Jim Carreys on
Jim Carrey has become one of the most recognised faces in the world. It is precisely because of his face that he has achieved fame. His rubbery visage and penchant for wild and extreme behaviour has given him a notoriety he delights in. He has developed a repertoire of oddball characters to the pleasure of audiences everywhere. Not everyone is impressed and you’ll find people who are thoroughly anti-Carrey and his style of comedy but the majority has voted him into our lives. His humour is far from highbrow, tasteless in many cases, but he aims to amuse and, for most people, he does just that.
Carrey was born in New Market, Ontario, Canada on January 17 1962 to a working class family. Growing up poor was tough for young Carrey. While in his teens he had to take a job as a janitor when his father lost his job. He had to juggle both school and work, school eventually lost out and he dropped out. He describes himself as being very angry at this time in his life yet one good thing came out of it. He developed a tremendous sense of humour to help him cope and to shield his anger from the world.
He was a loner who claims he didn’t have any friends because he didn’t want any. Between school and work there just wasn’t much time for a childhood. At 15 though, he had enough time to start performing at Yuk Yuks a famous Toronto comedy club where he began to perfect his shtick. He moved to LA and did the club circuit there. For many years, he lived in obscurity by starring in some Clint Eastwood movies, and doing impressions in the Comedy Store. In 1987, he got married with Melissa Womer and got a daughter, Jane Carrey. Jim Carrey got his big break in 1990, when he landed a role on the hip new sketch comedy show ‘In Living Colour’ which boasted a cast of African-Americans and Carrey, the sole white guy.
Carrey perfected many characters, most notoriously ‘Fire Marshal Bill’ who always went up in a blaze. The sketch was yanked when critics claimed that it encouraged kids to play with fire. The controversy put Carrey’s name in the headlines for the first time. He broke into feature films and into the collective unconscious of the world, in a single successful year, 1994. It was the Year of the Funny Face. First there was ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’, a surprise hit that showcased Carrey’s now signature wacky style. Next came ‘The Mask’, a role that seemed tailor-made for him and was a hit with audiences. As if he hadn’t made an impression yet, there was still ‘Dumb and Dumber’ which was released during the holiday season and ended up on top.
Jim Carrey was in the limelight now and he hasn’t looked back since. Since that famous year Carrey slowed down a bit. His films have come out less often but have continued to make waves if not quite of the calibre as previously. There was ‘Batman Forever’ in which he inhabited the role of the Riddler. Then there was a sequel to ‘Ace Ventura, When Nature Calls’ which didn’t quite recapture the sparkle of the original. Next came ‘The Cable Guy’, Carrey’s big ticket 20 million dollar film and fell with a quick and resounding thud.
The film featured Carrey’s first foray into a more serious type of humour. Audiences were not impressed and it was his first taste of failure. He quickly bounced back though. In 1997 he starred in ‘Liar Liar’.
The film was a tremendous success with crowds everywhere and put him back on top.
It also brought his salary to 20 million. Carrey
has come a long way from his unhappy childhood and in fact seems to be living it now. Canada has been producing fine comedic talents for years, and Jim Carrey is definitely the best of the new breed.
Jim can currently be seen in the Summer 2003 hit film ‘Bruce Almighty’ a comedy/ fantasy film that reunites him with director Tom Shaydac (Ace Ventura, Liar, Liar). The movie opened
very huge at the box office during its opening weekend.
After that Carrey in 2004 will move on to star in three films. He will first return to more serious territory in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ a Drama for director Michel Gondry (Human Nature). The movie takes place partly in the recesses of the brain, showing what happens to a man (Jim Carrey) when he tries to forget about a particularly steamy relationship he had with his ex-mate. He will then also star in a remake of ‘Fun With Dick And Jane’ for director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black) about an upper middle-class couple who turn to pulling heists to pay the bills. After that he will turn to ‘Lemony Snicket’ an adventure/ fantasy film for director Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile, Casper).