â€śI never leave the funny roles, I just go all over the place. Iâ€™m a creative, so I like to do it all,â€ť says the Canadian-born actor, flashing his world-famous manic grin.
â€śSome people resist working with children and animals for fear of being upstaged,â€ť says the 49-year-old. â€śBut I love capturing the spark of innocence. And whatâ€™s better than penguins, in our case, and children to bring that out in us?â€ť
â€śThereâ€™s no mistaking their innocent purity and thereâ€™s this quality about them thatâ€™s odd. Theyâ€™re not quite at home in the water, theyâ€™re not quite at home on land.
â€śAre they fish? Are they fowl? What are they? I think everybody who looks at them has that same feeling about themselves, I know I do. Where do I fit in? Thatâ€™s what we love about them. Theyâ€™re awkward!â€ť
Carrey beat off competition from five â€śmajor comediansâ€ť for the role, according to producer John Davis, who says: â€śSome of them showed up at my office with penguin statues and said, â€™I have to do this movie because I love penguinsâ€™.â€ť
â€śHe has a rare kind of emotional accessibility,â€ť says Mean Girls director Mark Waters.
â€śMy major quest in life is freedom from concern, thatâ€™s my MO mode of operating. Itâ€™s what Iâ€™ve done since I was a kid.
â€śPeople always ask me where the comedy comes from. Well, my mother was a sweet, sweet lady, but she was struggling with so much I felt like it was my responsibility to lift her out of it and free her from concern. I spent my life doing that.
â€śThen it was for my family when money was tight, and for my friends. I realised I could fit in like a glove if I made people laugh, and now itâ€™s become this worldwide obnoxious pilgrimage.â€ť
â€śThat was a highlight for me,â€ť admits Carrey. â€śThe penguins were maniacs, all they wanted to do was attack the dinner plates.
â€śI liked working with them because it was always spontaneous; you never knew what was going to happen.
â€śAll they want is fish, so I carried fish around with me â€“ in my pockets, shoes, everywhere.â€ť
â€śIt was freezing on set all the time, just 30 degrees Fahrenheit â€“ I was dying but the penguins were very happy. Then weâ€™d go outside and do a scene on the roof where it was 80 degrees and I had to be in a Parka and five layers of clothing.
â€śI literally almost fainted at one point. I was like, â€™Get it offâ€™ and they had to tear the coat off me.
â€śMy life is very hard...â€ť he adds, with another grin.
â€śWhen things you donâ€™t necessarily want interrupt your life, theyâ€™re there for a reason â€“ to open you up to something youâ€™re missing.
â€śIâ€™ve gone through periods where I was selfish or wasnâ€™t necessarily there as much as I should have been.
â€śI guess thatâ€™s why I was called to do this part because I could be that guy. We can all get caught up in our little quest for greatness, discovery and things that fascinate us. And thereâ€™s something so much more fascinating sitting right there.â€ť
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