How Kevin Smith And Rosario Dawson Drastically Changed Dante And Becky’s Relationship In Clerks III

Warning: SPOILERS for Clerks III are in play. If you haven’t made this latest trip to the Quick Stop, consider this a warning. 

As 2006’s Clerks II came to a close, Kevin Smith’s romantic streak was proudly displayed in the knowledge that Dante and Becky were about to live happily ever after. Of course, life tends to happen, as do legacy-quels/new movie releases like Clerks III, and sometimes the relationship between two characters takes a turn. Little did anyone know how the Quick Stop saga would do just that thanks to Kevin Smith’s writing, as well as the performances of Brian O’Halloran and Rosario Dawson.

During this year’s San Diego Comic Con, CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb got to hold court during our interview with the cast of Clerks III. As this interview took place in July, the secrets of this long awaited three-quel were still firmly in place. That piece of information is key, as Brian O’Halloran’s answer about how this latest film would develop the relationship between his character, Dante, and Rosario Dawson’s Becky takes on a whole new context after seeing the film. Here’s what O’Halloran in the moment: 

[In Clerks II] she was full time into the script, we were there the entire movie. This time, we’re seeing segments of their life, and the relationship that has traveled 15 years, and seeing where they are now as adults. As we last left them, there was a hideous love child on the way. You see their relationship grow in a very deepened sense, and of course that’s incredibly heavy lifting on Rosario Dawson’s part of things.

If you haven’t seen Clerks III, this is your final warning in the name of avoiding spoilers. I say this, because after learning the fate of Dante and Becky’s relationship, the answers Brian O’Halloran gave about this subject count as some of the best two-stepping around a movie’s secrets. That’s because, in the opening of Kevin Smith’s latest film, a gigantic revelation is made that may be part of how Clerks III’s critical reaction has been so split. 

This also might give a little more insight into how Smith’s own wife and daughter had mixed feelings about the movie.  Among the opening shots of the Quick Stop in our modern era, we see a flier that gives us some really tragic news. 

Shortly after the events of Clerks II, which Kevin Smith celebrated the 15th anniversary of last year, it turns out that Becky was killed by a drunk driver, claiming her life and that of her unborn child with Dante. This calls for Rosario Dawson to reappear as a spirit from the Great Beyond, consoling the still grieving Dante over a decade after her passing. 

In the moment, Brian O’Halloran and Kevin Smith’s remarks about Clerks III play like the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from talent promoting a movie. Reading back through these words after knowing the secrets, the praise for Rosario Dawson’s performance as Becky is even more of a ringing endorsement. O’Halloran in particular got to speak to that point, as he continued recalling the experience thusly:

Brian O’ Halloran: It’s been really great, it was awesome to work with her again. We had her for a very limited time, but the time that we had with her was absolutely platinum gold. 

Kevin Smith: That was the big difference. 

O’Halloran: So absolutely beautiful, it was like it condensed it into, ‘These moments count, let’s make it.’ I personally really wanted them to count, and she did too. … It’s like working with Jeff. Any time I’m in proximity with Jeff, it doesn’t take long, we’re back into [our] rhythms. It’s the same thing with Rosario, and that’s just a testament to her professionalism. There’s just this kind of thing that I really enjoy working with her, I really love these characters, I really love this universe, that it just brought it.

The ending to the film makes this conversation all the more poignant, as we see Dante suffer his own heart attack and eventually die after seeing Randal’s finished film. Led to the afterlife by his beloved Becky, it’s a moment that comes out of left field; even with Clerks III’s trailer poking fun of how Dante almost died in the original ending to Clerks. It also quite possibly the largest tearjerking moment in Kevin Smith’s career, as the death of Brian O’Halloran’s character is so sudden and devastating to Jeff Anderson’s Randal.

Though his interactions with Rosario Dawson made up only a handful of moments in the presumably final chapter of the Clerks legacy, Brian O’Halloran absolutely helps make the most of the time that they did spend. Everything from funny callbacks to genuinely heart-wrenching dialogue comes up in those scenes, with Dante’s final goodbye landing a bittersweet punch to seal the deal.  

Should you have read through these spoiler-heavy details without seeing Clerks III, that’s ok. The film is currently making its way through the nation as part of Kevin Smith’s Clerks III: The Convenience Tour, so you still have a chance to catch it for yourself. Be sure to check the listings carefully, as this rolling roadshow might be making its way to you in the near future. Tissues are not included in the ticket price, but there is a Q&A after the film. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.