Franchise Fred Interview: Brian O’Halloran and Marilyn Ghigliotti on Clerks III


Clerks stars Brian O’Halloran and Marilyn Ghigliotti are signing autographs at Comic-Con in autograph area 11. You can still meet htem Friday-Saturday 2:30-7 PM. I bought one for my Dad because I’ve never seen him laugh as hard as when I showed him Clerks. O’Halloran even wrote, “I’m 37?” on the still.

Since Kevin Smith is planning to make Clerks III, I asked O’Halloran and Ghigliotti for an interview. Of course, I also introduced them to Franchise Fred.

Franchise Fred: Since I’m Franchise Fred, have there been any franchises since Star Wars and Lord of the Rings that have captured Dante and Randal’s conversation the way those did?

Brian O’Halloran: I think the Batman franchise is definitely one that they would always talk about, especially the Nolan version of them. Now that you have Batman Vs. Superman and now that you have Ben Affleck no less playing Batman, I’m sure that Randal and Dante would have a huge talk about what they would think about that. So who knows?

Franchise Fred: Is there still a video store for Randal?

Brian O’Halloran: You know what? I don’t know. When you think about it, video stores have kind of gone the way of the dodo with the streaming market so when Dante and Randal bought the block of stores again, the convenience store and video store, they were setting up like they were going to rent videos again. If anybody knows the art districts of certain cities and towns, there are usually these really great independently owned video stores that find really great DVDs that you can’t find around the world. I think that’s a good way to keep that alive, that you can’t just get it streaming.

Franchise Fred: Kevin became a big podcaster. I wonder what Dante and Randal would think of podcasting. Would they be threatened by it, that it takes away their power as arbiters of culture to talk amongst themselves?

Brian O’Halloran: You know what it really is. Podcasting sometimes is just that fly on the wall type of aspect. “Man, I would love to be in the office of Watchamacallit right now and listening in on that conversation.” I think that’s what podcasting does. It’d be interesting to see especially Randal’s take on it. I think I have an idea what Dante’s take would be on it but as for Randal, Randal is always a great person to figure out. If anybody ever listens to the Tell ‘Em Steve Dave podcast, Brian Johnson who’s the real life inspiration of Randal, it’s pretty much them discussing what they do is what I think Randal would think of.

Franchise Fred: Are you going to be in Clerks III too?

Marilyn Ghigliotti: I am going to be in Clerks III.

Franchise Fred: At the time of Clerks II Kevin was saying, “This is it. We’re not going to do a trilogy.” Did you sort of know, just give it time, he’ll eventually come around?

Brian O’Halloran: I never knew if he ever would’ve said, “I would never do a Clerks III.” I know at one time he said, “I’m never making another film again.” That part, I don’t know about a Clerks III. I don’t think the Clerks II part of it scarred him. So when he approached saying that he had a great idea about Clerks III. We were on the set, I had come down to visit those guys while they were shooting an episode of Comic Book Men. We were at Kevin’s store and he was like, “Brian, I want to tell you something.” He pulled me aside and went on this 40 minute storytelling as to what Clerks III was going to be about. He’s like, “What do you think?” I’m like, “That is awesome. That is such an amazing way to see where these characters are.” When he said that, I was glad that he was back into the filmmaking business again. He went back in to do Tusk and Red State. And to visit these characters again I thought it was a lot of fun. Then when I finally got the script and got to read and see all the recurrences of a bunch of characters, especially Marilyn Ghigliotti here who played Veronica in the original, was great to see that he’s kind of closing out the world that way.

Franchise Fred: I’m happy about it because I’m Franchise Fred. I think there should always be more sequels to everything. I don’t believe any story ever ends.

Brian O’Halloran: And that’s what’s going on now. Now we’ve switched up our shooting schedule. Now he’s in the process of finishing up the script for Mallrats 2. So we have the logistics of this mall being torn down just outside of Philadelphia and we’re going to be able to take that over. Hopefully he can get a bunch of us back into that. I know I’m involved in that. I don’t know who else is involved in it besides the original cast from the first one.

Franchise Fred: As the same character from Mallrats?

Brian O’Halloran: That I do not know. As you can see, I’m growing my hair out thinking I might be playing it, but who knows. He may tell me tomorrow, “By the way, you’re not playing that, you’re playing this.”

Marilyn Ghigliotti: When Kevin said that he wasn’t going to be making any more films, I was like, “He’ll be back.” I never expected him to just stop. How do you just stop something like that that you’re passionate about at one point? So I expected he would be back making films and I’m glad. Now, I myself have not seen the script for Clerks III.

Franchise Fred: Since Dante in Clerks II left his fiance for Rosario Dawson’s character, can you imagine what turmoil he’ll be thrown into when Veronica comes back?

Brian O’Halloran: Who knows? That’s waiting to be seen and even Marilyn herself does not know what’s going to happen with Veronica in the script, but I know. Kevin knows. A bunch of us know. It’ll be interesting to see where this world goes. To be honest with you, after reading it, I think it’s the best thing he’s written that takes everything he’s ever written and puts it together in a really great, awesome story with a lot of great moments and a lot of comedy of course, but some really heartfelt moments as well that I think people will enjoy.

Franchise Fred: Is it easy to slip back in every 10 years or so and be Dante?

Brian O’Halloran: You know what, when working with Jeff Anderson and Jay [Mewes] and Kevin, it kind of is. It’s weird. We approach these characters every five to 10 years depending on what we’re doing. It’s fun visiting these characters and it’s something that’ll always be a part of me and will always be a part of Jeff. Obviously Kevin and Jay will always be that. It’s not that hard.