Jim Carrey Was Literally Spitting on the Camera to Bag $37M Clint Eastwood Movie Role: “I went completely nuts”

Jim Carrey Was Literally Spitting on the Camera to Bag $37M Clint Eastwood Movie Role
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Jim Carrey, the uncontested King of Physical Comedy and Improvisation, has kept his audiences entertained for the longest time with his unquestionable comedic timing embedded in performances that were each more explosive than the last. But such a uniquely gifted actor as Carrey got his start in the industry from an equally unique source – the legendary Clint Eastwood, the father of spaghetti Westerns.

Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey

Also read: Jim Carrey Movies That Are Everyone’s Secret Guilty Pleasure

Jim Carrey Got His Big Break in the Weirdest of All Places

With the status of a living legend attached to his name, Clint Eastwood turned a page in the history of filmmaking by branching out from a commercially successful acting career to a critically acclaimed directorial venture. He introduced people to the concept of megastardom and defined what it meant to be so multilayered that studio executives were bound to take note of his opinions.


In a certain case, Eastwood’s command over creative and executive decisions came so handy that it helped launch one of the most brilliant and generational actors and performers of all time – Jim Carrey. The actor who raised hellfire on the big screen with roles in The MaskAce VenturaDumb and Dumber, and as Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas was operating within relatively lesser-known films like Copper MountainRubberface, and Once Bitten until getting his big break in one of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies, The Dead Pool in 1988.

Jim Carrey in The Dead Pool (1988)
Jim Carrey in The Dead Pool (1988)

Also read: Jim Carrey Cracked 3 Ribs While Shooting 2008 Comedy, Got Hefty $50M Paycheck after Movie Made Insane Amount of Profit

Despite the role being a short one reminiscent of the victim in a procedural show who gets killed fairly early, Carrey’s performance was so volatile and impressive that it left a mark behind. In its aftermath, the actor began to bag roles that were not only essential to his filmography but established him as a rarity among the stars and a royalty when it comes to comedy.


Jim Carrey Recalls His Career Origin With Clint Eastwood

Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry films

Also read: “He is an unreachable star to me”: Jim Carrey Felt Inferior to Late Academy Award-Winning Actor Despite Being One of Hollywood’s Crown Jewels

During his audition for Clint Eastwood’s The Dead Pool, there wasn’t a trick in the book that Jim Carrey left to chance to make sure he aced the opportunity. Years later, during his speech at the AFI Life Achievement Award Ceremony held to honor Clint Eastwood’s contributions to cinema, Carrey recounted the story of how his career came to be because of Eastwood’s sharp sense of the potential he held.

“Clint Eastwood was one of my first supporters in the industry. At the time, I was a struggling actor, and I was cast to play the part of a crazed drug-fiend rockstar named Johnny Squares in the Dirty Harry film named ‘The Dead Pool’. For my audition, I was put on tape singing an Alice Cooper song. I went completely nuts, tearing up the office, doing contortions, spitting into the camera… Afterward, I wondered if I had gone too far. In those days, I still worried about that sort of thing.

But when I finally met Clint, he just said to me, ‘I…loved that tape. And I showed it to all my friends.’ Naturally, I was elated. I wanted to do the best possible job I could do for this man. On the first day of shooting, I showed up with all these wild ideas. I said, ‘I have a ton of ideas I wanna try out, Mr. Eastwood, if you don’t mind.’

I was expecting a little bit of resistance, but Clint just looked at me, and looked at the producer David Valdes, and said, ‘Well, maybe we’ll just turn the camera on and…let him go.’”

The ideas that Carrey held turned out to deliver some of the strangest on-screen dance numbers to an Alice Cooper song ever. Fortunately, the performance was also incredible enough to stay on in the final cut of the film despite being wildly over-the-top in a signature Jim Carrey fashion. The Dead Pool happened to be the final installment among Clint Eastwood’s neo-noir vigilante action thrillers.


Source: YouTube | AFI


Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1482

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.