The Jim Carrey that everyone else in Hollywood remembers is the guy who was first to command $20 million a picture — the one who shot like a meteor from his weekly TV showcase on Fox’s In Living Color to box office stardom with a string of hits (Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber) in quick succession. The industry never tired of writing that guy huge checks; it was Carrey who got tired of cashing them. There wasn’t a breaking point or a meltdown. He simply started working less and less until he wasn’t really working at all.
Ever since the 2016 election, Carrey’s been developing his skills as a political cartoonist, too, delighting his nearly 18 million Twitter followers with devastating lampoons of all things Donald Trump. Sitting at home with a sketch pad and a bucket of acrylic markers turned out to be the perfect antidote to show business; and though his work has yet to yield a response from the president or the “sociopaths” in his White House, it has thrust Carrey back into the public eye in a way that’s rejuvenated him.
Carrey is putting the finishing touches on his latest Trump-skewering sketch when I arrive on this late-July afternoon. As we both settle into armchairs in his living room, he’s dictating instructions to his assistant, Brogan, about how he’d like it captioned when it’s blasted out to his large and growing Twitter following.
Over the years, Carrey’s sanity has been questioned more than a few times. He famously turned up with a full, luxuriant beard on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in the spring of 2017, doling out lines like “Jim Carrey is a great character and I was lucky to get the part.” A few months later, at a party during New York Fashion Week, he told a red carpet reporter, “I wanted to come to the most meaningless thing I could come to.” And: ”I believe we’re a field of energy dancing for itself. And I don’t care. There is no me.”