Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kevin Smith: “I Never Thought I’d Say This, But Ed Burns Is A Genius”


Kevin Smith is still out there, somewhere, promoting his film, “Red State.” I don’t know why he hasn’t put this terrific film, which he debuted at Sundance, into real distribution. But over the weekend, he was honored by the Producers Guild at their third annual Produced by Conference held at Disney Studios in Burbank. A lot of heavy hitters participated, including Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (who’s also getting honored by the AFI this week), “Milk” and Oscar cast producer Bruce Cohen, NBC’s cool new chief Robert Greenblatt, “Sex and the City” producer Darren Star, Roy Sekoff, who’s running the whole AOL /Huffington Post conglom, “Die Hard” producer Lawrence Gordon, and Harvey Weinstein, who appeared via video.

Showbiz411’s Leah Sydney reports that Weinstein’s name came up right away. Smith told the crowd that without Harvey Weinstein he’d have no career and that “Harvey is one of the greatest producers on earth-he told me to manage my expectations.”  Kevin also paid tribute to his good pal Ed Burns, “Ed was saying years ago that VOD,( Video On Demand) was the way to go.  He reached there first.  I remember giving him shit, not personally cause he’s stronger than me and would have punched me, but now it’s all VOD.  He was ahead of the curve. I never thought I’d say this, but Ed Burns is a genius. He’s a smart cookie, he figured out his audience and he plays to it.  He thinks outside the box office box.”

Smith, who likes to be self-deprecating, referred to himself several times as a “stupid fat kid” and confessed that he smokes weed for inspiration.

Larry Gordon meanwhile, recalled saving Sean Connery when the Teamsters turned off his hot water in New York while shooting “Family Business.:

“It was freezing cold in Manhattan. I get this screaming call from Sean.  He has no hot water. I told him, “What do I look like a plumber?  I went down there.  Seems the teamsters didn’t like Sean and cut his hot water off.  Took me a half a day to get that freakin’ hot water back on.  But I love the guy –I tell him that he’s the luckiest guy cause both men and women love him.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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