Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist

Jim Carry Interview -

He is all about figures including his own which he can turn into a wind tunnel of contortions and thrust into outrageous situations. The other figures which run into tens of millions of dollars have made Jim Carrey the toast -- and livid green envy -- of all Hollywood .

And the town's highest paid screen comic ever.

Ol' Rubber Face who used to clean pubic hairs off toilets in Toronto 's public lavatories goes into 1996 as the star of the moment. His physical humour -- a throwback to the silent movies' slapstick set -- is turning on giant audiences from teenagers to veteran funnymen like Jerry Lewis to whom he is often compared.

But this is an all new wild and crazy guy.

Wild maybe. Not so crazy. He has managers and advisers but mostly he needs accountants. And bankers.

‘ I went through periods when I had nothing so somebody in my family had to get stinkin' wealthy,' says Carrey who is enjoying his fame.

And fortune:

‘ I refuse to feel guilty. I feel guilty about too much in my life but not about money....'

You'll want to know the figures. His latest movie ‘Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls' -- it opens in Britain on Boxing Day -- earned $37.8 million dollars in its first weekend in America last month (November). Already it has easily overtaken the magic $100 million dollar mark.

It is Carrey's fifth box office blockbuster in a row. It began with the original ‘Ace Ventura:Pet Detective' in the Spring of last year - he was paid $350,000 dollars to play the title role -- and then soared into orbit with ‘The Mask', ‘Dumb and Dumber' and this year's ‘Batman Forever' in which he played The Riddler to Val Kilmer's Caped Crusader.

With each film his money increased by one or two million dollar increments. That was until ‘Cable Guy' came along. He is being paid $20 million dollars to play a television cable technician who ‘terrorises' Matthew Broderick. Next he's starring in ‘Liar, Liar' as a pathologically dishonest single father who promises to tell the truth to his son for 24 hours.

It's another comedy -- and another $20 million dollars.

Is he worth it?

The man who has made his money out of laughs is serious:' As much as anybody else who brings that many people in. Movies nowadays make so much money with all the tie-ins that a hit makes $300 million dollars overseas.

‘The things in the Hollywood trade papers saying it's ruining the business is basically the studios not wanting to pay the money.'

He says the cash bonanza is certainly not ruining his attitude:' When the first big pay-cheque with ‘'Dumb and Dumber'' hit I went:'' Gosh, I wonder if this will affect my performance. Will I do a take and think, was that worth $7 million dollars? ‘'. But that never happened.

‘If anything, it made me rebel against that thing when people who get rich start playing safe. With ‘'Dumb and Dumber'' I put a bowl cut on my hair, took a tooth off, went against the leading man star thing. It was a good test for me.

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