An Unexpected Turn
Jim Carrey has been responsible for classic comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber, to name a few. However, the actor’s real-life story and behavior seems to have got more bizarre with age…
Where It All Began
The youngest of four, James Eugene Carrey’s early years started in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. From day one, it was clear that Kathleen and Percy Carrey had brought an extraordinary person into the world. From as early as he could remember, Jim wanted to be an entertainer. At the age of 10, he wrote a letter to Carol Burnett asking to come on her show to do impressions. Did he get the part?
Dealing With Teachers
Sadly, little Carrey didn’t get the part. However, he did receive a formal reply from Burnett thanking him for his effort. During his school years, Carrey couldn’t contain himself when it came to entertaining his peers. The teacher was aware of his pupil’s comedic talents and made a deal with him. If Jim could stay quiet for the entire lesson, the teacher would let him perform in front of his class for a couple of minutes at the end of the lesson.
The signs of Carrey’s erratic behavior was also clear at home. Young Jim was always keen to draw, especially portraits of his father. But it was the nature of his illustrations that raised eyebrows. “I did pencil sketches and stuff like that,” he told Rolling Stone. “My parents would come into the room and ask, ‘What are you drawing?’ It would be my dad looking at his watch with a gun in his hand. ‘It’s a portrait of you,’ I said. ‘It’s called Waiting to Die.'”
Me, My Dad & Mommy
Carrey’s childhood wasn’t all fun and games. On the contrary, Carrey and his family had plenty of challenges. With a mother who suffered from depression and an unemployed father, Jim was forced to drop out of school at the age of 15 in order to support them. He worked as a janitor and as a result, did not live the typical teenager’s life. However, father Percy saw the raw talent in his son and was determined to help him…
On many evenings, Percy would drive Jim to Toronto so that he could take on the city’s bustling comedy scene. Despite his family’s dire financial situation, they desperately tried to make his dream a reality. His first attempt at standup came when his father took him to the famous comedy club Yuk Yuk’s to perform a string of impersonations. However, the performance was an absolute flop and just like that, his potential as an artist was put into serious question.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1995, Carrey revealed just how vulnerable he has been to snapping under pressure. This was clearly evident when he was coming up in the world and trying to help his parents during their dire situation. “I ran out of patience,” he said. “I had to move them back to Canada. I was having bad dreams – I was strangling my mother in my sleep. I still supported them until I ran out of money. I went bankrupt.”
Getting The Gigs
As time went on, the Carreys became more comfortable financially and were in a better position to support Jim’s comedy pursuits. Carrey’s performances started to capture people’s attention at open mic nights and eventually, he bagged his own shows. Then, the legendary Rodney Dangerfield took notice and immediately put Carrey on his tour lineup. He performed in all the big cities, including Las Vegas. Subsequently, Jim got a gig in Hollywood and became a regular at the Comedy Store.
The Big Time
Carrey now had a steady following and was recognized name in many comedy circles. His reputation would pave the way for film and TV opportunities and he even auditioned for the 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live. Although he didn’t make the grade, Jim would appear on the NBC show as a host on three separate occasions. His first big break came in 1984 when he starred in the sitcom The Duck Factory. But 10 years later, something huge happened…
The Holy Trinity
After over a decade of minor roles and building up his reputation as a true comedic genius, Carrey had his breakthrough year in Hollywood when he played not one, not two, but three iconic roles. In 1994, he starred in the hit comedies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber. All three classics were commercially successful and transformed Carrey into a household name, as well as one of the hottest properties in the world of film.
Money On My Mind
In response to his breakthrough year, Carrey put his incredible success down to the law of attraction. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actor explained how he would use visualization techniques during his job hunt. For example, he once imagined receiving a $10 million check for a movie role and maintained the illusion for a while. Then, seven years later, when he was cast to play Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumber, he actually received a $10 million check. Crazy!
His rise in popularity during the mid-90s also meant huge things financially for the actor. In 1996, Carrey shattered records when he starred alongside Matthew Broderick in the dark comedy The Cable Guy. To acquire his services for the role of sociopath “Chip” Douglas, the actor receive a staggering $20 million salary, raising the overall budget of the movie to $67 million. This was the first time that an actor had ever received such a hefty sum before the release of the movie.
