IAR INTERVIEW: Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels Talk 'Dumb and Dumber To'

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 10:30 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR INTERVIEW: Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels Talk 'Dumb and Dumber To'

This Friday, Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas ride again, but apparently Dumb and Dumber To isn't a sequel.

"When you wait twenty years, a sequel becomes a she-quel,” Jim Carrey revealed at the Los Angeles press day for the long-awaited follow-up to Dumb and Dumber.

"It is a word. Look it up," agreed Jeff Daniels, who plays dumber than ever before in the "she-quel."

"If you work in advertising, I think I just coined a huge phrase," joked Carrey. "It is going to change everything for everyone."

However you classify it, Dumb and Dumber To revisits the imbeciles who captured America's heart in 1994, when the two Rhode Island idiots traveled across the county to deliver a missing piece of luggage.  In the new movie, which opens nationwide on November 14th, Harry and Lloyd once again set out on an improbable odyssey, this time searching for Harry's long-lost daughter, who may hold the key to her father's survival, as well as Lloyd's affections.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the Dumb and Dumber To LA press conference, where both Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey cracked wise, happily discussing the sequel's origins, returning to these beloved roles, working with Kathleen Turner, reuniting with directorial duo Peter and Bobby Farrelly, and possible future "she-quels."


Since becoming a box office success two decades ago, Dumb and Dumber has, in fact, grown more popular.  The comedy is still frequently quoted; its regular cable rotation is a testament to its longevity and its uniquely stupid humor.  As such, it's not too tough to see how another installment came to be, even after all this time.

"It has a fan-driven thing," said Carrey. "They would not leave us alone."

"The appeal of it was not just twelve-year-old boys. The demo just kept getting wider and wider so it kind of demanded that it get done," Daniels said. "We all wanted to do it, so it got done."

Eleven years ago, a misbegotten prequel, Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, attempted to keep Harry and Lloyd alive, albeit without any creative figures from the first movie.  Dumb and Dumber To, on the other hand, brings the original stars back together with directors and co-writers the Farrelly Brothers.

"I did call them at some point and say, 'First of all, we have got to work together period.' As you get older, you value these things. I want to be with a gang again. I want to hang out with him and the Farrellys. It is just really about that. It is about having fun," explained Carrey. "Let us go do something dumb. Also, the audience that saw it when they were kids has grown up. Now there is a new audience to have fun with. They want to see it again."


Historically, Carrey has been reluctant to appear in sequels to his own hits, having starred in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls only due to contractual obligation.  On his secret approach, Carrey joked, "I like to wait until the executives pass on before I do a sequel? I prefer that. I like to bury them and then do the sequel."

Daniels, on the other hand, has never done a sequel, but found that the experience was analogous to his work on Aaron Sorkin's HBO series. "I have not done much at all of anything. To be honest, it was a little bit like Newsroom," he explained.

"The closest sequel I had was to come back a second season and then to come back a third season. Those are sequels or sequel-like. So when we got the call to do this, it was kind of, 'Oh this is kind of like more seasons of Newsroom.' It was not that jarring. And going back to what you were talking about earlier, I think the reason why the sequel happened was because over the years, the fans kept coming up to both of us," he said.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly have publicly compared the comedic styles of their leading men, saying that Carrey rigorously prepares for six months, while Daniels is more in-the-moment and spontaneous.

"Wow. What a crock of shit that is," Daniels deadpanned.

"Yeah. I would not say six months. I maybe start thinking dumb stuff about a week or so before," Carrey agreed.


"You cannot trust anything those guys say. I do not even know. Lloyd is a part of me now, so it is kind of strange. I whack the tooth out. You really have to totally get into the politics of the character and everything," he continued. "There are a couple of things with Lloyd. You whack the tooth out, and you think really selfishly. You just go, 'Mine, Mine, Mine,' in your mind. But also the love between your characters is important. You can get away with anything as long as there is real love between the characters. Like The Honeymooners. They were yelling at each other during the whole show, but you knew that Ralph loved Alice. So that is the bottom line."

"They are real people to us," Daniels said of Harry and Lloyd.  "No matter what it is I always imagined that Harry is alive and well and someday he is going to come and see the movie. Then he is going to meet with me and tell me how I did. It is a little game I play. You owe it to Harry or McAvoy, whomever you are playing, to do them as authentically and believably as possible. You are going to have a dinner with them later, and you hope it goes well."

Dumb and Dumber To introduces Kathleen Turner as Fraida Felcher, the little filly who broke Harry's heart before the first movie.  For Carrey, Turner's involvement marked a milestone, since he played a small role in 1986's Peggy Sue Got Married, for which Turner received and Oscar nomination.

"My approach was not to get fired on Peggy Sue Got Married. That was about it. That was all I knew. I was just being a donkey on that movie," he recalled. "She was a big big deal back then. She was the first big star I worked with. She was great then. She is such a trooper now too. It is amazing that she did this. There is no ego in comedy, Keenan Wayans used to say that to me. You have to throw it out the window. There is no place for it. It was really true. She just jumped in and did the most thankless possible choice, and I love her for it. She is amazing."


Back in 1994, the chemistry between slapstick machine Carrey and more serious thespian Daniels surprised audiences. "The first one was a discovery. You are meeting a new friend. You are kind of shy about it, and now it was like family," said Carrey.

This time, according to Daniels, "It was better."

"You are hoping it works. And then day one on this one, it was just right there. Every day was fun," he continued. "The first two weeks was just the two of us. We did not bring Kathleen in yet. We were slamming all day every day, and it really was a great two weeks. And it came back right away."

"We watched scene when we are coming off the bus together, and we saw the playback. It was like, 'Whoa. We are back.' It just kind of gave us a good feeling," said Carrey.  "It was like old friends. I tried to make them turn it into a vampire movie just to hedge our bets, but it was a no go."

The release of this long-awaited "she-quel" opens up the possibility of continued adventures for Lloyd and Harry.  While he didn't announce a third installment, Carrey did signal a willingness to return, saying, "I do not think about doing those things. I am not as resistant as I used to be to them. There are certain characters that I would love to have done sequels with. I would have loved to do a Lemony Snicket’s sequel because it was an opportunity to do a lot of whacked out characters. I do not have hard fast rules creatively. If it sounds fun at the moment, I will go there."

Pick up your Big Gulps and hop in your shaggin' wagon, because Dumb and Dumber To opens at a theater near you this Friday, November 14th.


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