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Why Jim Carrey Fought to Cast Jeff Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber'

Why Jim Carrey Fought to Cast Jeff Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber'

By Billy Ingram

Released on December 16, 1994, 'Dumb and Dumber' grossed $247 million at the box office and is now considered a comedy classic.

"I can't act that," Daniels said about playing a character that dumb. "I tried early on. I'm going, 'I'm not dumb enough, I'm too dumb.' It has to be specific, every actor has to find The Key. And that was The Key to me, for however it made sense, why it made sense, I don't know. It was like, he has an IQ if 8."

As to how he was cast in the role Daniels explains, "When you're with Jim Carrey, Jim is a comedic tornado. And you want him to be that, you want him to do what Jim does. So he's going to lead. And Jim had said 'I want an actor on that. I don't want a comedian. A comedian will just try to top me. An actor will listen and react and also make me listen and react. It's a buddy buddy movie so hire an actor.' So Jim got me that job and kept me that job."

The studio disagreed with Jim Carrey and the Farrelly Brothers, they insisted on a comedian and weren't at all sold on Jeff Daniels to be the co-star of 'Dumb and Dumber.' Daniels explains how filming began on the movie, for the first week they concentrated solely on his scenes, including that hilarious bathroom bit.

"Jim worked one morning that first week. There were people [other actors] on call that first weekend. Didn't know it until about Thursday when I realized Jim was just hanging around." Daniels waited for the call to return to the set the next day, Monday. "They're all looking at the dailies, and they're doing either a rough cut or something. And decisions are being made. I got a call time, okay, and no one says a word to me. And Jim walks into the makeup room, puts his hand on my shoulder and leans in and says, 'They love what you're doing, keep it up.'"

Jeff Daniels was only paid around $50,000 for the role, the studio was hoping that insultingly low salary would discourage him from signing on. His own agent begged Daniels not to take the part, warning it could be a career killer.

'Dumb and Dumber' opened at No. 1, earning $16.4 million for the first weekend and eventually spawning an animated TV series, a 2003 prequel, and a 2014 sequel.

 

Conan surprises Jeff Daniels with an impromptu "Dumb & Dumber" reunion. "We actually like each other," Daniels says.


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In his review of 'Dumb and Dumber' Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Carrey "The new Jerry Lewis."

Jeff Daniels Describes His Father’s Reaction To ‘Dumb And Dumber’

Jeff Daniels Reacts to Kendall and Kylie Jenner's "Dumb and Dumber" Met Gala Outfits

 

 

 


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