Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma. Director Kevin Smith didn't just have a run of hits in the 1990s, he "changed American popular culture," writes Abraham Riesman in a profile for New York. These days, one question Smith gets asked a lot is: What happened to you? "That kills me," says the 47-year-old. "Like, 'I don't know, I just did a thousand more things than I ever did back in the day.'" As the profile explains, Smith still makes movies (the latest ones have been panned), but that's just a small part of his booming little business empire that specializes in "niche" audiences. He's big into podcasting, owning his own SModcast brand, but most of his money comes from live appearances in which he talks to audiences about whatever strikes his fancy for a few hours.
"He's in the business of giving his followers more and more Kevin Smith, and business is quite good," writes Riesman. Smith may no longer be part of the mainstream pop-culture conversation, but that could change. He's been directing TV shows such as The Flash, Supergirl, and The Goldbergs; he's adapting the comic book Sam and Twitch for TV; and he's got a movie in the works in which the duo of Jay and Silent Bob (the latter played by Smith himself, as usual) will return. What's more, Smith's long and nasty feud with critics appears to be over (he explains that his film Yoga Hosers was in part an apology to them), and he says he is, for the first time, happy. The only drawback: "Happy people don't really make great art, you know?" But he's not interested in going "through negative s--- anymore." (Click for the full profile.)