Kevin Smith Says Ben Affleck's Return Gave Him a Chance to "Put Himself In" Jay & Silent Bob Reboot

When Jay and Silent Bob Reboot hits theaters in the U.S. next week, filmmaker Kevin Smith will not only return to the shared universe he started building 25 years ago, but will work with mega-star Ben Affleck, whose career Smith was instrumental in helping to launch intot he stratosphere, for the first time in more than a decade (Affleck had a minor cameo in Clerks II in 2006). He has recounted the story of getting Affleck to return before, but with the release of the film just around the corner, he told us about the importance of bringing back not just Affleck himself but one of his most beloved characters.

During an interview with ComicBook.com, Smith broke down why the return of Holden McNeil -- Affleck's character from Chasing Amy -- was almost as important as the return of Affleck himself.

"Going into it post-heart attack, it became layered, textured, and multi-tiered," Smith explained. "Suddenly there's stories within stories. When you watch the movie, Ben was a late addition. He didn't come in until the last week of the movie, and we shot him on the last day of filming. That scene wasn't in the script when we went to the make, it came way f---ing later on. But the addition of Ben allowed me to stick myself in the movie -- which sounds weird, because I'm in every frame of the movie as Silent Bob, and when I'm not Silent Bob, I'm playing Kevin Smith. But those were characters. Even the Kevin Smith is a way f---ing heightened version."

He continued, "I am represented in my movies by Holden. It used to be Dante, but then I don't resemble Dante's life at all anymore, because I haven't been a guy working at a real job in 25 years at this point. But Holden is my closest avatar in as much as he is exactly who I was when I made Chasing Amy. I got to mature, because of Holden and stuff, so he's always represented me. Suddenly, I got to play with that card in this movie again. And in playing with Holden, I got to go one level deeper, and stand there in the middle of the movie, put on the brakes, and make a speech through him, where I'm like, 'Look, this is where I am in life now.' And it's basically a speech for everybody who's like, 'You're still making movies with your f---ing kid? Would you stop?'"

The film is jam-packed full of Hollywood stars including David Dastmalchian, Jason Lee, Joe Manganiello, Craig Robinson, Justin Long, Shannon Elizabeth, Fred Armisen, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth, Method Man, Redman, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Brian Quinn, and Tommy Chong.

It's no secret a direct sequel to Jay and Silent Bob has been something Smith's long been wanting to do, finally getting funding and a distributor for the film within the past year. The film recently wrapped principal photography and afterward, Smith and film star Jason Mewes offered a heartfelt statement on what reuniting for Reboot meant to the two of them.

"We left Jersey a long time ago, not in our hearts, obviously, but like physically left the place and went so f---ing far," Smith previously said about the long-gestating film. "We probably don't go any of these places without me meeting Jason Mewes."

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"I'm horrible at talking on the camera when it comes to sharing and baring my heart," Jason Mewes added while tearing up. "That is a f---ing wrap on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and I love this guy and I'm gonna kiss him, and you're gonna see it."

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot will start a theatrical roadshow in October, beginning with a two-night Fathom Events premiere in select theaters.