Jeff Daniels Discusses 'The Looming Tower' and How His Agents Said "No" to 'Dumb and Dumber' | Drama Actor Roundtable
"There were three agents on the phone the night before I was to fly the next morning to do wardrobe for 'Dumb and Dumber'.... The two in L.A. were going, 'We're going to stop you. You're not going to do this. You're a serious, important actor,'" Daniels told THR.
"I had to train for three months, just because I had read the scripts and knew that I was galloping through rivers with one arm," Jeff Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actor Roundtable on preparing for his role in Netflix's Godless.
"I live in Michigan so I got a rodeo guy who trains the county mounted police. So he was a real guy. He got me so I could gallop and all that. You get the rhythm and you're there."
When Daniels arrived on the Godless set, however, he said, "It's like the Kentucky Derby," telling the roundtable, "the horses think they're in a race."
"Second to last day of shooting, fell off the horse, broke my wrist. We have one more day of shooting, so I'm on morphine," Daniels said, adding that on that last day he just stood on his mark and said what he needed to say.
For his recent work in Hulu's The Looming Tower, Daniels portrayed real-life John O'Neill, an American counterterrorism expert who died in the north tower of The World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City.
"I didn't get the vibe that the family or extended family was interested," Daniels told THR. "So out of respect, I didn't go there. That kind of opens you up to what you think John was thinking, and all of that."
Daniels also revisited his Dumb and Dumber role with the roundtable, saying that his agents begged him not to do the film.
"There were three agents on the phone the night before I was to fly the next morning to do wardrobe for Dumb and Dumber. Three agents, one in New York, two in L.A. The two in L.A. were going, 'We're going to stop you. You're not going to do this. You're a serious, important actor. We're trying to get you to the Oscars. You keep defeating us. Stop doing that. This will be the end of your career. Frankly, Jim Carrey's a comedic genius, with all due respect, he's going to wipe you off the screen. Say no and we'll take care of it.'"
I said, "You know what, I'm bored with the career, I want to change it up. If this is a mistake, guys, it's mine. I'm going."
Daniels has an Emmy for his leading role in Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom. He has two additonal Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations for his body of work to date.
The Looming Tower starring Jeff Daniels is available on Hulu and Godless is available on Netflix. The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Drama Actor Roundtable starring Matthew Rhys, J.K. Simmons, Darren Criss, Michael B. Jordan, Jeff Daniels and Jason Bateman airs Sunday, July 8, on Sundance TV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.