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Jim Carrey | Merriment and Mirth
an emily blunt interview

Part 2 Deuix Dous

 

 

EM: I'd like to follow up on something you said that intrigued me which was the idea of faith that you have and that it is well documented how hard some parts of your life growing up were. Things turned against your family economically, and so forth…

JIM: Don't leave out the sick Mom though! It's a very important part of the equation!

EM: [nervous laughter]

JIM: No. It was so funny because we were taking this picture for the ninetieth 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 have the sickest Mom!" [Laughter] and 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.

EM: No please, I think you were starting to answer the question already…

JIM: I knew it, of course. I'm Bruce Almighty ! [Laughter]

EM: Where did your faith come from and was it tested in that period or did it actually strengthen it?

JIM: Honestly, it came from faith. Something that happened very early, and maybe this is why I like teachers… it came from a substitute teacher who came to my class room, and I was in catholic school and came to my classroom in grade two for a day. She was an Irish gal, and she said, "Oooh…[gibberish in a "blue stars green clovers" tone]………." [Laughter] 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, and so I went home and I prayed for this Mustang bike and [the phone rings we are all starled...]

TOM: So, we last left you praying to The Virgin Mary?

JIM: Yes! I was praying, yes. So I went home and I prayed to the Virgin Mary 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 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?" And I walked out in the living room. My whole family was standing around a lime green Mustang bike with a banana seat. And 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' like that, and I just went "Oh, Okay" like that and basically you know, 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 here's another. I just did Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, back East, and we did a scene where I had to be a ten year, er, like an eight to ten 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, or 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. Have faith and it will all come. 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.

EM: In Bruce you trade places with the biggest cheese, God himself. But how about Jim? Who would you want to glimpse into- if just for a day and why?

JIM: That guy. [Laughter] I would…who would I trade places with? My gosh. Well, now 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.
[Laughter]

EM: But not on the last day! [Laughter]

JIM: Oh, you don't know me well, do you? [Laughter]

TOM: Sunday versus Friday [Laughter] Sunday would be a good day but Friday would be harder.

EM: [laughter] Now that we've got half the religions in a tizzy…you continually acknowledge the impact of teachers on your life, if you had to give up acting would you like be a teacher?

JIM: 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 real well, but I mean it's a pretty beautiful thing to do with your life, I think. I had another great teacher to and she never really gets credit a lot of times but I had this teacher in the 7th grade, Lucy Dervados who taught us Beatle lyrics, you know, it's like today's lesson is 'Eleanor Rigby' and what everything means and break it into 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 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 and 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.

EM: What would you teach if you were able to teach?

JIM: What would I teach? Sex education. [Laughter] Edit edit edit - the first three things from the mind...I think humanity. No, probably art. Art would be it. Yeah. I think art would be it! It'd be pretty strange to. Francis Bacon….Ok, look kids.

EM: Tehe! On another note, what kind of music are you into?

JIM: It's nice the way you broached that question, "On another note" [Laughter] Yes, I love music. I've always loved music and my father is a sax clarinet player and so we grew up with all the big band stuff playing around the house and my daughter is very much into jazz. She comes over to my house and puts Miles Davis on and you know, she's 15 years old. It's ridiculous, you know? So she knows more about it than I do. And when she'd visit me in New York we'd go to the Lennox Lounge in Harlem and watch jazz players and stuff which is cool because at this point I get to do the same thing my dad did for me, which was, when I was 15 I was into comedy so he used to take me downtown to Yuk Yuks which was on church street at that time. It's like two lanes of bowling alley with like 100 tragically hit people basically cursing everyone on stage and he used to take me there, when I was 15 years old and I was like, "Oh, I can't believe I'm here" and now I get to do it back. It's kind of wonderful. But musically, I like everything. I like some of the hip hop stuff that's happening. I like anything that's kind of like an honest to goodness expression, you know? Like Missy Elliot. I think she's cool. The Vines are great. A lot of the new stuff, it's good.

EM: What was your last CD?

JIM: The last CD I bought was White Stripes. [a bit of Grinch slips in] Very cool. Very oddly wonderfully complexly crude. [Laughs] Great. I love it. I like boys and girls together. [Laughter] Reminds me of the Partridge Family.

