May 23, 2003 -- If Jim Carrey really were God for a day, he knows what his first heavenly act would be: "I'd send anybody who didn't like The Majestic to the fiery pit of hell," he said with a laugh.
After disappointing attempts at serious roles, Carrey returns to slapstick in Bruce Almighty, playing a TV reporter from Buffalo endowed with the powers of God.
The movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and it gives Carry a chance to laugh off the critics who blasted Man on the Moon and The Majestic while reuniting with Tom Shadyac, the director of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Liar Liar.
Carrey’s UtopiaIn the movie, Carrey wreaks havoc as godlike Bruce — blowing up women's skirts, endowing his dog with toilet etiquette that would impress Emily Post and his girlfriend (Jennifer Anniston) with a surprise breast augmentation.
What would Jesus do if he were Jim Carrey? The actor has his own divine plan for juvenile shenanigans. "I'd start a new utopian society made out of Nerf material so that I could cave the critics' heads in and they would pop right back out," he says.
"No one would be hurt and I'd get my rocks off."
But when he's not joking, Carrey, 41, says he's happy about returning to the sort of comedy that made him one of the highest-paid actors. He earned $25 million for playing God.
"I think it's important never to look a gift horse in the mouth and never to overlook your talents, what you're good at," he says.
"This movie is more about somebody being grateful for what they have … It's about appreciating what you have as well as exploring, you know."
Carrey's comedy hit a high point at the box office with 2000's Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which pulled in $55 million in its opening weekend and grossed $260 million.
The move to drama could hardly be called a failure. His work in The Truman Show and his portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon earned raves. But they failed to find an audience.
Both those roles earned Carrey Golden Globe awards. But when they failed to yield Oscar nominations, Carrey lashed out at the Academy.
These days, however, Carrey is trying to be philosophical, or at least a comedian who doesn't take his career too seriously.
"I get upset about control, about the little things. Huge things I let go out of control," he says.
After all, he knows he really doesn't have godlike power.
"My career, it's like, whatever, whenever. I don't sweat it."
So what sort of control freak is the real Jim Carrey? "Things like, if that cap is not on the toothpaste — if that doesn't go my way, man, look out," he says.
"Huge things I'm completely cool about."