Everyone loves watching “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” around the holidays, and while the 1960s cartoon is a classic, so is Jim Carrey’s live-action version. Released in 2000, it immediately became a favorite of kids and adults alike. However, filming the movie wasn’t as magical as it appears on the screen.
- Getting into the Grinch makeup was torture for Jim Carrey. Appearing on “The Graham Norton Show,” the actor said that getting into character meant spending hours in a makeup artist’s chair. The experience was like being “buried alive,” he admitted.
- He almost quit the movie because of it! It was such an intense experience that Carrey nearly pulled out of the Christmas flick. “The first day was eight and a half hours and I went back to my trailer and put my leg through the wall and I told Ron Howard I couldn’t do the movie,” he recalled. Luckily, they found an unconventional way to get him through.
- Jim Carrey had to be trained by the CIA to get through “The Grinch.” The “Ace Ventura” star went on to credit producer Brian Grazer with being a “fix-it man” who “came up with a brilliant idea to hire a gentleman trained to teach CIA operatives how to endure torture.” It did the trick, Carrey admits. In fact, it’s what got him through the arduous shoot.
- So, what did the CIA agent teach him? Carrey said the agent had some creative advice to pull him through difficult moments. Carrey was advised to “eat everything you see. If you’re freaking out and you start to spiral downwards, turn the television on. Change a pattern. Have someone you know come up and smack you in the head. Punch yourself in the leg or smoke as much as you possibly can.” He added that he had to practice these techniques 100 times throughout the filming process.
- Grazer’s idea turned out to be a good one. The producer told The Daily Beast that he was always fascinated by the spy world. One day, he connected the dots one day while thinking up a solution to Carrey’s problem. “One of the CIA people I’d talked to years before specialized in training US agents to survive torture if they were captured. We had an actor being held prisoner by his costume. He was being tortured by his makeup. Maybe the CIA specialist could teach Jim Carrey to survive the green Grinch makeup the way he’d taught spies to survive hostile interrogation?” Grazer recalled. “We flew the CIA specialist in on a Friday. He spent the whole weekend closeted with Jim. He taught Jim all kinds of techniques for distracting himself. For creating mindsets that allowed him to ignore and work through the discomfort.”
- Jim Carrey pushed through since he knew “The Grinch” would bring kids so much joy. “Years later, Jim described those sessions as ‘quite hilarious.’ But they worked,” Grazer added. “Jim came back to the set, he put on the Grinch makeup 100 times — every day for months. ‘I just kept telling myself, ‘It’s for the kids! It’s for the kids!'” While it seems to have worked, it must have been tough! (Though not as tough as filming the Grinch horror movie!)