Smith cites "Cop Out" as the moment he realized that he "didn't have anything to say anymore" cinematically, and moreover, he could find other outlets for his passions that didn't require big checks being written. "The stuff I liked writing about or making movies about you can easily make podcasts about or TV shows about," he explained. "...I realized that the Kevin Smith that made 'Clerks' would not be doing the movies Kevin Smith was doing in this day in time, because he couldn't have conceived of it then, but also because that kid, the 21-year-old, would have honored the muse. He was a film kid...But when you're in your early twenties, rebelling against the establishment and thinking there is a clear delineation between what is cinema and what is flotsam and jetsam. It all changes. You grow up. And the priorities shift away."
But perhaps most crucially, Smith doesn't feel that in the current climate, his particular voice is one that is being demanded by audiences. "It wasn't because I didn't have anything to say anymore – I've got plenty to say. But in the movies it felt redundant and silly," he said. "Especially after the economic collapse. Motherfuckers want to see movies that are huge, like 'The Avengers.' If you want to shell out money to be transported. Or with something like 'Argo,' transport us back in time. But the stuff that I do, with guys sitting around talking about 'Star Wars' and fighting about chicks; throw a rock and you can hit a movie like that. When I made 'Clerks' there was no other movie like that. I wanted to see me and my friends on the big screen. Now I can see me and my friends on the big screen."
It's safe to say that Smith has never had a great relationship with critics, and has decidedly stood outside the industry for much of his career. And while he has won honors throughout his career from places like the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Independent Spirt Awards and more, Oscar has never coming calling, and he's fine with that. "Some people are like, 'You should keep going, you could win an Oscar!' But that shit's never been my cake, I don't care about fucking awards," he stated. "I'm not putting down the process – I love watching the Academy Awards and if someone wanted to give me one I wouldn't say, 'Ah go fuck yourself,' I would say, 'Give me ten while you're at it!' But awards culture, I'm not really that kind of guy. I just like to do movies that make me smile. Like 'Red State.' That really floats my fucking boat."