Going into 1995, Shannen Doherty and Kevin Smith could have taken on any project they wanted. Doherty had just bid farewell to her role as Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills 90210 in 1994, which, despite some behind-the-scenes squabbles, made her a household name. Smith, meanwhile, had given audiences one of the funniest and most important indies ever with Clerks. And so the two headed to the mall, giving us Mallrats, a box office disaster that stands as one of the most disappointing sophomore efforts and did its part to kill Doherty’s career — and she’s not afraid to tell her director so.
Shannen Doherty recently had Kevin Smith on her Let’s Be Clear podcast, where the topic of Mallrats was inevitably brought up. As she told Smith, “That’s kind of the interesting thing about Mallrats, right, is that it wasn’t a box office success…It died…So did my film career. That was it.” Doherty explained that Mallrats’ dismal $2.1 million haul – that’s not opening weekend, that’s it’s total take – was primarily pinned on her since she was the movie’s biggest name at the time. “People literally thought that I was carrying the movie so therefore it was a box office failure [and] it was completely on me. So there was no film career after that, which was a little brutal…I really thought Mallrats was going to kick me into that gear.”
While Shannen Doherty’s career didn’t completely die off — she would later land The WB’s Charmed, although off-camera drama would eventually lead to her departure and her character’s death with season three — there’s no doubt she never matched her hopes. Kevin Smith, meanwhile, would mostly stick within his own View Askewniverse, in addition to ventures into the horror genre. (For what it’s worth, I still consider his Mallrats rebound Chasing Amy one of the best films of the ‘90s.)
Still, Shannen Doherty must not have that much of a grudge against Kevin Smith, as she cameoed in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and is apparently on board for the planned Mallrats sequel, Twilight of the Mallrats, the script of which Smith said she loved. Hopefully she stays attached, as, sadly, she is battling stage four cancer which has spread to her bones.
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