As Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond wraps up, the documentary exploring Jim Carrey's method approach to playing Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman's Man On The Moon, we hear an off-camera voice say, "We've got some crazy stuff."
That, in this instance, is a bit of an understatement. Carrey's often going to some very (very) out-there places. We've collected a list of the weirdest moments in the doc, which means there are SPOILERS coming up if you haven't seen it yet…
1. When Jim Carrey contacted Andy Kaufman telepathically
The Great Beyond isn't a typical making-of documentary, it doesn't speak to everyone who was involved in the film – just Carrey. As such, we get a mixture of new stories and fresh insight on old anecdotes.
We'd heard the story about Carrey's attempt to communicate with Andy Kaufman by staring out to the ocean before. We knew he saw dolphins rising out of the water, and took it to be confirmation he'd been successful.
What we didn't know was that Carrey felt: "That's the moment that Andy Kaufman showed up, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, 'Sit down, I'll be doing my movie.'"
2. When Tony Clifton crashed Steven Spielberg's offices
Man On The Moon was shot on the Paramount lot, which also hosts Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment offices. So, Carrey, in character as terrible/obnoxious comic Tony Clifton (one of Andy Kaufman's characters), decides to crash the offices, bellowing that he wants to talk to Steven about 'the shark'.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Spielberg didn't take the meeting.
3. When Milos Forman asks Tony Clifton if he'll ask Jim to call Milos
One of the most amusing narrative threads of the documentary is director Milos Forman's journey from initial resistance to Carrey's method acting (refusing to go along with the pretence that Jim was Andy early on – leading to Jim's Andy protesting, 'You're talking about me as if I'm not here!') to going all-in on it.
At one point, in desperation, Forman asks Tony Clifton if he can please ask Carrey to call him on the phone. Milos is clearly intimidated by Clifton (as you would be, he's pretty rude and aggressive) but the comedian does as he's asked, and later on Carrey does call. Carrey offers to fire Andy and Tony, saying that he thinks he can pretend to be them (lol). Milos pauses, and tells him not to.
"I just wanted to talk to Jim," he says.
4. When Gerry Becker goes method, too
It's clear that Carrey's dedication to his character affected the cast and crew in different ways. Gerry Becker, who played Kaufman's dad in the film, got caught up in the method madness and found himself arguing with Carrey in the make-up truck, in character.
"I'm angry because I love you, I'm not angry because I want to not give you support," Becker shouts.
"Too late!" Carrey's Kaufman bellows back.
The interaction left one of the make-up artists in tears, confessing on camera that Becker's language reminded her of something her own father might have said.
This is one of the few moments where Carrey actually seems a bit guilty about the effect he's having on everyone around him, muttering to himself about what a terrible person he is.
5. When we see Carrey with Carol Kaufman
The crazy element of this one is not what happens, but that we're getting to see it. The moment where Carol Kaufman – Andy's sister – embraces Jim's Andy, and talks to him as though he's helping her process her grief is almost impossibly personal, and really raw.
It's one of the documentary's occasional tender moments, sequences that make the film more than just a freak show. It's the sort of footage we were surprised to see, but we're glad we did – it gives Carrey's performance an entirely different dimension.
6. When Carrey questions free will
Some of the more intense moments aren't from the on-set footage, but the Carrey interview segments. One stand-out is when the actor explains how he doesn't believe in free will, and uses his desire to pick up a cup of tea and drink it to demonstrate how no-one really knows why they do what they do, when they do it. It's a bit trippy, but then again, Carrey's no stranger to odd interviews.
7. When Carrey suggests he might play Jesus next
"I wonder if I could do that with other people," Carrey - who recently announced his return to TV - muses at the end of the documentary. "I wonder what would happen if I decided to just be Jesus."
He smiles, and lifts the same mug of tea he used to demonstrate the absence of free will to his lips, a slightly concerning glimmer of mischief in his eyes.
We're not sure if he's thinking of playing Jesus for a film or as a lifestyle choice, but either way, if he does it, we hope he has a documentary crew following him every step of the way.
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