When asked the question – When will you know you’ve made it? Would your answer reflect a cosy and sane perception of an idealistic world? For example, happily married with a couple of kids with your own home and financial security. Or in my case, plenty of women, several Jack Daniel’s and cokes before lunch, an unlimited Visa card and a boss who didn’t mind my playboy rogue personality as I jetted around the world on business trips. But realistically, how good can it get? Well, for comic impresario and multi-million pound earner Jim Carrey you’d think he would be able to answer the above question with consummate ease.
But, on being overlooked for an Oscar award for last years ‘Truman Show’ and for his latest feature, ‘Man on the Moon’, Jim’s obsessive lust for the film worlds’ most prestigious lump of brass has made him lose touch with the real world. Unhappy with a lack of recognition from Hollywood’s establishment, he pulled out of a European press meet in Paris this month. Like his ‘Mask’ alter ego – Carrey seems intent in annoying the world’s media – thriving off the attention. Again, a prime example of how symbiotic the relationship between celebrity and journalist is. A sick and twisted partnership in the real world – but then again the movie business is not exactly the real world.
However, these things are commonplace with the quirks and whims of someone who has the world at his feet and his head in the clouds for the past five years. What is extra-ordinary is that Carrey refused Danny De-Vito, his co-star in the film, a ride in his private Learjet to get to the press interviews in the first place! It’s a hard life isn’t it?
Born in New Market, Ontario, Canda on Jan 17th 1962 to a working class family, in his teens Carrey had to take the job as caretaker of his local school when his father lost his job. Juggling between work and education the latter lost out. It was at this point in his life that Carrey believed that comedy become his way of ‘shielding himself from the world’. At 15, he began stand-up in ‘Yuk Yuk’s’, a famous Toronto club, before moving to LA to try the club circuit there. After becoming notorious with one of his characters, “Fire Marshall Bill”, a sketch which apparently encouraged children to set fire to themselves, he was thrust into the movie-world. In one year, 1994, he sank into the American conscious with ‘Ace Ventura Pet Detective’, ‘Mask’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber’. It seemed Carrey had been on the big screen forever.
Notoriously difficult to work with Hollywood’s ‘Joker of the Pack’ is about to release ‘Man on the Moon’ in the UK on the 5th May. The film is a portrayal of Andy Kaufman – one of Americas’ most eccentric and enigmatic stage performers. One of Kaufman’s alter ego’s – Tony Stilton is an obsessed actor who never received the Academy nod he believe he deserves. Was Carrey typecast? Did he seek the role? Does he identify with Kaufman – you get my drift on this, don’t you?
Whether you love or hate Carrey – he is a screen comedy genius who perhaps should win an Oscar some day. Although, lets not forget, how many screen legends have been overlooked over the years? One of this year’s nominees, Tom Cruise, is probably long overdue for the Oscar and deserved one much more than Carrey in my opinion. Perhaps if Carrey was more interested in some of the roles he plays rather then the spin he creates about himself then the awards would flow. But hey, who needs awards when you’ve got your own Learjet.
Take my advice, a few friends and a bit of respect wouldn’t go a miss either Jim.