Carrey’s fame spread far and wide and even to the other side of the Atlantic. In 1996, the actor was reportedly offered the role to play the Eighth Doctor in the British hit sci-fi show Doctor Who. Carrey however, declined the offer based on the fact that he had never heard of the show, to begin with. In hindsight, it was probably for the best, as the idea was polarizing, causing a huge debate amongst hardcore “Whovians” (Doctor Who fans.)
Surprise Pen Pals
It was during this time that Carrey became the pen pal of the most unexpected recipient – a rapper. When Tupac Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was incarcerated during the mid-90s, Carrey wrote letters to cheer him up and make him smile. He believed that the late rapper was falsely accused and hoped that the jokes he wrote would have a positive impact on him. Tupac was grateful for these letters and this was because Carrey was supposedly his favorite actor.
Soon enough, Carrey proved that he wasn’t just a one-trick pony who could only act in bizarre roles. In 1997, he was praised for his lead role in the movie Liar Liar. Carrey portrays a lawyer who, after building a career from incessant lying, can’t help but tell the truth after his son makes a wish. The flick earned Carrey rave reviews and he even received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. But his finest hour came the following year…
The actor continued to display his diverse acting chops when he starred in the concept drama The Truman Show. In one many considered to be Carrey’s most serious and impressive performance to date, many critics recommended him for Oscar consideration. Although this didn’t happen, Carrey did receive the Golden Globe for Best Actor. There was no doubt that Carrey was truly at the peak of his powers. As time went on though, his acting methods got more and more eccentric…
Carrey used extreme methods to create a realistic portrayal of the late comedian Andy Kaufman in the 1999 biopic Man On The Moon. This was so clear that co-star Paul Giamatti, who had first-hand experience alongside Carrey, found his behavior extremely odd. “It was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had making a movie…Jim was wacky during it,” he said. “He’d constantly be hugging people…It was disgusting. He was touching people and making them shake his hands all the time. He smelled horrible.”
In the 80’s, Carrey was in a relationship with Melissa Womer. She was his support system during the time that he was coming up in the comedy industry and eventually, the couple tied the knot. Then in 1987, they had a daughter who they named Jane Erin Carrey. However, the marriage did not last. This is down to two reasons. One, the increasing interference from the celebrity life and two, Carrey’s ever-growing friendship with his Dumb & Dumber co-star Lauren Holly…
Like Father Like Daughter
Although Carrey and Womer ended up divorcing in 1995, the family still had plenty of things to celebrate. Take Carrey’s daughter, for example. They say the apple doesn’t fall from the true, and this couldn’t be any truer when Jane Carrey is concerned. In 2012, she auditioned for American Idol with the hope of pursuing a career as a singer. Although she didn’t go far in the show, Jane did become the lead singer of her own band.
Even before Carrey’s marriage with Womer came to an end, another relationship was already blossoming. Just a year after the couple split, Jim married fellow actress Lauren Holly on September 23, 1996. However, the marriage was a short-lived one and the couple divorced just a year later. Carrey just couldn’t maintain any stability in his personal life. It seemed like his chaotic career, paired up with his eccentric behavior, was the main reason behind his failure to stay with one person…
Once again, Jim Carrey was a single man. Then, as the Millenium approached, he ended up dating one of the most respected actresses at the time, Renée Zellweger. The star of movies such as Bridget Jones’ Diary and Jerry Maguire was head over heels for the comedian. After starring together in the rom-com Me, Myself and Irene, the pair were together well into the early 2000s and were even engaged for a year. Yet this was also short-lived…
Born Again In The U.S.A.
The 00s wasn’t all doom and gloom for Carrey. On 2004, Carrey officially became a U.S. citizen, much to Canadian fans’ dismay. However, the actor who originally hails from Ontario, released a statement that would reiterate his dual citizenship and allegiance to both countries. “I have no intention of giving up my Canadian heritage, and all those who loved and supported me,” he said. He also stressed how proud he was of his roots, saying, “I will always be proud to be a Canadian.”
