“He probably wasn’t what daddy wanted,” Carrey tells The Hollywood Reporter during an interview in Las Vegas. “He lives in the desert and does his tricks for scorpions and rattlesnakes.
“He’s this mind-tripper, and he has a bit of a Christ complex and thinks himself superior to everybody,” adds Carrey, 51, before being distracted by the incredibly loud noise of the Bellagio fountain (watch the video above).
Carrey’s character becomes the nemesis of old-school magician duo Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), who have had the staple Las Vegas magic show for years.
Carrey says he had created a very different character for Steve Gray — but then he put on the wig.
“The wig turned it all around completely,” he says. “I put the wig on and realized it was not the same guy that I planned.”
The Warner Bros. film, also starring Alan Arkin and Olivia Wilde, brings together several masters of comedy and improv, which understandably would lead to some ad-libbing on set while creating these colorful characters.
“We just play around. These guys are great to play around,” says Carrey of his co-stars. “I’m always working it. I can’t sleep at night. And I write and do crazy things. So a lot of the dialogue was stuff that I came up with because I’m nuts.”
Carrey tells THR he was especially excited to work with Arkin, who plays a retired magician who comes back to help Carell’s character get back into magic after he loses his mojo.
“He’s the kind of guy who you just want him to love you,” he tells THR of Arkin. “You don’t want to have a bad Bob Dylan experience. If you run into Bob Dylan, you want him to be nice to you. He would hate that I’m saying that.”
Directed by Don Scardino, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone opens in theaters March 15.
Watch THR’s video above to see Carrey’s thoughts on his characters tattoos and more.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford