JIM CARREY COMES UNDONE

Did any names come up in that conversation?
Carrey: I talked to a couple of people from the Buffalo News yesterday. It was hilarious, man. Yeah. Growing up in Toronto, you know, the Buffalo News. ‘It’s 11 o’clock, do you know where your children are?’ You know? It’s just fantastic. I loved it. That’s the great thing about doing movies, especially if it’s like a co-op kind of thing. Everybody can pour their own lives into it. It’s great. By the way noticing his shirt unbuttoning, I’m coming apart. Oooh, I’d like to get naked for you now, if I could.

Jim, your character gets to recreate a wonderful moment from a classic movie in Bruce Almighty. What classic cinema would you like to recreate in your own life?
Carrey: In my own life? Mmm, that’s an interesting one. Mmm… in my own life… I guess the chicken scene in “Rebel Without a Cause.” Definitely.

As God, Bruce obviously has the ultimate state of control over things. I’m wondering, in your day-to-day life, what are you a complete control freak about and if you could be God for a day, what would you do?
Carrey: I get upset about control over the littlest things. Huge things I let go of control. My career, it’s like, whatever, whenever, you know. If it comes it comes, if it doesn’t it doesn’t, I don’t sweat it. It’s little things like, you know, like the cap on the toothpaste or whatever. If that doesn’t go my way, man, look out! Do you know what I mean? It’s like, ‘God damn it!’ That’s when my angst comes out. The little stupid things. The stereo’s not working whatever. Huge life things I’m completely cool about. I don’t know if that answers your question?
Shadyac: I figured people would be asking that question, but what you see in the movie is kind of our take on that. What we would do if we had the power. I’ve got a couple of dogs and I don’t like them messing in the house, so you see what you see. We all like to get to work on time, we don’t like traffic, so Bruce does what he does.
Carrey: Do you know what I would do if I had the power?
Shadyac: Shut me up?
Carrey: No. Make you much more interesting. Shadyac: Keep in mind I have final cut on the movie and it’s not quite finished. Keep talking baby, keep talking.
Carrey: First of all, I’d send anybody who didn’t like The Majestic to the fiery pit of hell. And then I’d start a new Utopian society. People made out of Nerf material, so that I could cave the critics’ heads in and then they would pop right back out. No one would be hurt and I’d get my rocks off. That is, of course, if there was anybody left to start a new society.

You mentioned before that you liked being creative and you don’t necessarily want to go on with what people expect of you. People want you to be funny though, so how much of a struggle is it to do something like “Children of the Dust Bowl,” which I know has such a great story and something that I think you really could bring something to, but I do wonder if when you walk in the door with that story they’d say, ‘No, no you have to be funny.’
Carrey: You know, I’ve been surprised by how open it’s been to the idea of me doing different types of material in the business. I mean, I’m sure a lot of times when the market place is considered, you know, I may not get paid as much to do something that I haven’t proven that I’m the king of that genre, or whatever that is, or however people deal with that kind of stuff. But, you know, I get a lot of chances to do a lot of different things and it just depends on how you do it. How you produce it. How much money you put into it and how much I get paid, but it’s not a matter of people not believing that I can do it. They consider the market place– will this draw an audience? It may not, it may. You know, The Truman Show did it, The Majestic didn’t. So it just depends on the material. It really does.

Why that one in particular, “Children of the Dust Bowl?”
Carrey: I think it’s a beautiful story and I love stories about teachers. For some reason I can’t get enough of those kind of stories. If I turn a movie on about a teacher, I love it. I love that idea of an adult influence on kids and also the idea that those children, the Okies, at that time were considered un-teachable. And this man who considered his life kind of over, Leo Hart, and had decided under his wife’s instructions to rest, couldn’t find it in himself to do that. He saw a purpose. He saw the reason why you teach laying right in front of him. He couldn’t help himself, so he made these kids build their own school and it was a really special thing. Really gave them a sense of pride. I think if people built their own school they wouldn’t graffiti it, you know what I mean?

Are you at a point in your life now where you can look at your place and sort of delineate your Hollywood film comedians and, I’m thinking partly because Bob Hope is turning 100, do you allow yourself to see yourself as part of that lineage? Also, do you have any thoughts on some of the comedians that came before you, including Bob Hope?
Carrey: I’m not from your world. To be included in a lineage of people like that– creative people like that– would be amazing. I’ve always been the guy though, honest to God, I mean my career has been a weird kind of like low flying under the radar kind of place. I never made it on “Saturday Night Live” where all my friends did. I was at the Comedy Store getting standing ovations every night, but I couldn’t find my picture anywhere and this is how it’s always been for me. I’ve had incredible blessings, unbelievable fortitude, and at the same time there is always a balancing factor to my life and generally what it is is you pick up the book on comedians and I’m not in it. And you know, that’s okay because I think once that happens you’re completely defined and it’s all over. Somehow then you’re just doing the same thing, people have figured you out and put you on the shelf that suits you. And if I stay kind of obscure, that’d be all right.
Shadyac: Well, allow me to suck up for a moment.
Carrey: Not obscure. Obscure is the wrong word.
Shadyac: Allow me to suck up for a moment.
Carrey: I have been obscure.
Shadyac: I’ll just answer this question, not that it was asked of me, but I would like to speak to it. I think Jim is arguably the most unique comic we have working in film today. Kind of the Buster Keaton of our generation. Some lights are so bright you can’t see them until hindsight, looking back, and I don’t want to suck up anymore because I have to work with you again sometime in the future.
Carrey: The turkey’s ready.
Shadyac: Okay I’ll go on, although it wasn’t asked of me.
Carrey: No. Yeah, I don’t know, you do the best work that you can, and I love the work and I always concentrated on the work and loved what I did, so, I don’t know what happens all around that kind of stuff. Who gets the picture on the wall? Who gets the trophy? Who gets all that stuff? It’s not a consideration for me. Some pantheons are for other people, maybe.

Including Bob Hope?
Carrey: Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe.

The interview continues in part six of JIM CARREY COMES UNDONE>>>




Posted on May 28, 2003 in Interviews by

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