After his new movie "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" reaches theaters Friday, Kevin Smith plans to start counting his calories. Since his doctor called him morbidly obese, he's giving up the all-you-can-eat lifestyle and taking a "health sabbatical" intended to shed extra pounds he packed on while filming the raunchy, Seth Rogen-starring romantic comedy in Pittsburgh last year.
"I'm going away for a while," Smith said, puffing a menthol cigarette on the patio of his Hollywood Hills home, "to concentrate on myself. To save my life."
At a time when Smith has been heavily promoting "Zack and Miri" -- perhaps the most commercially viable movie in his 15-year career as a multi-hyphenate actor-writer-director of crude comedies and art-house bromances -- the issue of his weight has remained front of mind. The director has been complaining about being fat in radio interviews and fretting about it on his blog much to the chagrin of Weinstein Co. publicists for the film, who have openly wished the director would "talk about something else." Like, for instance, how closely in tone and casting the movie resembles something conjured up by comedy rainmaker Judd Apatow?
Adding insult to injury, Smith's girth contributed to an embarrassing incident last week. "I broke a toilet. That's how heavy I am," said Smith. "I can't take all the credit -- that was an old toilet and a very waterlogged wall -- but my size took that toilet down. I cannot cognitively reframe it and be like, 'It wasn't me -- it was the toilet.' It was definitely me. And that's a wake-up call!"