In the past couple of years, Jim Carrey has kept a relatively low profile and stepped away from the Hollywood limelight to make politically charged paintings and grow a massive beard. The beard is now gone, and the beloved actor seems ready to return to the small and big screens, with his new Showtime show Kidding premiering later this month.
In a lengthy, new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carrey opened up about his decision to step away from the entertainment business, and why he’s chosen to return. "I just didn't want to be in the business anymore,” he said. "I didn't like what was happening, the corporations taking over and all that. And maybe it's because I felt pulled toward a different type of creative outlet and I really liked the control of painting — of not having a committee in the way telling me what the idea must be to appeal to a four-quadrant whatever."
Carrey explained how his comeback is now happening on his own terms. "I'm not back in the same way," he continued. "I don't feel I'm little Jim trying to hang on to a place in the stratosphere anymore—I don't feel like I'm trying to hold on to anything.
The actor, known for huge roles in films like The Mask and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, says he took his first role in 1994's Ace Ventura to flip the script on the typical Hollywood hero. "My plan was not to join Hollywood, it was to destroy it. Like, take a gigantic sledgehammer to the leading man and to all the seriousness,” he said.
But instead, Carrey became a huge star and a household name. The 56-year-old claims he didn’t enjoy all the fame. "There's a weightlessness to it," he said. "You can dream about it all you want, but until you get it, you don't realize that it's really not a place that's very comfortable for very long."
He might have been gone for good, but Carey connected to his character Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, in Kidding, and decided to take on the role. "I've gone through great loss, and somehow I ended up on the other side in a place where I can look anybody in the eye and feel like I'm on the same page," he said, referring to the death of his girlfriend in 2015. "I understand how the river of grief can grab you at some point in your life and just throttle you."