Kevin Smith was all over Sundance 2016 promoting “Yoga Hosers” at the premiere, parties and panels with his contagious enthusiasm. While he’s had many films at Sundance in the past, this year was even more special because “Yoga Hosers” includes his daughter (Harley Quinn Smith) and Johnny Depp’s daughter (Lily-Rose Melody Depp). You can watch Kevin describing what it was like to cast these rising stars in our VIDEO: Kevin Smith asks Johnny Depp to cast daughter in “Tusk” at “Yoga Hosers” panel.
During the Samsung Studio Panel, Deadline.com Moderator Dominic Patten asked Kevin Smith to describe his film. There was funny banter between Kevin and Dominic as the Director-Writer and proud father took over center stage sharing: “Yoga Hosers is a spin off…. It’s about 2 girls who work at a Canadian convenience store called A-Zed who get invited to a senior party, and the invite is interrupted by an ancient evil that rises up beneath the convenience store…”
Ralph Garman plays the evil character, and praised Kevin by saying, “If you work with him, he will set you up to succeed.”
When thinking about originally casting his daughter with Johnny Depp’s daughter in “Tusk” (2014), Kevin sent Johnny an email that said, “Hey man, I got this weird idea. Harley’s in this scene tomorrow, Lily’s coming to watch. Why don’t we put Lily-Rose in the scene too because it will probably be our only chance to see what it will look like if our kids get real jobs one day.” When Johnny didn’t write back, Kevin felt like maybe he crossed the line.
Kevin explained one of the PAs told him the next day, “Mr. Depp is here to see you.” To Kevin’s surprise, Johnny told him, “Honestly, I think it’d be a real missed opportunity if we don’t do it. I never imagined acting with my kid. Can we still do it?” And then Kevin replied with elation, “We can do anything you want man.”
Reflecting on “Yoga Hosers” compared to his previous films, Kevin added, “I reached a place of maturity at age 45 where I can process it differently. When I was a kid, all my movies were ripped from my real life so ‘Clerks’ doesn’t exist cause one day I was sitting around saying you know what would be amazing, set up a movie in a convenience store. It exists because I worked in the convenience store, and I was like let me just do the story of my life and change the names. ‘Mall Rats’ is the same thing. ‘Chasing Amy’ is the same thing. At a certain point, I ran out of real life stories to tell and became a filmmaker.”
Justin Long (who plays one of the Yoga Hosers) was also at this movie panel. He’s done five films with Kevin Smith, and gave the Writer-Director huge accolades; “Kevin has a great sense of play and curiosity. He loves actors, and he loves seeing actors in their elements and having fun. He creates such a great tone on set, a playful environment.”
During the premiere party the night before hosted by Chase Sapphire on Main Street at the Claim Jumper, Kevin stopped by with actors (Austin Butler), producers (Elizabeth Destro) and financiers (Tim and Linda Nye). Everyone was looking forward to the midnight premiere at The Library, and left around 10:30pm for the red carpet.
We also kept bumping into Justin Long (at The Creative Coalition party and Eddie Bauer Adventure House), so this movie was basically everywhere and big buzz in Park City.
And after 22 years of attending the Sundance Film Festival, Kevin closed the “Yoga Hosers” movie panel at the Samsung Studio by stressing, “Failure is just a path to success” so just do it!
© @LizHKelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist