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Twenty years after their original adventure, Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) reunited onscreen at Regency Theater in Los Angeles for the world premiere of Dumb and Dumber To. They were joined by co-directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly and co-stars Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin and Rob Riggle. Daniels and Carrey arrived in style, rolling up in the hirsute Dumb and Dumber Mutt Cutts van wearing their iconic bright orange and powder blue (respectively) tuxedos.
“It’s the only movie I would do a sequel to,” said Peter Farrelly. “We had left [Lloyd and Harry] exactly where we started with them in that [first] movie — they had ups and downs, but they never grew. And we left them going home, still unemployed, no girlfriends, no nothing — it’s the perfect sequel.”
Dumb and Dumber To follows Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in their search for Harry’s long-lost daughter and potential kidney donor, Penny Pichlow (Melvin). Along the way they entangle themselves in the complicated plans of Penny’s adoptive father, Dr. Pichlow (Steve Tom), and his wife, Adele (Holden).
Though the sequel’s cast may comprise an array of new characters, Lloyd and Harry themselves haven’t changed much over the past two decades — which Daniels found only natural.
“You know more about Harry [this time around]. The first [film I] was figuring him out — how to do him, what’s funny, what’s not — and we already figured that out 20 years ago,” explained Daniels. “So in a way [doing the sequel] was easier.”
“Honestly, people say, ‘How many days did it take you until you realized they were back?’ ” recalled Peter, “but I’m telling you, the first take of this movie, take number one, five seconds in, we were like, ‘They’re back!’ “
Though the cast consisted of actors from a variety of backgrounds -— Daniels has recently enjoyed Emmy attention for his dramatic role in The Newsroom and Riggle first saw Dumb and Dumber while he was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve — they all seem to share an affinity for the Farrellys.
“The great thing about the Farellys is they make your job very easy because they are so good at theirs,” said Holden. “They tell you exactly what they want you to do and they will not stop until they get it, and I think it’s so great to leave set and never question how you did.”
“The Farrelly brothers are great,” Riggle agreed. “They’re very open to listening and collaborating, so there were a lot of opportunities to do some ‘make-’em-ups’ on the spot, as we call them. There was a lot of spontaneity.”
Some spontaneous moments even made their way into the final cut.
“There’s one scene in particular where I’m with Rob Riggle and we’re having this serious conversation and we’re looking at Harry and Lloyd get into a car,” said Holden. “Then Jim and Jeff decide that they don’t want to get into the car, they want to get on the moose [statue] and start humping it. So they start doing that in the middle of our scene and all day long they’re doing these whackadoodle things with this moose while we’re doing our dialogue. … My biggest acting challenge in this movie was to keep a straight face!”
The authenticity of the performances extended beyond improvised action into some actors’ refusal to have stunt doubles.
“There’s a scene where Kathleen Turner — whom I love, whom I’ve been a fan of forever — she beats the living crap out of me,” Holden said.
“They kept saying, ‘Are you sure you don’t want stunt doubles?’ ” recalled Turner. “And we kept saying, ‘No!’ We were having too good a time!’ “
A prequel featuring high school versions of Harry and Lloyd, Dumb and Dumberer, was released in 2003, but without the same team or their support: “All teenagers are dumb and dumberer. They’re all idiots — that doesn’t make sense,” said Peter, whose attempts at reviving Dumb and Dumber with the same cast had been hindered by scheduling conflicts. The follow-up film finally gained steam when Carrey called the Farrelly brothers after seeing the original Dumb and Dumber on TV at a hotel.
“He said, ‘It’s too funny, but more than that, the way those guys love each other, I want to do that again,’ ” recalled Peter.
The rest of the cast is propelled by a love for the story and franchise.
“This is the plum. The cherry on the cake. To be involved in an iconic film like this is beyond my wildest expectations,” said Tom.
“I feel very honored to be part of the second one. Classic Farrelly brothers. Vintage Farrelly brothers,” remarked Riggle. “If you liked Dumb and Dumber, you’re going to like this one too. You’re going to love it.”
Dumb and Dumber To will be released in theaters Nov. 14.
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