“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” producers sought to cloud Jim Carrey’s “perfectionist” approach to acting.
Producer Anthony Bergman revealed during the “Hollywood Gold” podcast hosted by film producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg that the production sought to “destabilize” Carrey on set. Director Michel Gondry, according to Bergman, “never yelled action, he never yelled cut the entire movie,” adding to the “chaotic” shooting of the 2004 film co-starring Kate Winslet.
“Everything was so chaotic in that way. People were thrown into the scene in a way that didn’t allow them to compose,” Bergman said. “It’s a very different type of role that Jim had. He’s a real perfectionist. It was ‘how do we destabilize it so he can’t prepare, so he can’t do the Jim Carrey thing?’ Part of the camera set-up stuff was designed to do that.”
Bergman continued, “Jim…he hated it. We knew he was going to hate it. He’s the biggest star in the world, in control of every set, and here we were, pulling that part away. And who the fuck were we to do that? Which he would have a good point about that. He would, like, storm out and scream at me. He called me all sorts of things and I would just be there to absorb it. He’s like, ‘This is like the worst set I’ve ever been on, I don’t know what the fuck is going on!’ And we’re like, ‘No, no, no, it’s all good. This is why we’re getting great stuff.’”
Bergman added, “Jim could get very loud and he was very powerful but I think in the end, he’s wasn’t doing…He was getting paid $20 million to do movies like ‘Bruce Almighty.’ We were paying him a tiny, tiny fraction of that. I had an early conversation with him basically saying, ‘Look, the only reason any of us are in it is because we want to make a good movie. You’re not in it for the money. We’re not in it for the money. We’re only in it because we think there’s a really great movie we can make here. At the end of the day, we’re all working for the movie.’”
The producer noted, “And Jim, who I really like and did a spectacular performance, he was like very insecure at the beginning in a way that was almost designed to make him insecure, so I knew there was going to be blowback from that. You just take it.”
He summed up, “We knew that Jim was not going to be entirely comfortable with the way we were shooting.”
Director Gondry previously admitted that it took Carrey a month or so before he “trusted” Gondry’s vision for the film.
And Carrey wasn’t the only member of the “Eternal Sunshine” team that didn’t find the set to be too sunny. The original editor allegedly was let go from the film after suffering a “nervous breakdown,” as Bergman explained.
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