Don’t Deck The Halls
One fascinating tidbit about Carrey’s professional career during the 00s was that he did something that no other actor has ever achieved. By the end of the decade, Jim had become the only actor ever to have portrayed two of the biggest Christmas villains of all time – The Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge. He played the former in the 2000 hit Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the latter in 2009’s A Christmas Carol. But Christmas was over, a Valentine’s had arrived…
For the next five years, Carrey pretty much stayed completely away from the dating scene. Then, in 2006, he hit it off with actress Jenny McCarthy. Many thought that the couple would go the distance and this would finally be Jim’s lifelong partner. Together, the couples’ larger than life personalities complemented one another in a surprisingly emphatic way. Also, one of the key details that made them so strong together was something that they both held very close to their hearts…
Carrey On Marching
Jim and Jenny shared the unpopular belief that the MMR vaccine was the prime cause of autism. Together, they led a campaign called “Green Our Vaccines.” The march was orchestrated in Washington, D.C. to promote the removal of toxic substances in vaccines. However, the march received heavy criticism from many different people, and most notably, scientists who have studied the vaccine for many years. Some described the campaign as “ill-informed” and “irresponsible.” But Carrey had something to say…
In response to the backlash surrounding what he believed to be a “pro-safe vaccine” campaign rather than an “anti-vaccine” one, Carrey took to social media to silence critics. One of his targets was former California Governor Jerry Brown, who he referred to as a “corporate fascist.” He believed that Brown was responsible for the excessive use of vaccinations on children. However, Arthur Caplan, the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University described Carrey as “ignorant when it comes to vaccines.”
In what must have been one of the happiest days of his life, at the age of 47, became a grandfather. In 2010, his daughter Jane, who was 22 years old at the time, gave birth to her son, Jackson Riley Santana. Elated by the news, Carrey took to social media to share his absolute joy with the world. “This is what 7lbs.11oz. of California dynamite looks like. Even McCarthy called herself an honorary grandmother. But everything was about to change for the new Grandpa…
Despite this good news and their shared passion for safe vaccinations, this simply was not enough to keep the couple together. After five years together, Jim’s relationship with Jenny McCarthy came to an abrupt end. Even though many were curious as to why they split up, McCarthy confirmed that it was an amicable, mutual decision and that, “Jim and I are still good friends.” So here he was again, a single man. Carrey couldn’t believe his luck, he just couldn’t find the right girl…
It was during this time that Carrey got into some mess with the law. In 2011, the NYPD were alerted about the actor’s newfound obsession of spray painting his West Village studio. What made the incident particularly strange though is that he sprayed the walls with an entity he created called Baba, a “mischievous deity…[who] exists in negative space.” Despite the cops’ efforts to get rid of the image, Carrey simply bounced back with another version.
Cute Or Strange?
The man who seemed to be a shadow of the old Jim Carrey was in the middle of an awkward situation. A clip went viral showing Carrey sharing his opinions on the up-and-coming actress Emma Stone. “Emma, I think you’re all the way beautiful. Not just pretty, but smart and kind-hearted,” he said. “And if I were a lot younger, I would marry you.” Naturally, many, including Stone, didn’t know what to make of the random clip…
For a while, Emma Stone’s reactions to Carrey’s peculiar message were riddled with awkwardness and confusion. But eventually, in an interview with New York Magazine, she finally set the record straight about how she genuinely felt about his “nice” words. It turns out that she was actually flattered after he basically told the world that he was in love with her. “I was so flattered I can’t even tell you,” she said. “Honest! I was really flattered, I really was!”
In the highly anticipated 2013 movie Kick-Ass 2, Carrey was cast as Colonel Stars and Stripes. However, after watching the movie and reflecting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the actor decided to stop supporting the movie. “I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” he said. “My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
Blast From The Past
The following year, Carrey decided to substitute the violence from Kick-Ass for a return to his slapstick style. In 2014, the actor, along with his buddy Jeff Daniels, return to the big screen as Harry and LLoyd in the long-awaited sequel to Dumber and Dumber – aptly titled, Dumb and Dumber To. But was it too late for fans to care about a sequel? It didn’t seem so. Despite receiving negative reviews, the movie made a whopping $169.8 million at the box office.
