Jim Carrey's recent nominations for the Kidding at the 2019 Golden Globes and his latest Trump-thumping artwork on Twitter has brought him back into the limelight. But before this, the popular 90's actor seemed to have faded into obscurity, WHY? What on earth happened?
Jim Carrey wanted to be a comedian since early childhood. With a talent for impressions, he continued honing his skills by performing at comedy clubs. Slowly, Carrey put together a winning routine, and eventually caught the eye of comic Rodney Dangerfield, who then signed him up.
After that Carrey made, what turned out to be a very good decision to move to Hollywood. By the early 80s, he was appearing on TV shows like An Evening at the Improv and The Tonight Show. His big break came in 1990 on the sketch-comedy In Living Color. Next, he set his sights on the movie world.
Carrey soon embraced the big-screen with a number of successes. In 1994, he starred in three movies that all became massive hits: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. With his expressive slapstick style, Carrey carried on to enjoy more box-office hits through the rest of the decade.
In 1995, Carrey played super villain the Riddler in Batman Forever and reprised his role as Ace Ventura in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. In 1996, he was paid $20 million per film. Moreover, movies like 1998's The Truman Show demonstrated his skills as a straight actor.
Into the new millennium, Carrey went on with comedies, meanwhile, he pursued more "highbrow" work at the same time. In 2004, he received critical acclaim for the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which also earned him several award nominations.
The same year, some people started to make the comparison between the 'goofy' Jim Carrey role and the 'serious' Jim Carrey role. "It's a Jekyll and Hyde situation," Carrey said, "(The roles) just come as they come." But he did seem to be putting his days of slapstick behind.
In 2007, Carrey starred in the thriller The Number 23, but it turned out to be a flop. He bounced back though in 2008 with the financially successful comedy Yes Man. More big box-office comedies followed, but the reviews were becoming more and more mixed.
Something else was happening, too. With the rise of social media, it became easier for actors to express their personal beliefs. Carrey's opinions didn't always suit the movie he was meant to promote. Before Kick-Ass 2 was released, he denounced the film's violence via Twitter.
Carrey tweeted, "I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook," referring to the elementary school shooting. "And now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it, but recent events have caused a change in my heart." This caused a big stir.
Some Twitter users praised Carrey for speaking out, but the makers of Kick-Ass 2 were less impressed. Mark Millar, the author of the original comic book, wrote an open letter, claiming that "the big deal we made of the fact that (Carrey's character) refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place."
That tweet wasn't the only part that played in his downfall. In 2015, he tweeted some very controversial beliefs about anti-vaccination: "California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in mandatory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped." Naturally, there were angry responses to his comments.
People pointed out that mercury wasn't used in vaccines anymore and not vaccinating children posed a huge risk to public health. In an attempt at damage control, Carrey tweeted, "I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-thimerosal, anti-mercury. They have taken some of the mercury laden thimerosal out of vaccines. NOT ALL!" Even though, his reputation was tarnished.
Following this, Time magazine published an article, "Jim Carrey, Please Shut Up About Vaccines," criticizing him: "The anti-vax crowd has never been about reasoned argument or a cool-headed look at clinical science. They've been all about rage, all about echo-chamber misinformation." In one fell swoop, Carrey went from beloved comedian to anti-science kook.
When actors are on the receiving end of bad publicity, it undoubtedly affects the roles they are offered. This proved to be the case for Carrey, that year he had only one credit to his name: an appearance on Saturday Night Live. That was a big comedown for him.
What's worse, in Sep. 2015, Carrey's ex-girlfriend Cathriona White committed suicide, and this set off a series of painful and complicated events. Her family brought a lawsuit against him, alleging that White had killed herself using prescription drugs belonging to Carrey.
White's mother also claimed that Carrey had emotionally abused her daughter - gave her STDs, then dumped her, and even employed "high-priced Hollywood lawyers" to intimidate her. Carrey's lawyers alleged that White tried to extort money from him by threatening to feed the press with false allegations that he had infected her with STDs.
After nearly three years of fighting in the courts, the wrongful death lawsuit against him was finally dismissed in early 2018. It turned out that White used the STD test results of her friend to take her own results. Carrey was cleared, nevertheless, his public image was impacted.
Because of the lawsuit, Carrey has more or less abandoned movie acting. The days of Carrey the megastar did seem to be over. He himself even implied as much, "I'm not hungry anymore. I've done it all!" With a net worth of $150 million, he can certainly afford to semi-retire.
Gladly, in 2018, Carrey returned to our screen with a Showtime TV series, Kidding, which earned him two nominations at the 2019 Golden Globes. What's more, he made his red carpet debut with his new girlfriend, Kidding co-star Ginger Gonzaga. Everything seems to be going better for Carrey, and we sincerely hope it continues.