Nobody could deny the power of Jim Carrey in the ‘90s. Bursting onto the scene with a rubber face, funny voices, and a movie where he talked to people by bending over and squeezing his butt cheeks a bunch, Carrey’s comedy career was so massive during the decade that everyone wanted to work with him. He became so in-demand that people—like dramatic actor Jeff Daniels—wanted to work with him even when their managers thought doing so in a movie like Dumb And Dumber was a terrible idea.
During a round of “Celebrity True Or False” on The Rich Eisen Show last week, Daniels discussed the forces that wanted to keep him from messing up his hair and getting behind the wheel of a van covered in fake dog fur to play Harry Dunne. Eisen asks if it’s true that Carrey wanted Daniels for the movie but the studio didn’t, so he was given a lowball offer in the hopes he’d turn it down.
“True,” Daniels says. “I wanted to go into comedy. I’d been doing drama and I was kind of spinning my wheels and so I went up to L.A. and chased some jobs and Dumb And Dumber was one of them.” Daniels remembers auditioning and reading for the part with Carrey, who, along with the Farrelly Brothers, wanted to cast him despite the studio preferring an established comedian.
Daniels was given “the first week to shoot” and performed scenes like sticking his tongue to a freezing metal pole, which was enough to convince the studio to let him do the whole movie. Still, his managers thought doing the part was “a huge mistake” and staged what Daniels calls “an intervention” before he left to work on the movie, telling him he was “a serious actor” and that Dumb And Dumber “will ruin your career.”
Thank god he didn’t listen to them and we were allowed to see Daniels play his most distinguished, timeless role to date.
The rest of the clip is worth watching for more Daniels trivia, including his approach to acting opposite Carrey in a comedy and his delayed Speed death. Check it out over here.
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