Martin Freeman was not a fan of Jim Carrey’s method acting for “Man on the Moon”.
Netflix’s 2017 documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” chronicled the lengths Carrey went to to embody late comedian Andy Kaufman in the 1999 movie. Speaking on the “Off Menu” podcast, Freeman (“The Hobbit”) argued that Carrey’s acting was more madness than method.
“For me, and I’m genuinely sure Jim Carrey is a lovely and smart person, but it was the most self-aggrandizing, selfish, f**king narcissistic b**locks I have ever seen,” Freeman said. “The idea anything in our culture would celebrate that or support it is deranged, literally deranged.”
“I am a very lapsed catholic but if you believe in transubstantiation, then you’re going somewhere along the line of ‘I became the character,’ No, you didn’t, you’re not supposed to become the f***ing character because you’re supposed to be open to stuff that happens in real life because someone at some stage is going to say ‘Cut’ and there’s no point going, ‘What does ‘cut’ mean because I’m Napoleon?’ Shut up.”
Freeman asserts that Carrey’s on-set behaviour was unprofessional and that Carrey exploited his status to do things that would have gotten other actors fired.
“You need to keep grounded in reality and that’s not to say you don’t lose yourself in between action and cut but the rest of it is absolutely pretentious nonsense,” he argued. “It’s highly amateurish; it’s essentially an amateurish notion because for me it’s not a professional attitude. Get the job done man, f**king do your work.
“He should have got fired. Can you imagine if he had been anybody else? He would have been sectioned, let alone fired. He would have been got rid of,” Freeman added. “It’s the ridiculous leeway given to some people.”
Freeman, having had the privilege afforded top-bill roles, has experienced the leeway that comes with star power.
“Of course, I’m one of them, we all get cushty gigs, we are very fortunate to get a pass in certain situations where other people wouldn’t,” he said. “I understand that, but Christ, there is such a thing as pushing it.
“I think that’s what that Jim Carrey thing looks like to me, at the very, very end, he says something that sort of is pertaining to his Christ-like self-grandeur and makes me think at the very last second, Is all this a windup?”
Freeman applauded Carrey’s gifts as an actor but said it was unnecessary to dive so deep into the Kaufman character.
“Clearly, he’s a very funny person and he knows absolutely where ‘funny’ is all the time, but I think he has lost himself in this delusion of thinking he’s a guru or a fakeer, because a few people do once you get to the top of the mountain, what are you going to do then?
“What else gives your life meaning, because essentially you could argue, what we do, yes it doesn’t cure diseases, but it has nobility to it and it’s reasonably important, but if it’s not, you’ve got to go with it,” he added. “Jim, you should have paid more attention at school if you wanted to do something more important. I hope he was joking.”
Carrey refused to answer to his name on the set, frustrating director Milos Forman. The filmmaker often pleaded with Carrey to co-operate.
“Man on the Moon” starred Carrey alongside Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, and Paul Giamatti.