Jim Carrey Question: How can someone have only one face, yet at the same time be able to have many-many faces? Answer: When the face in question has the versatility to be as expressive, and as intuitive - as the one - and only - Jim Carrey. Want to know more? Then please, by all means, watch this 40-minute interview recorded in 2011.

The Jim Carrey Handbook

In this episode of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, the bearded maestro himself, James Lipton, interviews another James – James (Jim) Carrey – in front of a live studio audience full of hopeful media graduates.

Now this ‘experience’ begins when both James and Jim explains how this program came to be – in a rather dramatic and stoic way. After that, however, the interview beings proper, in which Jim elaborates’ on such things as: (1) How he was both cleverer and silly as a child. (2) How his fathers eventful unemployment, led Jim and his family into a world of hardship and gruelling manual labour. And (3) How his only savior and release – impersonations and performance – took him from comedy club, to two years of ‘the wilderness’, to success on a television show called ‘In Living Color’.

Next, the tone of this interview changes slightly, and after Jim does a couple of impressions, he continues this discussion, relating more towards his movie career. This includes:

  • Ace Ventura, Pet Detective: “I though that it was funny that both myself and Anthony Hopkins had the same method for Ace and Hannibal Lecter – he was a lizard, I was a parrot”.
  • The Mask: “Getting that make-up on was a right bitch, it was like acting whilst people were throwing baseballs at you”.
  • Dumb and Dumber: “I felt that Jeff Daniels and I really connected on that film, because it was a film about two friends”.
  • The Truman Show: “That film is what my life eventually became, and I do not want to be type cast into doing the same thing again and again”.
  • Man on the Moon: “I was not on that film because Andy was there instead of me”.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: “That film was such a blast to work on, because it allowed me to hide in front of the camera”.
  • I Love You Philip Morris: “I was so happy that Ewan McGregor played by partner in that movie, as I knew that would make the audience believe in our relationship more”.

As ever, to end the show, we learn from the Bernard Pivo structured questionnaire, that Jims favourite sound is ‘AAAHHHHHHHH’, that he loves the back of his head being stroked, and also, that his advise to the studio audience once the questionnaire is completed, is heartfelt and frank – ‘live the dream’.

After watching this episode of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, what do you think that I leant about the comedic-actor, Jim Carrey? Err – that he is Canadian? No – I knew that already. OK, so what about him being able to play his leg like a guitar? Or maybe his spot on impersonation of Elvis then? No – I knew about Jim’s ‘Elvis shtick’ when he had a cameo appearance in the Clint Eastwood movie, ‘Pink Cadillac’. Well, what about his admiration for Anthony Hopkins? Oh yeah! That was new – plus in addition to this, I did discover that I liked Jim Carrey more than I though I did.   

You see, the reason why I say this; is because I always found Jim to be a one-trick pony at times, just pulling a funny face and doing what he does best just for the sake of popularity. However, after watching this program, I am happy to say that this is not what Jim is about at all! If anything, he is trying to combat this sort of ‘type-casting’ any which way he can.

Jim and Jim in Inside The Actors Studio

Personally speaking, I admire Jim for doing that – because it shows that he wants to stretch his skills to the limit, and become a more well round and pertinent actor. Granted, I did have an inkling that this is something he was attempting to do within recent years, due to the amount of ‘alternate movies’ he was making. Still, it was nice to hear it from ‘the horse’s mouth’ so to speak – especially in the frank and rather honest way that he said it.

Jim CarreyAlso, on top of 'Jim's Ernest direction', it was nice to see Jim just being Jim on stage as well – you could just tell from the get go, that he was having fun with his interview with James Lipton. It was as if he was allowed to let loose on how he felt about certain topics of interest - such as his love for his father, his admiration for ‘good writers’, as well as how he stresses that determination and gumption are the key elements to success in this ‘game called movies’.

Overall, I did really enjoy this conversation between James Lipton and Jim Carrey, as it was insightful, amusing, thought provoking, and damn right enjoyable to boot. My personal favourite section to this piece, was at the start of the show, when Jim ‘took on’ James – that was class. Moreover, I did enjoy Jims other impressions as well, and I was particularly impressed with him singing like Elvis – that was just amazing.

Bless you Jim and James – you are both pros through and though – and should star in a movie together – I would defiantly watch that.