The director also shared that he's been on a vegan diet ever since his health incident

By Helen Murphy and Scott Huver
July 24, 2019 02:03 PM

Over a year after suffering a massive “widowmaker” heart attack in February 2018, director Kevin Smith isn’t taking life for granted.

Speaking to PEOPLE at the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in Los Angeles on Monday, Smith, 48, explained that he’s changed his diet since his health scare and is feeling “great.”

“It’s been a year, almost a year and a half since the heart attack at this point,” Smith says. “I’ve been vegan that whole time. It’s not difficult … But you know the big thing is trying to keep [the weight] off and so far, so good on that front. But I feel great. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

The filmmaker — who recently released the trailer for his upcoming film Jay and Silent Bob Reboot — also shared that the stent doctors put in his heart, as well as his lifestyle change, “seems to be working.”

“But now I just treat it all like borrowed time and so the movie, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, is like I sent myself off just in case the heart attack comes back,” he explains. “I was like, let me do my own eulogy.”

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
| Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Smith added that he “never imagined I would go vegan,” but the diet is working for him despite “f—ing hat[ing] vegetables.”

“Given a choice between a f—ing kumquat or an eggplant and nothing, I’ll choose nothing,” he shares. “So as a vegan, you wind up intermittently fasting by virtue of the fact that you’re like, well, none of this s— sounds appetizing right about now. You don’t do a lot of passion eating or boredom eating.”

Though he’s vegan and says the diet was the “key to dropping a bunch of weight,” Smith admits that he still has his vices.

“Sugar’s still vegan,” he says. “So unfortunately I’m at the mercy of whenever something’s sweet, I’ll lean into it. And that brings you right back to square one. So you gotta be careful with that.”

Smith suffered the heart attack in February 2018, sharing a selfie from his hospital bed to update fans on his recovery.

“The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka ‘the Widow-Maker’). If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground!” Smith wrote at the time.

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Since his health scare, Smith has lost a significant amount of weight, sharing last August that he had dropped 51 pounds.

“Six months ago from right now, I was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack I’d had the night before,” he wrote at the time. “When I went to my Doctor a week later, she told me ‘The best thing you can do for yourself now is to lose 50 pounds.’ Half a year later, I can report that I followed Doctor’s orders: I started at 256 and now I weigh 205.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens Friday.