The 1994 comedy ‘Clerks’ was quite a revelation. Made by then-unknown director Kevin Smith for just $27,000, the raunchy indie was able to achieve moderate box office success and quickly became a cult classic.
To keep costs down, Smith filmed in black-and-white and used a cast of complete unknowns, many of whom were the 23-year-old’s childhood friends. So what’s happened to the more or less amateur actors who helped bring the quirky and often profane world of ‘Clerks’ to life? See below.
Brian O'Halloran, Dante Hicks
Then: Brian O’Halloran starred as Quick Stop Market employee Dante Hicks who memorably reminded anyone within earshot that he's "not supposed to be here today." It was the first onscreen appearance for the 24-year old. He followed that up with smaller roles in the Kevin Smith movies 'Mall Rats’ and ‘Chasing Amy’ as well as voicing Dante in the 'Clerks' cartoon.
Now: O’Halloran has focused much of his post-’Clerks’ career on the theater, but he still pops up in the occasional movie, most recently 'Cry For Revenge' and 'Calendar Girl.' He also reprised the role of Dante in 2006's 'Clerks II.'
Jeff Anderson, Randal Graves
Then: In ‘Clerks,’ Anderson was video store employee and slacker supreme Randal Graves. It was the first movie for Anderson, who had gone to high school with Kevin Smith, and it earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance.
Now: Most of Anderson's resume consists of more appearances in Kevin Smith movies, like ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back‘ and ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno.’ The 42-year-old also runs a tile import and export business and recently revealed he had moved into a retirement community where he is "the youngest person by 20 years."
Marilyn Ghigliotti, Veronica Loughran
Then: Ghigliotti played Veronica Loughran, Dante’s lasagna-making girlfriend with a promiscuous past. It was her film debut and, at 32-years-old, she was older than most of the other cast members. She later turned down a role in ‘Chasing Amy’ because she wasn't comfortable kissing a girl onscreen.
Now: In addition to doing the occasional movie -- Ghigliotti was last seen in 2011’s 'Alien Armageddon' -- she performs community theater in New Jersey and does hair and makeup work for movies and weddings.
Jason Mewes, Jay
Then: In ‘Clerks,’ Mewes played talkative pot dealer Jay. It was a role Mewes -- who was Kevin Smith’s best friend in real life -- reprised in the Smith films ‘Mallrats,’ ‘Chasing Amy,’ ‘Dogma,’ ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ and ‘Clerks 2.’
Now: Mewes has been by far the most successful of the ‘Clerks’ actors, currently starring in the Canadian TV series ‘Todd and The Book of Pure Evil.’ He also has seven movies -- including ‘K-11’ and ‘The Devil’s Tower’ -- slated for release over the next few years. The 38-year-old has struggled mightily with substance abuse over the years, and Smith’s efforts to keep his buddy clean and sober have been well-documented on podcasts.
Kevin Smith, Silent Bob
Then: Smith was 23-years-old when he wrote and directed ‘Clerks.’ He also appeared in the film as Silent Bob, a character who doesn't have a whole lot to say except for when he delivers a long monologue out of nowhere.
Now: Smith will occasionally act in a movie he hasn't directed -- most recently as a cabbie in the 2012 comedy 'For A Good Time, Call.' As for directing, Smith is currently working on the hockey film ‘Hit Somebody,’ which he claims will be his last as he doesn't “have any stories left to tell." He also devotes much of his time to his podcasting network, SmodCast, and his Red Bank, NJ comic store which inspired the AMC reality series 'Comic Book Men.'
Ernest O'Donnell, Rick Derris
Then: You might remember O’Donnell as Rick Derris, a Quick Stop Market customer who rudely informs Dante that he had slept with his ex-girlfriend.
Now: Another close childhood friend of Smith's, Derris’ onscreen resume includes only Smith films, the most recent being a role as an ATF agent in ‘Red State.’
Scott Schiaffo, Chewlies gum rep
Then: ‘Clerks’ fans will remember Schiaffo as the Chewlies gum salesman who comes into the Quick Stop Market. It was the first movie role for the 31-year-old.
Now: Schiaffo never appeared in another Smith movie, but he has popped up in a few other films, including the little-seen ‘Filthy Rich Filthy Uncle Phil’ and ‘Creep Tales: Girls Night Out.’ In addition to acting, Schiaffo is a musician and author.