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Upon being asked to do an elevator pitch for his new movie, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, Jim Carrey immediately jumps into a story about a peculiar elevator he encountered in Toronto.
“The elevator at the Windsor Arms has a faux library in it,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter while speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival. “You can’t remove the books. It’s a fake library face — with a lock on it — and there’s like a bar in front of it so you couldn’t open it even if you wanted it to, and there’s no books in it.” And thus begins a hysterical and enlightening interview with Carrey and Jim & Andy director Chris Smith and producer Danny Gabai.
The film is Smith’s take on Carrey’s portrayal of comedian Andy Kaufman during the filming of 1999’s Man on the Moon.
“It’s kind of an interesting perspective on what came from losing yourself in a character and realizing you’re a character who has been playing you your whole life,” Carrey explains when talking about the parallels between himself and Kaufman. “A lot of people think that I’m kinda going through something — but it’s been my whole life. … When I try to go back and play Jim Carrey, I got depressed, and now I don’t try to do that anymore.”
He also brings up the question at the heart of the film: “Who am I?”
“This movie really has an odd way of opening up that door to at least questioning that,” Carrey says.
The interview (above) comes after the actor made headlines over a head-scratching interview that he gave during New York Fashion Week. In the red carpet chat, which was caught on video, the actor circles E!’s Catt Sadler before telling her “there’s no meaning to any of this.”
Carrey also recently expressed losing himself while playing Kaufman at the Venice Film Festival. “Jim Carrey didn’t exist at that time,” he said of the filming process, adding, “It was psychotic at times.” Carrey never broke character on set, and the cast and the crew referred to him as either “Andy” or “Tony,” depending on whom he was embodying, as he had created complete and separate identities for each.
Netflix has since grabbed worldwide rights to Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, the streaming company announced Monday.
Watch the full interview with Carrey in the video player above.
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