EM: Hehehe. Jim, you mentioned you've had this under the radar kind of career. I wonder how many know you were in Peggy Sue Got Married, or Earth Girls Are Easy even, Once Bitten - a film you played lead in. What do you think when you look back, when you were doing those movies?

JIM: Oh, it's interesting to look back. I mean, Geeze, it's just desperation, total desperation. But that hasn't changed that much. But, it's just fun to watch it, because as I said, "It's always been… I've been in this wonderful place." I'm not saying it's a bad place to be under the radar, it's a wonderful place actually, not to be the person that everybody plays out until they get tired of them and don't want them anymore. I like to be a nice hors deurve or something like that. Just something that you just like all the time. Just whenever it comes out it's kind special and that's cool. In "Living Color" I was fortunate enough to have a vehicle where I didn't play a character that was one thing all the time, so that I became that character. At The Comedy Store I got known doing impressions and so I stopped doing them because I saw where it was leading. And because I did that I was able to excel to another level without being known as the comic impressionist. It was weird because in Toronto that what I was, when I started out, alright? I was going to be the next Rich Little. It's amazing. So, I don't know if that answers your question, but I like the pocket I'm in. It's a good place. It's a place that feels like it's not tired, you know?

EM: How involved are you going to be for the DVD of Bruce Almighty?

TOM: Well, we're going to get involved. It hasn't been done yet but actually we started talking about it very, very early on the movie. We decided early, because we have all these choices that we don't use, I could cut three, five, ten other movies together with the choices that we have.

JIM: We've got to put the falling out of the airplane on the DVD.
There is a shot that we did of me falling out of this airplane, doing a…

TOM: Another news story. He discovered Big Foot and it kind of got cut.

JIM: Yeah, right. And so I'm falling out of this airplane and we had this special effect guy with a gun, with a pipe that shot air, like at a fierce rate, into my mouth, so my mouth is literally stretched to the point…it's going "halulululula" and just the whole time I'm speaking [laughter]! It's so stretched you see my whole skeleton under there. It's really frightening. When they yelled cut I couldn't see anybody, because everybody was on the floor just losing their minds, but it didn't fit in the movie so…it's got to be somewhere.

TOM: Yeah, we'll put stuff like that on the DVD and the other choices that you didn't get to see. There's a ton of scenes that we'll put on too that have laughs but didn't quite fit in the rhythm.

EM: Is DVD a comic salvation then because your material can still be seen - preserved?

JIM: It's kind of nice to be able to have that with our stuff. Yeah. You know to show some things that didn't fit in the puzzle maybe. It's given us a lot of good options

TOM: It's actually really cool. I mean, it is another point of interest and people are fascinated by what made it or didn't make it. We have scenes from Ace Ventura, the original Ace Ventura. We weren't doing that. DVD didn't exist then. But I can remember scenes that we took out of the original Ace. [Turning to Jim] Remember the contact lens, when one guy came after you in a bar with a smashed beer bottle? [Laughter]

JIM: [laughter] Yeah! I take out a contact lens and go [screech -smashing the "lens" on a space-work bar he gestures menacingly! [Hearty laughter]

TOM: It's scenes like that. I wish we had the DVD back then. Funny stuff.

EM: Can we just touch upon Eternal Sunshine and working with Charlie Kaufman?

JIM: Oh, it's wonderful, wonderful material. Amazing. I felt lucky to be part of that.

TOM: Did you scream at him?

JIM: Huh?

TOM: Never mind.

JIM: Oh yeah. [Laughter] No, Michel Gondry is brilliant. All the special effects were done in camera. It's a really interesting project. Really, really cool.

EM: But you played all ages in the brain?

JIM: Yeah, well we kind of, it's me but I got kids clothes on or whatever.

EM: Jim, would you ever want to direct?

JIM: Maybe sometime.


There you go - the world's longest interview. I didn't leave out a syllable. Truthfully, Jim's a comedic god in my eyes. Almost everyone of my "favorite" funny scenes involve him. And frankly it was an extreme honor to meet a guy this talented and genuinely charming and that has done so much for me without even knowing me by simply uttering my name in a publication or on a music TV channel. Thanks again Jim! And thanks for being...

"It's better to go after something special and risk starving to death than to surrender, if you give up your dreams, what's left?" - Jim

 

 

 

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