Kevin Smith says he feels like, after his heart attack, he’s “living on borrowed time.”
On Monday, the filmmaker tweeted that he’d suffered a “massive” heart attack, saying his doctor told him he had “100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka ‘the Widow-Maker’).” Two days later, he returned home. On Thursday (March 1), he gave his first interview about his health scare with Ralph Garman for his podcast The Ralph Report (Part 1 of the interview posts Friday (March 2), followed by Part 2 on Monday – March 5).
“I don’t want to say I feel like a dead man walking, but I do feel like I’m not supposed to be here anymore, and it doesn’t make me want to leave, but it makes me appreciate how … like, all right, let’s do everything,” Smith told Garman, a longtime friend of the director with whom he co-hosts the Hollywood Babble-On podcast.
He told a story about how his dad was close to death and then made a miraculous recovery and lived two months longer — “on borrowed time” — which he himself now feels like he’s living. “I was supposed to be dead in that room, no doubt,” Smith said, noting how lucky he was that he wasn’t traveling at the time and able to get to a hospital quickly enough for doctors to save him.
Still, if it had been his time to go, he said he felt like he’d accomplished everything he set out to do and more.
“I felt like, ‘Oh, this is my time to leave the party,’ and I’d done enough, dude,” he said. “I only ever wanted to make Clerks; 25 years later, I did more shit than I ever imagined. I’ve gone on so many fucking adventures, and heights and falls, plummets, up and down, everything, and I just felt like, ‘Well, the rest of your life, if you live, it’s just going to kinda be more of the same, and you’ve done this and be happy that you got to do it at all. You got to do some shit people fucking dream [about] or will kill themselves to try to fucking accomplish or get in their own lives, and it came to you all so easy. So if this is the price you have to pay for all that ease, checking out before age 50, that’s — how can you argue with that? Don’t be shitty. Pay the bill. It’s time.'”
Still, his health scare made him realize that life is short and has prompted him to focus on living a healthier lifestyle. Smith, who is 47, is now on “day 3 of being a vegetarian.”
“It’s not like I go, ‘I was saved from the grave and now it’s my life and now I’m gonna do what I want to do,’ because that’s all I’ve ever done,” he added. “Everything that happens professionally was going to happen, unless you see me do a heart attack movie, because otherwise I wouldn’t have had an interest in that subject, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
Smith also indicated that he was able to keep his sense of humor throughout the scary experience. He shared a story that revealed one of his biggest fears. When he was told in the hospital that he’d have to get his groin shaved and take his underwear off, Smith joked: “Bro, if I have to take off my underwear, I will have a second heart attack right here.”
During the interview, Smith got emotional when talking about fans who’ve told him how much his movies touched them. He also joked that he is glad he has the opportunity to make another movie — he’s hoping to do a “Jay and Silent Bob reboot” — so that the critically panned Yoga Hosers won’t be the final film on his resume.
Listen to Smith’s interview with Garman on Patreon here.
This article originally appeared on THR.com.