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An Interview with Jason Stuart and Mitch Hara, Creators and Stars of Smothered

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2021

Jason Stuart on (re)Search my Trash

Mitch Hara on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new webseries Smothered - in a few words, what is it about?

 

JASON STUART: A hysterical and sobering look at a gay, Jewish middle-aged couple trying to salvage their hideous relationship in therapy hell. They can't stand each other but can't afford to get divorced.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing Smothered - and is any of it based on personal experiences?

 

JASON: Not personal at all. Mitch Hara and I have been friends for years. We have always disagreed on films, theatre and relationship, and ourt fighting was just really funny. It made us laugh. With that in mind we created this series.

 

How did the project fall together in the first place?

 

MITCH HARA: This whole thing started because we had a huge fight.

 

JASON: It wasn't that big.

 

MITCH: It was horrible. You’re just oblivious.

 

JASON: I invited him to do a project - everyone had to be 50 or older.

 

MITCH: With angry, horrible people with hideous energy.

 

JASON: You’re so judgie. He sexualized everyone.

 

MITCH: I did not. Those 2 fetuses were flattering themselves. They had more baggage than an oversold flight on Aeromexico. Who’s the bitch from Baywatch?

 

JASON: You’re so sexist. My BFF Alexandra Paul.

 

MITCH: She said she loved when I sexualized her.

 

JASON: She did not.

 

MITCH: She did too

 

JASON: So, I said, maybe you shouldn't be involved.

 

MITCH: I said, I applaud your decision. Peace out, muther fucker.

 

JASON: So, I thought we were good.

 

MITCH: Yeh. I was like bye girl! Then, he texted me 90 times and left me messages and I was thinking we're done. Leave me alone.

 

JASON: I only texted him twice.

 

MITCH: It was 90 times. And I was really okay without him in my life. But after the 95th text I figured fuck it, I’ll call. And he was like ...

 

JASON: ... I don't know why you were so insulted. You know I respect you and love you.

 

MITCH: I'm like, of course you do. Everyone does. But I still don't care. I'm good. We don’t have to be friends. and he said ...

 

JASON: ... I'm not willing to give up a friendship.

 

MITCH: And I said, well I am! And I hung up. Then I thought about it. And the best part of our relationship is how we spar and it's funny. So, I called him back and said, here's my idea and this is what we're gonna do and all you have to do is shut the fuck up.

 

JASON: I like to believe you asked.

 

MITCH: I like to believe I have an 8" cock, but it’s not true either. And lights, camera, action… Smothered was born.

 

What can you tell us about Smothered's director Terri Hanauer, and what was your collaboration with her like?

 

JASON: Terri Hanauer was really what sealed the deal for me after Mitch asked me to work on this with him. She really made me feel I could do anything and created a great work environment. I am so proud of the work we all have done. We are the fab 4 with our edit the brilliant Robb Padgett. Working with Terri, Robb and Mitch was pleasure and really made me a better actor. For that I am so grateful.

 

Do talk about Smothered's brand of humour for a bit!

 

JASON: It's very much in the view of a David O'Russell film and Fleabag. With a bit of Schitt's Creek on the side!

 

Your characters on Smothered, what did you draw upon to bring them to life, and did you write them with yourselves in mind from the get-go?

 

JASON: He thinks I am this character.

 

MITCH: He is.

 

JASON: I am not.

 

MITCH: You are.

 

JASON: Not.

 

MITCH: Are.

 

JASON: Not.

 

MITCH: So this is our relationship if we were lovers.

 

JASON: BUT we are not a couple!

 

MITCH: God forbid. Oh! When I was in Puerto Vallarta, this couple had been married or together for like 20 years and I asked, 'was it always good?' and the hubby said,

 

JASON: 4 of the years were good. The other 16, I wanted him to die.

 

MITCH: And then the other dude said, sometimes all I want is an "I'm sorry.”

 

JASON: ... and the hubby said, "I'm sorry I ever met you.”

 

MITCH (laughing): See? Now, that's Smothered!

 

What can you tell us about your collaboration with each other, both during the scripting process and on set?

 

JASON: First we talk about the show and ideas we have for Ralph & Randy, and where we want them to go. Then Mitch writes it out. Then I rewrite what he put on paper. And sometimes we just do it all together and talk it out. Improv and play the characters. Sometimes now we even say no that's a more Randy line and give it to me or visa versa. Before the shoot, we rehearse a lot before and really dig deep. Then we lean on it and support each other in doing our best work. Then we work with our director the brilliant Terri Hanauer. And she makes sure everything we do is based on reality. Then we let it all go and have fun!

 

Do talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

JASON: We wanted a really diverse group of characters and actors. They are all friends of either me, Mitch, or our fabulous director Terri Hanauer.

 

MItCH: Terri is everything. We made a pact, just because they were friends wasn’t enough. They had to be the most talented for the part, and we all had to agree.

 

MITCH: And if we didn’t, two yesses would win.

