STAR INTERVIEW: What a Carrey on – after 20-year wait
It took 20 years, but the follow-up to 1994’s Dumb and Dumber is finally here. Jim Carrey talks about the movie to Susan Griffin.
Jim Carrey likes to compare himself to evolution. “I move slowly, but I definitely move,” says the rubber-faced funny man, on why it’s taken two decades for the follow-up to 1994’s Dumb And Dumber to come to fruition.
“I was never planning on doing a sequel, but people never left me alone. They just kept after me, wanting to see another one, and then I watched it 10 years ago. I’d seen bits and pieces a number of times, but this time, I sat and watched it and was laughing. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff we did.
“I was like, ‘Gosh, I really like these guys, maybe the world needs them’. Plus the world leaders were calling me,” he quips, wafting his hand around. “They said, ‘There’s unrest, we need your help’.”
This is as animated as the 52-year-old gets during our time together, which is something of a surprise, given his larger-than-life performances in the likes of Ace Ventura, Liar Liar and The Mask.
He might’ve been papped running around the city armed with a puppet of his co-star Jeff Daniels the night before, but today he’s calm, quietly spoken, and listens intently to questions before giving thoughtful answers.
Peter Farrelly, who along with his brother Bobby directed the original and the sequel, describes Carrey as ‘a genius’.
“More than people know,” says Farrelly. “We sit down with him and go through the script line by line. It’s unbelievable what he adds. Then, after we’ve shot the movie, we ask him to come into the edit room because he’s so smart. I have the highest admiration for the man.”
Carrey admits he had ‘lots’ of input on the script. “I can’t keep my hands off stuff and come up with as many insane things as I can possibly think of. I just spew and they go, ‘Inappropriate... Appropriate’.”
His work ethic comes from “being absolutely desperate to make something interesting happen in every scene”.
“I have a lot of partners in crime with me on this one, particularly Pete and Bob, who are just a different ilk of people. They’re the oddest leaders you’d ever want to follow,” the actor explains.
“The Family Guy writers also jumped in for a while and had some fun with it. But a movie like this is not talking about what happens, it’s about setting things up and playing them out to the fullest, so the audience say, ‘I can’t believe they’re doing that’.”
Fans of the original movie will know what to expect; a lot of slapstick and toilet humour. The idiotic Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels) might be 20 years older but they’re as daft as ever, this time criss-crossing the country to find the daughter Harry never knew he had.
The journey takes them from a mental institution, where Lloyd’s been languishing in a ‘comatose’ state for 20 years, to a summit playing host to the world’s most brilliant minds. Along the way, they bump into Fraida Felcher, ‘the girl from Cranston’ who was merely referenced in the first film but is brought to life by Kathleen Turner in the sequel.
“For me, having her on the set was a total honour, because she’s done such incredible work over the years,” says Carrey, who worked with the Oscar nominee on 1986’s Peggy Sue Got Married.
Their on-screen meeting involves the cringe-inducing moment Lloyd refers to her character’s ‘blowfish jowls’.
“Having to say that to Kathleen Turner was very confronting for me,” he admits with a goofy grin. “And a lot of people have said to me about the ‘Excuse me sir’ when she’s under the hood of a car covered in grease. It gets big laughs.”
They’re just two of the many gaffes the pair make during the movie, but Carrey believes it’s their innocence which makes them lovable, despite their foibles.
“There’s no ego with them. They’re completely authentic about their lives. It’s like when you watch children, and you’re relieved by the fact they’re selfish at times and they cry when they want to and they laugh when they want to, and it’s the same with these guys. It’s the same kind of animal.”