Jim Carrey is mostly famous for his comedy masterpieces like Liar Liar, Ace Ventura, and Dumb and Dumber amongst others. His comedic timing and stand-out slapstick performances make movies even with a half-good script a worthwhile watch.

He has also delivered some serious acting display in dramas like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show. Starring alongside acclaimed actress Kate Winslet in the former, Carrey didn’t look out of place at all.

Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey.

However, his 1999 film Man on the Moon gave him the platform to expand his acting horizon like no other of his previous films.

Read more: “We knew he was going to hate it”: Jim Carrey Hated Filming $72 Million Movie Starring Kate Winslet

What Lengths Jim Carrey Went to Portray Andy Kaufman

Man on the Moon is a biographical comedy-drama film about American comedian Andy Kaufman, who made his name in the 70s through his signature cringe humor. His fictional character Latka Gravas was a huge hit on the television sitcom Taxi.

Man on the Moon star Jim Carrey.
Man on the Moon star Jim Carrey.

To bring back Kaufman to our screens and highlight his struggles, success, and eventual downfall due to cancer, Jim Carrey went above and beyond with regard to his acting approach. But his attempts to immerse himself into the character by adopting the method acting technique couldn’t lift the movie. It was a huge flop and grossed less than $50m, $47 to be precise, at the box office.

Such was the focus on Carrey’s intense approach to portraying Kaufman that in 2017 a documentary titled Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond dropped on Netflix to analyze his work by looking at hours of footage from behind the scenes of Man on the Moon.

The Mask actor fully committed to being the late entertainer, and refused to steer away despite the sound of cut from director Milos Forman after scenes or a visit from Kaufman’s family on the set. He spent four months never breaking character and went as far as insisting on being called “Andy” irrespective of whether the cameras were on him or not.

Read more: “Just you. That’s it”: After Shaming Margot Robbie for Her Looks, Jim Carrey Made Reporter Uncomfortable with Inappropriate Response

Why Martin Freeman Isn’t a Fan of Jim Carrey’s Man on the Moon Performance

The Netflix documentary was just one of many examples to show the limits some actors stretch to add a sense of realism to their characters, and despite Man on the Moon’s failure, many fans admired Carrey for his work. But Martin Freeman had something different to say.

Black Panther actor Martin Freeman.
Black Panther actor Martin Freeman.

While giving his thoughts on the process and impact of the process, Freeman, who portrayed Everett Ross in Black Panther, touched on Carrey’s approach and called it “aggrandizing, selfish, [and] narcissistic.”

“You need to keep grounded in reality and that’s not to say you don’t lose yourself in between action and cut but the rest of it is absolutely pretentious nonsense… It’s not a professional attitude. Get the job done man, f***ing do your work,” he said in an appearance on the Off Menu podcast.

In times when we laud Christopher Nolan for ditching CGIs for his scenes, Tom Cruise for doing his own stunts, and Carrey for his method acting (all in the pursuit of the idea of realism in one way or another) it’s important to note that not every viewer cares about intense realism or what goes behind the scenes as long as they find the final product entertaining.

Read more: Jim Carrey Net Worth – How Much Money Did He Make from ‘The Mask’

Source: The Independent

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