 

JASON: Ultimately, we wound up with an Asian woman, a little person, a 7-foot-tall trans woman, a black-lesbian-Jew ...

 

MITCH: ... Chaka Caplin, a plus-sized black man from Cats, an OCD gay man and a fluid dog. Between Jason and me, we didn’t want any more “white” people. We just wanted our series to reflect how we wanted to see the world ...

 

JASON: ... populated by unique, multi-racial, culturally diverse people thriving together.

We cast them for their talent, not because of their race or gender assignment.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

JASON: A lot of hard work. We were all wearing many hats. Intense and lotta fun! Mitch really keeps me on my toes.

 

The $64-question of course, where can Smothered be seen?

 

JASON: http://www.SmotheredTV.com - the series currently is available on Amazon, Revry, IIpaus, Apple TV, Samsung, Android TV, Roku, Fire TV and YouTube and is going viral!

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Smothered?

 

JASON: The reviews have been off the chart raves. I was so thrilled that so many people really liked our work. The best review was when someone said we were comedy gold! I so loved that

 

Is there any chance there'll ever be any more episodes of Smothered, and if so, where would the series go next? And/or any other future projects of yours?

 

JASON: We are now working on season 2 of Smothered and it's been even easier than season 1 to write it. As we have a rhythm now that's really cool. We are so on the same page. I have an episode coming out on the series Billy Bob Thornton series Goliath in season 4, It will be on this year. I'm also in the drama film Hank available on Revry, the thriller Immortal on demand, and the action film Abducted on Showtime. And lastly, my autobiography Shut Up, I'm Talking! is out thru Amazon and thru CCB Publishing.

 

Your/your series' website, social media, whatever else?

 

http://www.SmotheredTV.com

 

http://www.JasonStuart.com

http://www.MitchHara.com

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?

 

JASON: Thank so much to the LGBTQ community and thank you for wanting to interview us!

 

MITCH: A reporter asked us, how our series went viral so fast? I said, I stalk people till they watch it or die. I threaten their family. I tell them cars without brakes are a little dangerous.

 

JASON: He’s joking. Stop saying things like that. People will think you’re crazy ...

 

MITCH: Others’ assessments of me are none of my business. Seriously, I turned on the world and the world turned on all their friends and boom in 3 weeks we’re on everyone’s Top Ten List of New Comedies to Watch!

 

JASON: 55k views in 2 weeks and 150 5-star reviews. It’s amazing. The little gay train that could.

 

MITCH: I think our show is universal. Oh, and then some morning show from Chicago asked, "It is hard to believe that you have such a long list of credits given your tender age?” I said, “Hell no. I’m talented, relentless and I’m not tender, I’m ageless.”

 

JASON: You have to stop doing that. Under age on his Facebook profile he put “ageless” and they froze his account because he was too young to have one!

 

MITCH: True dat!

 

JASON: Stop talking like you're a facockta rapper!

 

MITCH: I’m who the universe needs me to be. Jason refuses to be relevant.

 

JASON: He never lets me talk.

 

MITCH: I never think it’s necessary. Your non-verbal skills are so heightened.

 

JASON: See? Then on a Toronto talk show I'm asked if being gay is still an issue in casting or being rejected for parts?

 

MITCH: And Jason jumped all over this question like a rabid poodle in heat ...

 

JASON: It’s an issue I feel very deeply about. Because when you are out, you are out for me and I for you. It’s really about love. There’s still a stigma about certain actors being seen for certain roles. (Matt) Bonner will not be playing Superman.

 

MITCH: I’m more like yes, yes, yes it did exist, it’s still around, we’re making progress, are we done? No. Are more people brave and busting through walls daily? Hell yes. We are getting more and more inclusive and depicted in all the bright colors of humanity. Yes, baby, yes. But if I’m not invited to the party, I print my own invite and kick down the door. “Hey! The love and light just entered the building!”

 

JASON: I try and focus on what I want to create, what I have to say, what I want to illustrate in my art, life and comedy.

 

MITCH: We both do. There is nothing sacred to me. Everything is part of my creative paint box. Yes, the shit exists. Does it stop me? Fuck no! For me, everything is “yes.” Even “no” is a slow yes. I will not wait for someone else to give me permission to create.

 

JASON: True dat, lol.

 

MITCH: Shut Up! You don't talk like that. You’re 100 years old.

 

JASON: Don’t talk to me like that. They will think you don't like me.

 

MiITCH: I do dream about killing you in your sleep.

 

JASON: You can’t I’m already dead inside. Oy, what have I gotten myself into?

 

MITCH: A big fat JUICEY HIT!

 

JASON: Oh yea, I forgot.

 

MITCH: Because you're old—

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Smothered
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Smothered here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

JASON: Why do you have to have the last word?

 

MITCH: I don’t.

 

JASON: Ok. Thank you everyone!

 

MITCH: Yes, thank you!

 

JASON: See?

 

MITCH: What?

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.




Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD