Jim Carrey Retires from Acting
Why, if true, it’s a long time coming
Jim Carrey found himself trending on Twitter twice in the past week which is impressive considering most entertainment news outlets and social media as a whole have been focused on The Slap Heard Around The World.
While promoting Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Carrey condemned Hollywood for applauding Will Smith after his now infamous altercation with Chris Rock at the 95th Academy Awards on March 27th. In a CBS interview with Gayle King, Carrey said, “I was sickened by the standing ovation. Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we aren’t the cool club anymore.”
A few short days later, in a much lighter interview with Access Hollywood’s Kit Hoover, Jim made a brief passing remark that he’s retiring from the trade. Thus, his name began trending once more.
“No!” said Hoover in response.
“Yeah, probably,” a grinning Carrey said, “I’m being fairly serious yeah […] It depends, you know […] but I’m taking a break, yeah.”
When prompted by Hoover’s shock at this news (she had, after all, just let Jim know that Dolly Parton was hoping he would star in her upcoming biopic), Jim continued, “I really like my quiet life. I really like putting paint on canvas. And I really love my spiritual life and I feel like […] I have enough. I’ve done enough. I am enough.”
For anyone who has followed Jim Carrey’s career, particularly over the past decade, this will actually come as no surprise. He has, in recent years, backed away from the moniker of celebrity as much as a heavyweight A-lister who was once the world’s biggest box office earner can. He has had a noticeable internal spiritual shift that has been highlighted in interviews and most prominently in the documentary, “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” — none of which came out of nowhere if you were paying attention. Jim has long since discussed his spirituality and one can even catch a glimpse of his life philosophies in the projects he chose throughout his long career; The Truman Show coming immediately to mind.
After reaching the height of Hollywood fame, Jim has also honed his talents as an artist, highlighted in the short documentary, “I Needed Color.”
One particularly telling pop culture moment shines a spotlight on Carrey’s views of Hollywood and the Western Quest for Meaning. At the 2016 Golden Globes, while presenting the award for Best Motion Picture; Comedy, he gave a cynical and lighthearted speech in which he introduced himself as Two-Time Golden Globe Winner, Jim Carrey. “When I dream [at night], I don’t just dream any old dream,” he said, “I dream about being Three-Time Golden Globe Winning Actor, Jim Carrey. Because… then I would be enough!”
Jim Carrey is far from an unproblematic celebrity. But, if you find that you are caught in the mindless rat race of trying to prove your worth to yourself and others, his journey is worth paying attention to. Carrey climbed Mount Hollywood and took a seat at the throne. From there, he was able to see how mindless the pursuit of fame and glory really is. Easy enough once you’ve already accomplished it all.
Like Daniel Day-Lewis, who took a hiatus from acting to become a Cobbler in Italy (and has also since retired from acting completely), lessons can be taken from those who have reached the apex of success by society’s standards and subsequently find themselves looking inward for true peace and clarity. The quiet life comes a-calling at some point. It always does.
In a telling soundbite from his Access Hollywood interview, Hoover says, “I hope you continue to make us laugh and smile,” to which Carrey responds, “Well, I’m going to continue to be in the world no matter what. We have more of an effect on the world than we know. We don’t have to be ‘multi-hyphenates’ to affect the world.”
Touché, Jim. Touché.