February 1, 2021
He played a redemption-seeking redneck on TV, but lately the actor has found solace off-screen, travelling with his camera. He talks about slackers, the Mallrats sequel and breezing into one-horse towns
Jason Lee knew he was in trouble when he stepped on the set. The year was 1992, Sonic Youth were at their peak and he was starring as a doomed skateboarder in their latest video. As a music obsessed, pro skateboarder with acting aspirations, he felt he had a point to prove. To add more pressure, it was for the song 100% – the band’s classic ode to a murdered Black Flag roadie – and the video was being co-directed by one of his skateboarding friends (some guy called Spike Jonze).
“I was really trying my hardest to focus,” says Lee. “I was like pretending to be Robert De Niro on the set, really trying to get into it and make it count and make it real and believable.”