Jim Carrey has starred in some of the best comedy movies known to man. Clint Eastwood has starred in some of the best Westerns ever made. Not quite a logical pairing, but these two actors did come together on a project back in the ’80s, and the story of how it came about is hilarious.
At an AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony for Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey was invited to make a speech in honor of one of the best actors of all time. When he did, he recalled how he got the chance to work on a Clint Eastwood movie with the man himself.
“Clint Eastwood was one of my first supporters in the industry,” Carrey recalled. “At the time, I was a struggling actor, and I was cast to play the part of a crazed drug-fiend rockstar named Johnny Squares in the Dirty Harry film named The Dead Pool.”
“For my audition, I was put on tape singing an Alice Cooper song,” he explained. “I went completely nuts, tearing up the office, doing contortions, spitting into the camera… Afterward, I wondered if I had gone too far. In those days, I still worried about that sort of thing.”
“But when I finally met Clint, he just said to me [does Clint Eastwood impression], ‘I…loved that tape. And I showed it to all my friends.'”
Carrey’s wild antics nabbed him the role, and he was soon on set working with the Hollywood icon.
“Naturally, I was elated,” Carrey added. “I wanted to do the best possible job I could do for this man. On the first day of shooting, I showed up with all these wild ideas. I said, ‘I have a ton of ideas I wanna try out, Mr. Eastwood, if you don’t mind.'”
Luckily for Carrey, Eastwood seemed keen for him to try out whatever he wanted and responded with one of the coolest Eastwood-esque reactions we ever could have imagined.
“I was expecting a little bit of resistance, but Clint just looked at me, and looked at the producer David Valdes, and said [does Clint Eastwood impression], “Well, maybe we’ll just turn the camera on and…let him go.”
If you were wondering what the final product looked like, you can watch Carrey’s speech in the clip above or see his scenes from the movie as they turned out below. (Warning, the clip below does contain scenes of drug use.)
We love the idea of these two movie giants coming together on a project and love behind-the-scenes stories even more. If you do, too, check out our features on why Russell Crowe as Aragon could have changed Hollywood and why it’s a miracle that Jaws ever got made.