Eventually, Carrey finally found himself a girlfriend who wasn’t a recognized name. But soon enough, that would change. A few years after having a brief relationship with Cathriona White, Jim discovered that she was found dead on September 28, 2015. Naturally distraught by the events, Carrey went to Tipperary, Ireland, where she was originally from. He was a pallbearer at her funeral. Although Carrey wanted to pay his respects to Cathriona’s family, it seemed like her death was just the start of something terrible…
In a disastrous turn of events, White’s widower boldly claimed that Carrey had a part to play in her death. On September 19, 2016, Mark Burton filed a lawsuit against the actor, accusing him of using his “immense wealth and celebrity status” to provide the prescriptions pills that she used on the day she died. If the accusations were true, then this could’ve been one of the biggest falls from grace any actor had ever faced. However, Carrey was quick to defend himself…
The next day, Carrey released the following statement: “What a terrible shame. It would be easy for me to get in a back room with this man’s lawyer and make this go away, but there are some moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honor against the evil in this world. I will not tolerate this heartless attempt to exploit me or the woman I loved. Cat’s troubles were born long before I met her…”
It seems like Carrey has never been quite the same since the tragic event. Like his mother before him, Carrey has faced depression in recent times. Amazingly, the number of cases connecting comedians with depression over the years has been extraordinarily high, and it seems like Carrey is an addition to the list. Originally, he took Prozac to deal with it. Eventually, though, Jim decided to face the condition without medication. In fact, he has abstained from all forms of stimulants, including coffee.
Let’s Get Spiritual
Another way that Carrey has battled his depression is through spiritual methods. In recent times, the actor has explored Transcendental Meditation and has even taught it to juvenile delinquents. “I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian, I’m whatever you want me to be,” he said in an interview. “It all comes down to the same thing. You’re in a loving place, or you’re in an unloving place; if you’re with me right now you cannot be unhappy. It’s not possible.”
Carrey’s newfound spirituality also could have suggested why he grew what has become one of the most enigmatic beards in the celebrity world. However, while being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, the actor refused to give a specific reason as to why he had let his facial hair go for so long. In fact, he implied that there was actually no reason whatsoever and he was amazed by the amount of speculation that was generated online because of it.
Even though the beard eventually disappeared, Carrey’s unpredictable behavior continued to steal the headlines. The standout example came in a red carpet interview with E! News. Carrey made millions scratch their heads when he said the following: “I don’t believe in icons. I don’t believe in personalities. I believe that peace lies beyond personality, beyond invention and disguise…I believe that it’s deeper than that. I believe that we’re a field of energy dancing for itself, and…I don’t care.”
What Does It All Mean?
Naturally, the cryptic answers from that infamous interview are still perplexing fans to this day. Many have expressed concern over the actor’s wellbeing in light of the behavior, but it’s simply hard to know what the future holds of Jim Carrey. He has suggested that he no longer wants to be in the spotlight. All we can hope is that he continues to grace people with his light-hearted, quick-witted humor, whether that’s on the big screen or in his private life.
Two years after his darkest hour, it seemed like the death of his former girlfriend was once again coming back to haunt him. This time, a court ordered Carrey to tell his side of the story regarding the tragic event, which would take place on October 27, 2017. Court papers from the Superior Court of the State of California read, “plaintiffs Brigid Sweetman and Mark Burton, by and through their counsel of record, will take the deposition of Defendant James Eugene Carrey.”
These somber times make us wish we could turn back time to see Carrey back to his wild self. Those were the good old days, when he was in a happy relationship, strolling down the beach in his partner’s bathing suit. Somehow, because it’s Jim Carrey, he’s just able to pull it off. This image is absolutely symbolic of a time when the actor was bizarre and proud of it. Now, his erratic nature manifests itself in much darker ways…
Sadly, He’s Left The Comedy Limelight
Jim Carrey decided to break his silence and open up about his life to help craft the upcoming Showtime series “I’m Dying Up Here”, a stand-up comedy in the ‘70s, but the star is content working behind-the-scenes at this point in his life. During a press panel at Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, he joked saying: “I had so many incredible experiences. I’m lucky to be alive, really.” Though the show, is all about stand-up, when he was asked if he wanted to return to the stage, Carrey was clear he isn’t interested. He was quoted as saying: “I’m in the process of shedding layers of persona at this time in my life,”