Standish913.com has been blessed to do an exclusive interview with...
Scott Schiaffo was born in Passaic, New Jersey. Independent film fans know him best as the "Chewlies Gum Guy" from Kevin Smith's 1994 independent cult classic "Clerks".
Schiaffo is an actor/musician who plays guitar, keyboards, bass, and harmonica. Schiaffo has appeared in several feature films as well as many shorts since his big screen debut in the seminal cult comedy "Clerks".
He's appeared alongside Michael DeLorenzo in "The Garden State", Selma Blair in "The Broccoli Theory" and Ethan Suplee in "Vulgar" He was featured in the View Askew produced - Lions Gate distributed motion picture "Vulgar". "Vulgar" has gone on to become a cult classic and one of Lions Gate's most controversial releases to date.
Schiaffo played the lead, Mike Tobin in Tom Zanca's crime thriller "Linger" which enjoyed a winning response at many film festivals.
Scott played the lead "Mo Fletcher" in the independent comedy feature "Idiots Are Us" which won Best Comedy Feature at the 2006 New York Film and Video Festival.
He can be seen in the B & W short "I Got Stuff" and the live Jule Carey DVD "Love It Live"
Schiaffo and many of his Clerks cast mates were featured in AMC's Comic Book Men Season 3 EP 11 "Pinheads".
Schiaffo released a book of collected poetry and short stories called "Vicious Dogs Attack Me in Sleepless Nights of Summer" and in 2020 the Audible version read by the author was released worldwide.
Schiaffo released an audio CD called "The Shoestring Serenade" which is a collection of instrumental film music culled from over 2 decades of original film music he composed & produced. Proceeds from the sale of this collection go to the Angels of Animals rescue in Clifton, New Jersey.
In 2021 Schiaffo was tapped to reprise his role as the Chewlies Gum Rep in Kevin Smith's much anticipated sequel film Clerks III.
Let's get into some exclusive questions...
STANDISH: You played the "Chewlies Gum Rep" in Kevin Smith's 1994 "Clerks" film, tell us how that felt and how did you land that role?
SCOTT: The days I was on set the energy level was quite high, and thanks to actor Brian O'Halloran, the bar was also set very high regarding professionalism versus socializing or "play time". In no way was Kevin delinquent, or to use the vernacular of the era, slacking in that area! However as a first time director on a micro budget, he had many plates spinning on our shoot days. Hence, he wasn't given the luxury of time to focus on the minutia of any one performance.
STANDISH: Tell us a little about your overall mission, Scott -
SCOTT: My mission currently at this stage of my life is to be of service to my family while maintaining some time for creative endeavors.
STANDISH: How does it feel to be in such a cult classic & how did it open doors for your future?
SCOTT: An artist can only be a part of a cult classic if the supporters of the work elevate the work to cult status. A good deal of time has to pass in order for new generations to gravitate to the work and embrace it as their own. Being blessed with that scenario, I am humbled and filled with gratitude.
STANDISH: What was it like being on set at "Jay & Silent Bob Reboot"?
SCOTT: That shoot was an amazing sort of blur for me. It was a crazy cocktail of a 3 day excursion to New Orleans and a college reunion wrapped up into one really wonderful experience.
It was the first time I'd seen Kevin (Smith) person to person since his near fatal heart attack. So it truly was a joyous time.
STANDISH: How did it feel to be called for "Clerks 3" & why weren't you in "Clerks 2"?
SCOTT: Kevin's writing is paramount to his process as a film maker/story teller. If a character does not move the plot along or make some type of linear sense to the story, or isn’t more than what is now called fan service, that character isn't necessary. This is why there is no Chewlies Gum Guy in Clerks II and why there is an appearance of the Chewlies Gum Guy in Clerks III.
STANDISH: How did you first meet Kevin Smith?
SCOTT: The first time I met Kevin was at the Clerks auditions. Unlike the myth of the film, the film's legend postulates that all of the people in the cast were friends or family members of Kevin's, that is simply not true.
After the film wrapped and Kevin went into post production I did maintain a nice friendship with him, primarily by phone - actual landlines back in 93, imagine that? LOL But I was much further north in NJ than he was at the time. I drove about an hour and a half one way to those auditions and the shoots/rehearsals.
STANDISH: What can we look forward to in the future from you?
SCOTT: Currently, I have a few films in various states of post production. David Lee Madison's "Full Moon Fever", a werewolf drama/thriller is one I am very excited about because I was hired to be in the cast and also do some music composing for the film. I am blessed to be able to do both of the things I love the most in one film, act and create/record music.
STANDISH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
SCOTT: I hope to be on the same path I've been on all these years, acting for the camera and making music. I am leaning towards the music side of things since Clerks III in all truthfulness. The amazing thing about life is it's unpredictable, regardless of planning.
STANDISH: Who are some of your mentors?
SCOTT: When I think of mentors I think of people who I have been fortunate to know and spend time in their company, live life along with them, not necessarily people who inspire me but individuals who lead by their example. My soul mate's father, Alan Werner, Sr. I miss dearly and I can only hope I'm making him proud in some way.
STANDISH: During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?
SCOTT: I felt blessed and fortunate to have spent my time during Covid almost exactly the same way I'd spend my time regardless of the pandemic, with my close family and friends. But WOW yes indeed I did miss being on a film set, being in a studio with other musicians or being at a convention event. I sorely missed watching movies in a theater with a crowd very much too, and live music.
STANDISH: Where can fans find your work?
SCOTT: My film music collection is on Amazon and Spotify and CD Baby and in most places music can be found these days, I guess everywhere other than a record store UGH! I miss record stores - yes I am old! LOL Thankfully, they are making a bit of a comeback lately, amazing.
STANDISH: Anything you'd like to include?
SCOTT: Always remember, it's far more important to be kind than right! I remind myself of this all the time - when I feel an argument or disagreement brewing, being right is not as important as being kind - ever!
STANDISH: What are your social links?
SCOTT: www.ScottSchiaffo.com is a one page web portal to all of my social media and to all the places online you can find more info, bios, films, music and my book.
Thanks so much for your support!
Thanks so much for your time!!!
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