The Cat In The Hat "' a O Dr.Seuss
Enterprises. LP. 1957. All rights reserved.
JIM CARREV IS THE GRINCH
The elastic-faced comic has played a lying lawyer, the unwitting star of a real life soap and a motorbike cop with a split personality. Jim Carrey tells The List about donning a suit of died yak fur to play Dr Seuss' green grumpous. Words: Miles Fielder
The List Your audition for The Grinch for Seuss’ widow was rather unconventional. Jim Carrey Basically, at the time Jim Carrey had no postal code - I‘d lost myself in Andy [he was ﬁlming the Andy Kaufman biopic Man On The Moon]. So Audrey Geisel heard Andy Kaufman do an impression of Jim Carrey doing the Grinch.
TL How did you get the voice of the Grinch?
JC I’m getting a lot of different reactions: ‘It’s Sean Connery!’ ‘lt’s Richard Nixon!’ It was a function of getting into the head space and getting those teeth in my mouth and hating the Whos.
TL You hated doing the full-body four-hours-to-apply make up for The Grinch.
JC There’s always some kind of physical or mental challenge doing an acting piece. This one was tough, but at the same time it was such a cool coup to get this part, this incredible anti-hero — Anti-Claus, I call him. The film crew treated me like I had sleeping sickness; they’d go about their business ignoring me because I was sitting there in this big green suit.
TL Was it good to do a kid’s movie?
JC Yeah. I’ve done a couple of R rated (restricted) movies in a row. Also, this was such an important story for me growing up, because of the moral: no matter how far gone you get someone can reach you. It’s good to have kids get excited by the character and learn a lesson at the same time. Though adults have more trouble with Christmas. Kids don’t care how early Christmas comes, we parents do.
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TI. What was Christmas like for you? JC I love Christmas. I’ve been giving it lots ofthought. When people say, ‘It’s about family’, that’s a load of baloney, it’s about what you get. [Pause] No, Christmas is about belonging and people who feel they don’t belong, people who build up calluses against society. That’s what’s wrong with the world and that’s what this movie is about. For me, Christmas was about a lot of family, a lot of fun, drunken people waiting until the kids went to sleep then getting bladdered, climbing up on the roof with sleigh bells. One year our father tied sleigh bells to the undercarriage of our bed, to the springs, so every time we turned over, the sleigh bells shook and we’d panic: ‘Santa’s on the roof!’ TL You’re popular but in light of being snubbed at the Oscar nominations for Man On The Moon, you’re also one of the most underrated actors working today. JC I’m kind of a speciality guy, so when you come out and do something wild and different it takes people a while to give you your due. When I was a stand-up comedian no matter what kind of other jokes I did, if I did an impression, people would call me an impressionist. If youjuggle for ﬁve minutes, they call you ajuggler. If people have trouble deﬁning you, they just don’t want to deal with it at all. TL What attracts you to the dark side of comedy, The Mask, The Cable Guy, Me, Myself And Irene? JC The darker side of comedy is a redundant statement. Comedy comes from the dark side, from judgement and pain. I don’t think I’m a dark person, in fact I’m a very bright person. I live to find a spiritual answer. I want to burst into a ball of light. When I’m doing my work I just get to the bottom of what the character has to be for the tone of the movie. TI. Would you do another Grinch film? JC The costume was a little uncomfortable, so it wouldn’t be my idea of a Sunday afternoon. But who knows, if the story was right: The Grinch Who Stole Easter - ‘I hate eggs!’
30 Nov—14 Dec 2000 THE U3T11