Chris Smith Interview: ‘Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond’
In our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), Chris Smith describes his documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” as “a fascinating, almost Warhol-esque, sort of vérité experience.” This Netflix documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey embodied idiosyncratic Andy Kaufman in the Milos Forman-helmed biopic “Man on the Moon” (1999), taking the idea of method acting to the extreme. The film is comprised of never-before-seen footage from the set and a lengthy interview with Carrey.
Smith was “interested in understanding what effect and toll this would take on an actor in terms of… losing yourself for four months.” Sitting down with Carrey, “we just happened to catch him at a point in his life where he was very introspective.” The interview “provided an incredible sort of framework to contextualize all the archival footage, because it not only gave perspective of that actual event, but also of how it manifested itself and effected Jim’s life going forward.” “Jim & Andy” will premiere worldwide on Netflix and in select theaters on Friday, November 17.
Smith contended at the Independent Spirit Awards for “American Job” (Someone to Watch prize in 1996) and “The Pool” (John Cassavetes Award in 2007). He is best known for his documentaries, including “American Movie” (1999), “Home Movie” (2001), “The Yes Men” (2003), and “Collapse” (2009). He recently competed for the Venezia Classici Award at the Venice Film Festival for “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.”