Jim Carrey opens up about his political paintings and reluctant return to acting
We know Jim Carrey best as the rubber-faced actor from farcical comedies like Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber and Liar, Liar. Like other comedic actors, he ventured into drama and impressed critics - especially in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. But who would have ever predicted he'd become a political artist?
After opening up about his love of painting in a viral documentary, Carrey started pumping out brutal satirical portraits. Mostly he roasted public figures from the Trump administration, such as Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Jared Kushner and The Donald himself. Liberals cheered, while Trump supporters taunted him: "Why don't you stick to acting?!"
Well, now the 56-year-old star is returning to acting, starring in Showtime's dark comedy Kidding. Carrey plays Mr. Pickles, a celebrated children's TV star whose personal life implodes, forcing him to fight his demons. "I'm not back [to Hollywood] in the same way," Carrey explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't feel I'm little Jim trying to hang on to a place in the stratosphere anymore — I don't feel like I'm trying to hold on to anything."
In THR's cover story, Carrey reflects on his past, present and future. His decision to go from The Mask to Monet wasn't complicated. He simply saw painting as a new creative outlet.
"I just didn’t want to be in the business anymore. I didn’t like what was happening, the corporations taking over and all that. And maybe it’s because I felt pulled toward a different type of creative outlet and I really liked the control of painting — of not having a committee in the way telling me what the idea must be to appeal to a four-quadrant whatever."
In the beginning, Carrey was a stand-up with a gift for physical comedy. After stealing the show on Fox's In Living Color, he pursued a movie career. But he didn't want to conform. "My plan was not to join Hollywood, it was to destroy it," said Carrey. "Like, take a gigantic sledgehammer to the leading man and to all the seriousness."
On Monday, Carrey spoke to the Television Critics Association about his new show, framing it as an exploration of identity: "I think the idea of identity, the search for identity, what it is, who we are, what’s an authentic person is a theme that’s always been attractive to me. And I think that there’s definitely something in this piece that calls me as far as the idea of being hit by a freight train in life and trying to hang on to the idea of yourself that you had before it happened that’s really attractive."
Carrey certainly was hit with a freight train in life, facing a wrongful death lawsuit from his ex-girlfriend. But the actor sees a silver lining to all the personal turmoil. "After everything I’ve been through, I feel like I can sit down with most people," he said at the TCA panel. "Look them in the eye and say, ‘What is it? What did you go through? ‘Cause here’s what I went through and guess what, it’s still love. It’s still good.’"