JIM CARREY COMES UNDONE

I’d like to follow up on something you said that intrigued me, which was the idea of faith that you have. It is well documented how hard a struggle some parts of your life were growing up, as well as your work because things turned against your family economically, and so I was surprised at the passion that you put into…
Carrey: Don’t leave out the sick Mom, though. It’s a very important part of the equation.

Okay.
Carrey: It was so funny because we were taking this picture for the 90th anniversary of Paramount and all of us where on the scaffolding and I was right up the top of the scaffolding, the very top of it, and Tom Cruise turns to me and goes, ‘How’d you get up there?’ and I said, ‘I had the sickest Mom!’ That’s basically why comedians are born– generally, sick Moms. You want to make them laugh. You want to make them feel better. And then the economic thing came in. But anyway, go ahead.

In fact, you’re starting to answer the question already because it’s like…
Carrey: I knew it, of course. I’m Bruce Almighty!

Where did that faith come from and was it tested in that period or did it actually strengthen it?
Carrey: Honestly, it came from a– and maybe this is why I like teachers– it came from a substitute teacher who came to my classroom. I was in Catholic school and she came to my classroom in grade two for a day. She was an Irish gal, and she said, ‘Oooh…gibberish……….’ Ah, any opportunity I get to go into my accents. No, she said that she prayed to the Virgin Mary whenever she wanted anything in her life to happen or if she wanted even something material, she’d pray to the Virgin Mary to ask God to give it to her and she would promise her something. And I sat at the back of the classroom and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s sounds kind of cool.’ And so I went home and I prayed to the Virgin Mary at night because my father couldn’t afford a bike and all my friends had these Mustang bikes and I wanted a Mustang bike, you know, with the banana seat. So I went home and I prayed for this Mustang bike because we couldn’t afford a bike. My Dad would say, ‘Well, someday…’ you know, that kind of thing. And two weeks later– I walked home from school, walked through my living room and into my bedroom– my brother came in and said, ‘What are you doing? What are doing in here? Come on out… Didn’t you see what was in the living room?’ So I walked out in the living room and my whole family was standing around a lime green Mustang bike with a banana seat. I had won it in a raffle that I didn’t enter. A friend of mine had gone into a sporting goods store that was having this raffle, entered his own name and entered my name separately, two weeks before. And that just went ‘poing’ and I just went, ‘Oh, okay.’ I don’t necessarily ask for material things anymore or anything like that but– and it may not be through the Virgin Mary, it may just be straight to God or whatever– whatever I need, I do that and I have done that my whole life. So yeah, I really believe in it and I just did “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” back East and we did a scene where I had to be a 10 year, er, like an eight to 10 year old in a memory and it was being erased, and I had to jump on my bike and take off and I showed up on the set and it was a green Mustang bike with a banana seat. And I hadn’t told anybody anything, but this is how my life has always been. I’m telling you, if I could document it and I probably should have. You would not believe how amazing my life has been. From the check that I wrote for myself to everything. Everything has had something to do with that power of faith. So, you know, I’m not a Bible thumper, I’m not any of that stuff, but I do believe that the force is with us.

If you really could trade places with somebody for a day, who would you choose and why?
Carrey: I would… who would I change places with? My gosh. Well, now that we’re on the religious subject– and this is not an ego thing– but I’d want to be Jesus for a day. You know, just to see what that was like.
Shadyac: Sunday versus Friday. Sunday would be a good day but Friday would be harder.

You’ve talked about the influence of teachers on your life, if you had to give up acting would you like to choose teaching as an alternative profession?
Carrey: I think that would be a pretty amazing thing to do with your life, you know? It would be a pretty great thing to do. I don’t think they get paid very well, but I mean it’s a pretty beautiful thing to do with your life, I think. I had another great teacher too and she never really gets credit a lot of times but I had this teacher in the 7th grade, Lucy Vervadis– I think she has a new name now, she got married, but I don’t know what her new name is– wonderful, wonderful woman. Anyway, she taught us Beatle lyrics. You know, it’s like, ‘Today’s lesson is “Eleanor Rigby”’ and what everything means and breaking it down into what it could mean and double meanings that were possible and all those wonderful things, and she also kind of harnessed my delinquency into a show at the end of each day. She said if I was good and I didn’t bother the other students that when I finished my work I would be able to do 15 minutes at the end of the day. So, I would finish my work and instead of bothering everybody, I would write material and I would think about how I was going to skewer the teachers and do whatever. She confiscated a couple of my drawings I did of her. I did caricatures of her at the back of the classroom and she sent them back to me years later once I was known.

Were you ever an alter boy?
Carrey: No I wasn’t, thank goodness.

The story continues in part seven of JIM CARREY COMES UNDONE>>>




Posted on May 28, 2003 in Interviews by

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