“I think things find you when you’re ready to do them,” says Jim Carrey when asked about “Kidding.” We spoke with Carrey on the red carpet at an Emmy FYC event for the Showtime series, which took place on May 1 at the historic Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Watch our full interview above.
“Kidding” stars Carrey as Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, the host of a popular children’s puppet show who’s struggling to maintain his sanity after the death of his son. The series was created by Dave Holstein (“Weeds”) and also stars Catherine Keener as Jeff’s puppeteer sister, Frank Langella as his TV producer father, and Judy Greer as his ex-wife.
By the time “Kidding” came around, Carrey felt he had experienced “the necessary trauma to play the part.” He explains, “I had been dragged over broken glass and to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, and I was no longer swimming in the shallow end. So this script found me” at the right time.
Tapping into that kind of pain for a performance is “not a comfortable thing to do,” he admits. “Every hit, every wound becomes art. Thank God I’m in a position somehow in my life where I can alchemize the things that happen to me.” So rather than suppress whatever is hurting him, Carrey allows it “to come to the surface. I’m a pretty open book, so access is easy for me.”
The show also gave Carrey the opportunity to reunite with Michel Gondry, who directed him in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004). “It’s a gift from heaven,” he says, “to be working with someone who’s all over the easel, and doing things that nobody else is doing and always pushing the envelope that way. I feel very lucky to be sharing in his art, and also that he would recognize me as somebody who could help out.”
Carrey has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for this role. He previously won Globes on the film side for “The Truman Show” (1998) and “Man on the Moon” (1999), and he was additionally nominated for “The Mask” (1994), “Liar Liar” (1997), “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000), and “Eternal Sunshine.” His role in “Man on the Moon” also brought him a SAG Award nomination.
On the TV side, Carrey continues to reap the benefits of “Man on the Moon,” earning his first Emmy nomination last year for producing the documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond,” which recounts his stunning transformation into the late performance artist Andy Kaufman for the film.
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