‘Kidding’ star Jim Carrey embraces 2 creative outlets
Jim Carrey describes himself as in a good place creatively. Part of that comes from starring in Showtime’s “Kidding,” a series that has earned him high praise, including a Golden Globe nomination. Part of it comes from expressing his point of view through his political cartoons.
His exact words: He “couldn’t be in a better place.”
One of the Canadian funnyman’s artistic outlets can be seen on a regular basis, as Carrey has produced a barrage of cartoons. The other half of his happiness can be seen again starting Sunday, when the second season of “Kidding” premieres.
In the premium cable offering, Carrey plays Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, the host of a children’s television show. The dark comedy in the first season came from Mr. Pickles and those around him all facing serious emotional and mental problems, while the focus of Season 2 will be the healing process. It picks up moments after Season 1’s cliffhanger and with “Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time” off the air for the first time in 30 years.
“It’s kind of extraordinary right now,” Carrey says. “I’m trying to find where the limitations are. I keep reaching in these different directions. There’s a lot of creativity spilling out in every direction.
“The political cartoons have become an interesting thing that people feel is worthwhile, and I have other things that I can’t speak about yet that are extraordinary that are happening creatively in my life. I mean, I can’t wait for a couple months from now when I can tell you what other project I’m involved in that I have to pinch myself about. But this, it’s literally an embarrassment of riches creatively right now.”
The two artistic outlets mirror Jeff Pickles’s world. When he no longer has a TV show where he can talk with his many fans, Pickles finds another way to talk directly to children across the world. This is a man giving advice while he’s in complicated moral gray areas himself. Carrey uses his art to talk to the world between episodes of the series.
Only moments after talking about being in a good place, Carrey quickly points out he’s referencing his work world. Away from the creative outlets, Carrey stresses he is dealing with the same trials that test everyone. But the creative outlets feed off each other and give him the kind of hope Pickles sees this season.
“It’s creating. It’s an essential thing in life. I think it’s essential for everybody, no matter what kind of job you have,” Carrey says. “There’s always a little something extra for you if you know you’ve created something that’s going to benefit somebody, that somebody is going to look at and maybe be freed for a minute or something from their concerns.”
Both forms of expression give Carrey a way to cope with emotional issues in his life. Part of that comes from his early struggles to get his career started, and the way things cooled after he exploded with feature films such as “The Mask,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Truman Show.”
The life of an actor has created a weird experience for Carrey. He finds it odd to wake up in the morning feeling fantastic and then going to work and having to act like his life is coming apart. Then at the end of the day, it is like he has won the lottery and the good feelings return.
Carrey looks at all the acting jobs he has had on TV and in films as part of a much larger process designed to help him get ready for the complicated nature of his role in “Kidding.”
“Maybe it’s just because I’m more honest with who I am or whatever, but these creative gifts are coming that are — there’s no one that could be this part as well as I could be it,” Carrey says. “I don’t mean to brag. I just think that I’ve been groomed to be able to understand the depth of a character who’s lost a lot and who also still believes that it’s worth trying to keep the boat afloat and find the good.
“And also, all of these things I said, the idea of trying to cling to something that worked and suddenly doesn’t fit is something everybody goes through at some point. So it is the role of a lifetime. I think there’s no other place that’s better for me to be. Except Hawaii.”