There are actors who are difficult to work with … and then there is Jim Carrey.
Carrey took difficulty to otherworldly levels behind the scenes of 1999’s Man on the Moon, the Milos Forman-directed biopic of Andy Kaufman. Carrey, who played Kaufman, decide to go method, and insisted upon remaining in character as Kaufman every second he was on set, or even near the set. The documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, directed by Chris Smith, features an extensive interview with Carrey, along with long-hidden footage of Carrey’s antics during the production.
One of the highlights takes place when Carrey, as Kaufman, spits on wrestler Jerry Lawler. Lawler had a legendary (but staged) feud with Kaufman back in the day, and Carrey tried to build upon that. Carrey also got his ass kicked, which you will see in this movie (along with the aftermath, during which Carrey momentarily insisted that Lawler get fired).
Carrey was incredible in Moon. It was shocking when he didn’t get an Oscar nomination. Now that I’ve seen this movie, I’m not surprised: Word probably got around about what an ass he was on this movie, and people probably boycotted him when it came to voting.
That said, Carrey’s antics made for a good original movie—and this interesting documentary to boot. He’s a true nut.
Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond is currently streaming on Netflix.