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Jim Carrey on Preparing for Characters

Oprah Winfrey: How did you learn so much about it the time period of The Majestic?

Jim Carrey: It was fascinating to get to know about it. I listened to a lot of music of the era while I was getting made up in the mornings. Another thing I did was I got back issues of the LA Times from that exact period of time. It would follow the date and time that we were working, so I would get the exact paper for that day. The trials actually followed the movie—it was bizarre.

Oprah Winfrey: You were telling me that your roles always have a deeper meaning?

Jim Carrey: I never know why I pick something, generally, until a few weeks in. Then I go, 'Ah, right, I'm going through that.'

Oprah Winfrey: You didn't just play the part of late comedian Andy Kaufman, you became him, didn't you?

Jim Carrey: I basically wasn't there. I still talk about it in third person, and people think I'm weird. It was Andy Kaufman, and Andy Kaufman was about creating illusions…to the point where you're going, 'Is this guy insane? Has he lost his mind?' And I wanted it to be like Andy came up from the dead to tell his story. About a week into reading the script, things started happening to me. I went over to Nick Cage's house one day, and he was like 'Man, something's happening to your face. It's [the metamorphosis into Andy Kaufman] coming on, isn't it?' It just started happening and it was completely appropriate…and a complete odyssey.

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"If you had gone to college, do you think you're life would have taken a different course?" — Oprah Winfrey

"I don't even want to explore that possibility—my life turned out so good…If I had gone to college, I would have been insane. I would have been completely mad. I would have been in every cause. Because that's what you do in college: disagree with everything." — Jim Carrey

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"What was your gut telling you early on?" Oprah tries to ask a serious question, but Jim has a funny answer for almost everything: "You need love. Go out and get it—from strangers."

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"I want to be excited about getting up in the morning..." — Jim Carrey

"Are you now?" — Oprah Winfrey

"With medication. Sometimes I keep my eyes closed until noon." — Jim Carrey

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"I need Dr. Phil so bad. Where is he? He's so damn positive. I'd kick his butt." — Jim Carrey

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"You can't blame people for loving you, or thinking you're special or different, because I've spent my entire life convincing the entire world that I was different." — Jim Carrey on coming to terms with his fame.

The Oprah Winfrey Show

There's another side to funnyman Jim Carrey. "I'm always on five spiritual paths at any one time. I take pieces here and there. I can't get enough of that stuff." — Jim Carrey

The Oprah Winfrey Show

"For me, it's just like they're in my way, and get the hell out of my road. … Move, or I will crush you." — Carrey joking about working with others.

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Ace Ventura fans get excited: Jim Carrey, who plays a serious role in his new movie The Majestic, hasn't deserted his rubber face style of comedy forever. "I will go back and do a movie that means absolutely nothing." — Jim Carrey

Jim on Being a Celebrity

Oprah Winfrey: If you had gone to college, do you think your life would have taken a different course?

Jim Carrey: I don't even want to explore that possibility, my life turned out so good! I'm a terrible example for the youth of America. I get asked to speak at colleges all the time, and I go, 'What would I tell [the students]?' I guess I would tell them that if you know what you love, that's the most important thing. Whatever makes you feel good when you sit down to do it is what you should be chasing in your life.

Oprah Winfrey: I know that is the truth.

Oprah Winfrey: What happened that caused you to become comfortable with yourself?

Jim Carrey: I'm always on five different spiritual paths at one time. I take pieces here and there. I can't get enough of that stuff.

Oprah Winfrey: Do you feel more centered?

Jim Carrey: There is a philosophy, it's an Ancient Tibetan society founded on the belief that everybody in this world walks the earth with a broken heart. And the people who are truly strong are the ones that can face everyone with thin skin and be your authentic self—that's the toughest thing in the world to do.

Oprah Winfrey: Isn't it cool to see the legends?

Jim Carrey: I'm a fan, so I like hanging out with celebrities—I forget some times that I'm one of them. I love to see Nicholson and those guys hanging out. It's a thrill, you know? Like, Brad Pitt. I'm like, 'Yeah, there's Brad Pitt.' You know, I like these guys, I like their work, it's cool…and he's so attractive. I mean, if there was a line to be crossed—ever…

Jim on September 11

Oprah Winfrey: You participated in the celebrity telethon that raised money for September 11. Was that meaningful for you?

Jim Carrey: It was beautiful, it was really wonderful. I loved that moment. In a strange way, the most terrible of events became an incredible opportunity for everyone to be their own hero and to join humanity.

Oprah Winfrey: Did September 11 focus you?

Jim Carrey: Absolutely. We were all one person. We were all the families that lost people. We were all there. I wanted to go. I wanted to help. It became an opportunity to get out of yourself for a moment. A lot of very busy, very important people coming together and giving of themselves.

Oprah Winfrey: Now when you hear a lot of celebrities being criticized because the money isn't being handled or not appropriated the way some people would like it…?

Jim Carrey: I'm not an accountant, so I don't really know how those things work. I gave my money and did my work for the cause. I think there were a lot of things said by Bill O'Reilly that were inaccurate. And I think the Red Cross—there were some problems there. I believe there's a little opportunism going on and like the Black List, it's easy to point at Hollywood and go, 'It's their fault.' It amazes me that somebody can find something negative about the whole country coming together at the same time and wanting to give and wanting to share their love. I find it flabbergasting and unacceptable.

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