Martin Freeman slams Jim Carrey’s method acting in Man on the Moon

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Martin Freeman, Jim Carrey, Man on the Moon

Jim Carrey's method acting antics on the set of 1999's Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon has become the stuff of legend over the years. Carrey played the eccentric and legendary comedian in the film and while the movie wasn't very successful commercially and received mixed reviews, Carrey's transformative performance did receive high notices from critics. Carrey took home the Golden Globe that year for his performance which came a year after he won the same prize for his turn in The Truman Show. It's no secret that he immersed himself in the role and his uncompromising method acting actually was the subject of a 2017 Netflix documentary called Jim & Andy, which chronicled the unbelievable extent Carrey went to in regards to portraying Kaufman. One actor who wasn't impressed by tales of Carrey's choices during Man on the Moon is Martin Freeman. The Black Panther and The Hobbit trilogy actor is slamming Carrey's behavior as unprofessional and goes as far as to call it pretty "selfish."

Freeman was appearing on the Off Menu podcast, via "ET Canada", and he had some choice words for Carrey's behavior on set. While Freeman thinks Jim Carrey is likey a "lovely and smart person", he found the behavior to be pretty "narcissistic.":

For me, and I’m genuinely sure Jim Carrey is a lovely and smart person, but it was the most self-aggrandizing, selfish, f**king narcissistic bollocks I have ever seen. The idea anything in our culture would celebrate that or support it is deranged, literally deranged. I am a very lapsed catholic but if you believe in transubstantiation, then you’re going somewhere along the line of “I became the character,” No, you didn’t, you’re not supposed to become the f***ing character because you’re supposed to be open to stuff that happens in real life because someone at some stage is going to say “Cut” and there’s no point going, "What does ‘cut’ mean because I’m Napoleon?" Shut up.

Freeman brings up some interesting points about the validity of method acting. Russian actor Konstantin Stanislavski originally developed the method and actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Jared Leto have been known to completely immerse themselves in roles in a similar fashion. Day-Lewis hasn't really received accusations of unprofessionalism for his method acting techniques and Jared Leto, despite rumors of his method acting behavior during Suicide Squad when he portrayed the Joker, also seems to have a reputation that is intact. Freeman's opinion seems to take issue with using method acting as a sort of guise to behave unprofessionally on set. Even though Jim Carrey was making magic during Man on the Moon, I'm sure all those around him were put in an uncomfortable position during that shoot not knowing what he would do next. Is a great performance worth the reputation that may follow you once it's a wrap on that particular project?

Man on the Moon, directed by Milos Forman, was a biographical comedy-drama about the late comedian Andy Kaufman. The film traced Kaufman's steps from childhood through the comedy clubs and television appearances that him famous, including his memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, Fridays, and his role as Latka Gravas on the sitcom Taxi, which was popular amongst viewers but disruptive for Kaufman's co-stars. The film puts a primary focus on the various inside jokes, scams, put-ons, and happenings for which Kaufman was famous, most significantly his long-running "feud" with wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler and his portrayal of the character of lounge singer Tony Clifton. The film also stars Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, and Paul Giamatti.

The film was a bit of a commercial disappointment, grossing $34.6 million against a reported budget of $82 million and reviews were mixed. Man on the Moon is barely fresh at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes but there was near-unanimous praise for Jim Carrey's performance as Kaufman which adds some validity to the notion that his method acting during the film actually paid off.

Source: ET Canada

About the Author

3191 Articles Published