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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - Jim Carrey interview (world exclusive)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Jim Carrey

Compiled by Jack Foley

JIM Carrey talks about the appeal of making The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and reuniting with Steve Carell.

He also reveals why James Gandolfini was hilarious to work with, what it was like to work with David Copperfield and what director Don Scardino brought to the film. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is in UK cinemas now.

Q. What was it about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone that made you want to be in it?
Jim Carrey: Well, I just loved the character, first of all. They told me I could be this kind of Svengali mind-tripper, and I went: “Well, that’s good.” I’m in the mood right now to just jump in and do some stuff with people and mix it up with people like Steve Carell and people I admire. So, just do these smaller parts that are just about burying myself in a character and something different. He was very rock and roll, so I was there. Then we got the make-up. I designed the tattoo myself and when we got the wig on, it completely changed my take on the character, immediately. It’s like, the director came in and said: “Wow, that’s amazing. What is this?” And I said: “He’s got a Christ complex, this guy. And he’s amused by your tiny brain.”

Q. What was it like to work with Steve Carell again? Did you enjoy working with the other great actors involved in this project?
Jim Carrey: Yeah. Fantastic. He’s a great guy and he’s really… I think he’s one of the greatest comic actors ever. So, any chance I get to jump in is really fun. And he’s just a super guy. A super guy. And Steve Buscemi is somebody I admire greatly, and I’ve always wanted to do something with. God. Gandolfini, just amazing people in this movie. Gandolfini was hilarious, because he’s used to a dramatic environment, and being very intense, and every once in a while he’d go up on a line and rhyme a bunch of curse words off in front of children. And it was really fun. But then there’s Alan Arkin, who I’m just such an absolute fan of. I just have such respect for him. So, it’s all good. It was just a fun group.

Q. Would you say your character, Steve Gray, is a disruption to Burt and Anton’s successful career?
Jim Carrey: Yeah. Fly in the ointment. Yeah, definitely. He’s the edge. And not necessarily a good edge. A very hard edge. And I wanted to take kind of Criss Angel and David Blaine and just: “What’s the next step? What would the next step be?” Kind of: “The way the world is going, what would it be?” And I figured, this is it. A guy mutilating himself for your enjoyment.

Q. What was it like to have David Copperfield as a consultant on the film?
Jim Carrey: Oh, fantastic. Wonderful. I’ve been a fan of his anyway. I’ve seen his show a bunch of times and stayed on his private island, which was kind of cool. He’s an interesting guy, a really interesting guy and a fantastic innovator. That’s the guys that I like. I’m not, like, that crazy into magic. [But] I do respect the guys that actually engineer these illusions. That’s really fascinating, so it was great to have him on board.

Q. Were you a fan of magic, or of magic shows, growing up?
Jim Carrey: No, not at all. I liked it okay. It just always bothered me that I could never figure out what the tricks were. So, it was slightly annoying. But that’s a good reason to make fun of it as well. And there’s an arrogance about magicians. It’s like: “Abracadabra! You’re an idiot!”

Q. Do you think Las Vegas itself is also an important character in the film?
Jim Carrey: Well, Las Vegas is a character, for sure. You feel like you’re being sucked into a giant being of some sort. It’s definitely got its own vibe completely when you’re here. And I love it. I love the gaudy spectacle of it for about two days, and then I can’t get out of here fast enough.

Q. Tell us about working with Don Scardino and what he brought to the film…
Jim Carrey: Oh, I think he’s hilarious, Don. And I thought he was a good technician, and he was great with actors and people. And he’s just a good director all-around. I think he certainly knows what’s funny. He’s been working on 30 Rock for so long and stuff. He’s just really a hell of a guy, too. A really good guy. Basically a director… one of the most important things about a director is you want it to be someone you don’t want to disappoint. And he’s one of those guys.

Read our review of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone