Over the past decade, Jim Carrey’s professional and personal life has been in a complicated whirlwind that nevertheless has, so far, kept the 56-year-old actor employed, yet meagerly relevant. After a messy lawsuit involving a past relationship, and a failure to obtain critically acclaimed roles (since Yes Man in 2008) or explicit Box Office success (unless you include the short-lived, uninspiring Mr. Popper’s Penguins in 2011,) the star’s career is in a clear decline, heading toward a different sort of visual arts.
Whether or not Carrey’s, by now, infamous career in painting should be taken seriously by the public, or just kept as a personal, stress-relieving hobby, Carrey’s name still appears in Hollywood headlines. Indeed, besides goofing around during a fashion award presentation, the comedian seems to actively keep himself in the Hollywood machine, one originally gave him worldwide success, love and recognition from millions, and the status of the highest paid actor in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s. So far, Carrey’s new projects leave with a strange feeling of nostalgia for days long gone.
The Showtime series starring Carrey, Kidding, which he also exec. produced with the show’s singular director, former Imperfect Sunshine collaborator, Michel Gondry, still has a chance to impress when it premieres in September.
The 2016 thriller Dark Crimes which follows Carrey as an author who is accused in a series of murders earned a 0% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Not that the online aggregator should be used as an accurate estimation of any film’s quality, but the fact that no positive critical response followed the picture is showing indeed. Even though Carrey’s previous dark-crime thriller effort, The Number 23 (2007), also failed to perform for the critics and earned a moderate sum from moviegoers, the actor clearly remains interested in the genre.
Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, a 2017 Netflix documentary, displays the process of the production of the 1999 film, Man on the Moon, directed by late Milos Forman about the American comedian, Andy Kaufman, who passed away from lung cancer in 1984. Carrey adored Kaufman and payed tribute to his hero by completely emerging himself in the role, pretending to be Kaufman himself through out the entirety of the shoot, pulling public stunts and pranks, going as far as meeting Kaufman’s real family and pretending to be Andy in front of Kaufman’s daughter and father. The doc remains Carrey’s most well received work of the 2010s.
Besides liking to be in bad-guy movies as with Dark Crimes, Carrey also likes to play the Bad Guy as expressed in his 2013 role in a less-successful-than-the-original sequel, Kick Ass 2 (Carrey also played the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, The Riddler in Batman Returns, and evil Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events.) Now, Carrey is giving the role of an antagonist another shot with Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie, directed by Jeff Fowler, who, in 2004, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short film for Gopher Broke, heading toward his first live-action, feature work with the project.
One of Nintendo’s most valued original properties, Sonic the Hedgehog has had a long, successful run in video game and television franchises. Paramount is likely to make the film into a big release, giving Carrey a chance to star in a leading role of a narcissistic, emotional and whiny super-villain, opening up possibilities in a climate full of superheroes flicks.
Perhaps this will be Carrey’s return to form as, later in his career, he might establish himself as an older character-actor for bonkers villains. Perhaps it will be just another way for the actor to keep himself afloat, while his inner explorations through other mediums continue.
Sonic the Hedgehog is set for November, 2019 release.