Jim Carrey

“What it All Means” Jim Carrey on What Happened to “Jim Carrey”

This is a companion piece, a sequel really, to a two-part video look at Jim Carrey and what has happened to the actor over the last 15 years.  Once the biggest star in the world, Carrey hasn’t made a really quality film since 2004″ Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and his career seemed increasingly more desperate and sad until Carrey largely stopped working altogether.  His story is inspirational and that was covered in a fantastic video I posted on the site last month.  In the discussion on the site about the video, a lot of concern was raised that Carrey, like a lot of comedians might be in danger.  People think humor comes from joy.  It doesn’t.  Humor is the best bad way to deal with enormous pain (I don’t know a good way).  People always seem startled when comedians deal with substance abuse or commit suicide, but it’s not surprising at all.  Their art is their battle.

I feel much better about Carrey and where he’s at after watching this.  I don’t agree with all the conclusions he’s drawn, but-hey-we’re all different.  What really resonated with me is right at the beginning when he says basically that if “Jim Carrey” was so easily destroyed in the first place, who was he to begin with?  We all make masks of personality to get through certain situations or to deal with certain people.  “Fake it until you make it” is a common piece of fortune cookie advice, but its dangerous when the masks become so many or so popular that the real person gets forgotten.  I’ve had this happen in my own life when a role or an identity became so integral to what people thought of me, that when it was no longer necessary or sustainable I found myself completely without any self-identity.  It seems like the “Jim Carrey” we all thought was authentic turned into a mask that became suffocating to Carrey.  I’m glad he was able to get perspective on it, and I’d rather have him happy and not making films than burning himself on a pyre of our own expectations like so many comedians before him.
Jim Carrey

4 thoughts on ““What it All Means” Jim Carrey on What Happened to “Jim Carrey””

  1. “Their art is their battle”. If your words are your art, then you are winning. The inspiration to unmask ourselves revealing or realizing who we truly are, is divine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. His talent was always undeniable, but until very recently I thought there was something cold and off putting about about his performances, and I thought it kept him from greatness. That quality I saw in him was probably a reflection of very real anger and unhappiness though, and now that I get that, there is something very raw and immediate about his old films when I watch them, where most popular comedians strive to play it safe. They shouldn’t. Most of them never become the biggest star in the world.

    Ace Ventura was not a great comedy, and The Mask was only memorable because of Carrey and the fact that it was an early example of a CGI-fest. Dumb and Dumber on the other hand is a film I’ve come to appreciate through the years. It’s truly a low comedy classic.

    But starting with Cable Guy he started choosing darker scripts, and the brief period of Truman and Man on the Moon arrived, and he came into his own as a genuine rarity: a serious-minded comic actor. He gave his all to his roles, and became more than Jim Carrey, and the definition of Jim Carrey.

    The bad films he made later are mostly so forgettable that they will be forgotten. I think they already are. Remind me what they were again? I think one of them was called Yes Man. The guy has a legacy, and I’m glad he walked away. I hope he comes back, and reclaims some greatness, but I would much rather the guy be happy. He’s obviously very troubled, and that does not go away. But the self-knowledge is there, so he’s ahead of the curve. So many people do not know themselves. It’s the curse of our species that we focus most of our attention inward, yet see so little of what is actually within.

    Liked by 1 person

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