Clerks III: Brian O'Halloran & Jeff Anderson on Film's Major Twists
The appeal behind Clerks characters Dante Hicks and Randal Graves in the Clerks franchise is predominantly their blue-collar nature and robust empathetic discussions over pop culture. Things come full circle from the 1994 original Kevin Smith film Clerks III, which finds both characters, played by Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, now owning and working the Quick Stop Convenience Store compared to their side journey working fast food in the 2006 sequel. While it's conceivable that there could be a fourth film, Smith provided a definitive finality given how the events play out in his latest film. O'Halloran and Anderson spoke to Bleeding Cool to discuss co-star Rosario Dawson and the film's major twists, and here's your major spoilers warning.
Tying Clerks' Original Ending to Clerks III
During the events of the film, it's discovered that Dawson's character Becky is pregnant when she dies in a car accident, which sends Dante into a depression. While making Randal's life-affirming film following his heart attack, Dante suffers his own after melting down at the Quick Stop but isn't as lucky. Dawson's only scenes are with O'Halloran.
Bleeding Cool: Was it always Kevin's intention to kill Dante and Becky off in this, or was it something decided in the middle of production?
O'Halloran: [Kevin's] been trying to kill off Dante since 1993 with the original ending of 'Clerks.' It's just a part of him he wants to kill off. It's the self-loathing part of Kevin that he just wants to excise from his body. No. As far as the Becky character, also in this case, which "spoiler alert," it was because of the access we had to Rosario Dawson in the seven-eight years prior in that very dark script, she was around and was in the movie a lot more. That's because of her career and where it's gone since then. So to have her when we had her, which was like a day and a half, we were incredibly lucky to get her while she was still making 'Ahsoka' and many other things for that matter. In a way, it was more of the practicality of it, but also telling that story of loss.
Anderson: I like the question, "Was it always the intention?" No, we started rehearsals. Then we figured, "You know what, we better get rid of Brian [laughs]."
Given the original darker ending to 'Clerks', did you feel like you had your Han Solo moment finally dying as intended?
O'Halloran: I see how you're setting it up with that, and I guess it would have been Randall holding that other lightsaber and plunging it into Dante [like Kylo Ren did in 'TFA' to Han Solo]. If you want to talk about beloved characters with deaths that the fan base was hard to get around, I'll be in the same category as Tony Stark, Han Solo, and Dante Hicks. That's a great company.
Jeff, were you disappointed not to have any scenes with Rosario?
Anderson: I love to be in scenes with Rosario. She is a great person aside from a great actor. Upon reading the script, I completely understood why I wouldn't have scenes with her. I got to hang out with her a little bit out on the set. She was in fast and out just as fast. For the story purpose, I get why Randal wouldn't have scenes where they're so disappointing. Of course, I always like to work with her, but completely understandable.
Clerks III, which also stars Jason Mewes, Trevor Fehrman, Amy Sedaris, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Smith, and Austin Zajur, is available on digital and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 6th.