other differences are pretty glaring in that JERSEY GIRL is not about a couple of guys sitting around, ripping about pop-culture or talking about comic books.

This is a very honest and human story. I was kind of working without a net in that it's not filled with the jokes and the humor that are so central to my other films. Although the film begins with tragedy, there definitely is humor in the film as there is in life's most painful situations."

Affleck also recalls his first glimpse at JERSEY GIRL and the subsequent script. "I loved the initial pages of the story that Kevin sent me. It's a beautiful script and in some ways very classic. There is a certain feel to the script that is very traditional and ‘PG-13,' which is a first for Kevin Smith. But, then it also has Kevin's sensibility, which gives it an edge and a certain perspective of the world that is uniquely his.” For Affleck, working again with Smith [JERSEY GIRL is their fifth collaboration together, along with producer Scott Mosier] was intriguing and at the same time, a certainty. "It's exciting to work with Kevin so many times and to see him reach and break new ground,” says Affleck. "I wanted to be included in the process. In some ways there's continuity to it, by the mere fact that Kevin and I have worked together several times before. But, in other ways it's a brand new experience. It's like taking a trip to a place you've never been with an old friend. The history that I have with Kevin makes it nice. We've grown to communicate well together and share a particular sense of humor that he sort of writes for now.”

Scott Mosier agrees. The producer, who has been partnered with Kevin since the two met at film school over a decade ago, notes the difference, "We were really young starting out and I think for the first three or four films there was a little feeling of being on shaky ground. With this film it feels like we are standing on concrete.” On collaborating with Smith [this is the duo's sixth film under the View Askew Productions banner], Mosier simply states, "We're very good friends, and we know we have to maintain that above everything else. The way we work is kind

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