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While Attending Ben Affleck And Jennifer Lopez’s Wedding, Kevin Smith Finally Met David Fincher And Got To Tell Him This Sweet Story

How do famous people react around other famous people? Some of you might assume that Hollywood is an insular community where the elite hobnob, and everyone knows each other. But there are talented people who have been working in the industry, sometimes side-by-side for almost the same amount of time, whose paths have never crossed. Take Kevin Smith, for example. The Clerks director came up during the Indie film boom of the 1990s, and has stayed relevant and prolific ever since. But even though Fight Club director David Fincher burst on the scene at roughly the same time – and the two directors have worked with some of the same actors – the storytellers never met until the bumped into each other at Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s wedding. 

Kevin Smith made some headlines when he traded in his trademark hockey jersey for a fashionable white outfit so that he and his wife Jen Schwalbach could attend Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s highly-anticipated wedding. Smith and Affleck go all the way back to Mallrats, and have collaborated on some of the Dogma director’s best movies… including Dogma. And David Fincher coaxed a brilliant performance out of Affleck for his chilling adaptation of the bestselling novel Gone Girl, so it makes sense that the Seven director also got to attend. 

But when Smith ran into Fincher, he’d never been properly introduced to the man behind Zodiac and The Social Network. And Smith, being an enormous fan, had to share a story with Fincher. While appearing on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, Smith opened up about his experience meeting the celebrated filmmaker, and told us:

I'm outside, about to grab a smoke, and homeboy walks by me and he goes, ‘Well, you clean up nice.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, so do you.’ But I was like, I thought it was one of Ben's friends or something like that. And he goes, ‘Hey man, David Fincher.’ And this was my reaction to, Hey man, David Fincher.’ – ‘Is that what you look like?!’ ( laugh) I had no idea what Fincher looked like. I said, ‘I talk about you all the time. You're the best of us, man. But I talk about how I'm like the bizzaro you, because you make a movie and then you just don't say … you just let the movie talk for itself. Let the art speak. And I'm the other guy who makes a movie, and then I rush out afterwards and be like, ‘Whoa, wait, wait, let me tell you what happened and stuff.’ He was absolutely lovely.’

The longer they talked, the more Kevin Smith was able to share how much one of David Fincher’s recent movies meant to him. The Netflix film Mank was directed by David but written by his father, Jack Fincher. The film is a loving homage to Old Hollywood, through the realistic lens that Fincher casts on all of his dramas. And Smith says he was incredibly affected by a line in the script that goes, “This is a business where the buyer gets nothing for his money but a memory. What he bought still belongs to the man who sold it. That's the real magic of the movies.” 

According to Smith, he was so happy to be able to tell Fincher about the significance of that realization during the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopezz wedding. As he explained to ReelBlend:

It was so poetic. So fucking like, ‘Oh my God, that's true. What a fucking scam this business is!’ It's like selling somebody something with a string attached. And then they pay for it, and you're like, ‘Yoink!’ You get to take it right back. It's so crazy.

We will have the rest of our conversation with Kevin Smith up on the ReelBlend channels on Friday, September 9, so subscribe to our podcast feed, sub to our YouTube channel, and enjoy the show!

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.