Jim Carrey: Why the actor's return to Hollywood won't be the same — for him as well as his fans
The 56-year-old actor has taken some time away from the acting in recent years, but he'll soon return to the spotlight with 'Kidding' but his return won't be the same
Jim Carrey's departure from Hollywood was very subtle. It cannot be exactly pointed out when and how did he stop being the movie-star who billed $20 million for each movie he did. It was only when he started giving bizarre red carpets interviews and painting vocal anti-Trump caricatures on social media that fans started questioning "what even happened to him?" The solitary recluse, who avoided the Hollywood spotlight after being a bona fide leading man in the industry is now all set to return with Showtime’s newest dramedy 'Kidding,' premiering on September 9 at 10 pm and given the reviews, fans can be assured that the beloved Jim Carrey is back to steal our hearts all over again.
Screenwriter Dave Holstein clearly said that when he started writing this TV script in 2010, it started with five words, "Jeff Pickles, think Jim Carrey." It was Holstein's life mission to have Carrey star in his show because the show was in fact, created for Carrey. "I had been obsessed with Jim's performances in 'Truman Show' and 'Man on the Moon,'" Holstein told Variety, "and so I had sat down to write that Jim a TV show." Holstein went so far as to join the staff of another Showtime series, 'I'm Dying Up Here,' which Carrey produced, just with the hope of getting his script into the actor's hands.
Holstein's attempts weren't futile as Carrey loved what he read, but he had reservations about fronting a TV show and the impossibility lurked. But by that time Showtime had picked up the project, and neither the network's CEO, David Nevins, nor Holstein would give up. On the advice of Carrey's agent they approached his 'Eternal Sunshine' director, Michel Gondry, about a potential reunion and as soon as the script was signed, Carrey jumped on the boat to play Jeff Pickles, star of a universally beloved children’s TV show, and the face of a “$112 million licensing industry.
Recently at a press tour, the 56-year-old comedian opened up about what actually drew him to take up role. "The search for identity is a theme that’s always been attractive to me,” Carrey said. “There’s definitely something in this piece that calls to me.” He added, by saying that the show touches on the idea of “trying to hang on to the idea of the self.”
And as we know his philosophy borders on the same belief of 'who are we anyway?' After playing Andy Kaufman in the movie 'Man on the Moon,' he wasn’t sure who Jim Carrey was anymore. His existential crisis led to an epiphany.
“As an actor, you play characters and then if you go deep enough into those characters you realize that your own character is pretty thin, to begin with. And then you suddenly have this separation and go, “Who’s Jim Carrey?” Oh, he doesn’t actually exist. There is just a relative mass of manifestation of consciousness appearing and then someone gave him a bunch of ideas. They gave him a name, religion, nationality, and then he clustered them into something that’s suppose to be a personality. It doesn’t actually exist. None of that stuff if you drill down is real.”
His explicit expression of philosophies in interviews caused a whirlwind of debate on Social Media if the 'Ace Ventura' star had simply gone "nuts" or had attained enlightenment. Followed up with the controversies and allegedly blamed for the suicide of his ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, in 2015, Carrey was not only off of the spotlight but was getting all the negative attention. Earlier this year, the comedy kingpin was cleared of lawsuits on White's suicide by estranged her husband Mark Burton and mother, Brigid Sweetman.
The chain of several controversies for the star of 'The Mask,' 'The Truman Show,' and 'Dumb and Dumber,' began after he gradually became less of a bankable star and when he started being at the forefront of the anti-vaxxer movement, arguing that there is a correlation between vaccinations and autism, along with his ex-partner Jenny McCarthy. Then in 2015, Carrey raged against the new California law requiring vaccinations for all public school children. The famous impressionist took to Twitter to call California Governor Jerry Brown a “corporate fascist that must be stopped,” and “California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in mandatory [sic] vaccines.”
But that only added to his Twitter popularity as about nearly 18 million followers were soon given a first-hand view of his political cartoons, featuring captions attacking the Trump administration and prominent Republicans. As he was taking a break from Hollywood, (meaning, when he was not starring or producing in a blockbuster flick), Carrey was holed in his studio, drenching himself in paints and producing artistic pieces. He shared his works on Twitter, for the first time in 2017, six years after delving into the art form, following a heartbreak. As for the political cartooning, he started the day before the 2016 Presidential election.
The actor and a burgeoning political cartoonist tweeted his first political cartoon in August 2017, showing President Trump sailing on a sea of “lies” and asking “WHAT WILL IT TAKE for the GOP to throw this madman overboard?”
WHAT WILL IT TAKE for the GOP to throw this madman overboard? HOW LOW MUST WE SINK before REPS become patriotic? 8^Q pic.twitter.com/9EJVYD5qOP— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 16, 2017
The 'God Almighty' star has also targeted Mark Zuckerberg, paid tribute to Stephen Hawking, drawn a crying President Abraham Lincoln and criticized the GOP tax plan with a sketch of House Speaker Paul D Ryan. His devotion to the visual arts has attracted the attention of LeBron James, and he even had an elite solo exhibit in Las Vegas in September 2017.
His most controversial cartoon has been that of a woman believed to be a White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — seen as a scowling woman, and captioned to be a “so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked.” People questioned if that was taking it “too far?” and Sanders’s father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, called Carrey to be a “Pathetic BULLY, sexist, hater, bigot & ‘Christaphobe.’”
This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous! pic.twitter.com/MeYLTy1pqb— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 17, 2018
Even as recently as August 24, Carrey's posted a satirical drawing of President Trump's face depicted as a piece of burnt toast with the caption, "#TRUMPISTOAST" and a link to vote.com, following the news that Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes and implicated Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator to two campaign finance law violations.
Unstoppable as he is, the Golden Globe winner is resolute with his ambition in life. In a recent and fresh interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carrey says that he never took his "weightlessness" fame seriously. “My plan was not to join Hollywood, it was to destroy it. Like, take a gigantic sledgehammer to the leading man and to all the seriousness.” Describing fame as an uncomfortable state of being, Carrey said; "it’s really not a place that’s very comfortable for very long,” and decided to opt out of it because "Hollywood didn’t tire of him. He simply grew tired of Hollywood. "
Carrey has not only been vocal about his political opinions but has talked explicitly about his difficult childhood, depressed mother, financial difficulties, dropping out and being homeless. However, despite his lack of interest in the meaningless world of show business, Carrey has been drawn back in with 'Kidding,' and as Entertainment Weekly reviews it, "It's his best work in years in dramedy" even though Carrey affirms that he is back to the limelight, "but not in the same way."