“He’s the biggest star in the world, he’s in charge of every set, and here we were, pulling this part off,” recalled producer Anthony Bergman.
The producers of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” sought to obscure Jim Carrey’s “perfectionist” approach to acting.
Anthony Bergman produced the “Hollywood Gold” podcast, hosted by film producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg, that the production sought to “destabilize” Carrey on set. According to director Michel Gondry Bergman, he “never shouted action, never shouted to cut the whole movie”, adding to the “chaotic” filming of the 2004 film starring Kate Winslet.
“In that way, everything was so chaotic. People were thrown into the scene without being able to compose,” Bergman said. “It’s a very different type of role than Jim. He is a true perfectionist. It was “how do we destabilize him so he can’t prepare so he can’t do Jim Carrey?” Some of the camera settings are designed for that.”
Bergman continued, “Jim… hated him. We knew you’d hate it. He’s the biggest star in the world, he’s in charge of every set, and we were here pulling that part off. And who the hell were we to do that? Which would have a good argument about it. He would have preferred to storm out and yell at me. He would call all kinds of things and I would just be there to absorb it. He says, “This is like the worst set I’ve ever been on, I don’t know what the hell is going on!” And we say, “No, no, no, everything is fine. That’s why we get great things.”
Bergman added, “Jim could be very loud and very powerful, but I think he didn’t do it in the end … He got $20 million to make movies like ‘Bruce Almighty.’ We paid him a tiny fraction of that. I talked to him early on and said, “Look, we’re only in it 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 we can make a really great movie here. At the end of the day, we are all working for the film.”
The producer commented: “And Jim, who I really like and gave a spectacular performance, was very unsettled at the beginning, it was almost designed to unsettle him, so I knew it was going to backfire. Just take it.”
He summed it up: “We knew Jim wasn’t going to be completely happy with the way we were shooting.”
Director Gondry previously admitted that it took Carrey about a month to “commit” to Gondry’s vision for the film.
And Carrey wasn’t the only member of the “Eternal Sunshine” crew who didn’t find the set too sunny. The original editor was reportedly let go from the film after suffering a “nervous breakdown,” as Bergman explained.
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