2012年3月16日

First News interviews Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey talks to First News about his new film Mr Popper’s Penguins. By the end we decided two things – that he liked penguins more than people and we would quite like a pet penguin for the First News office!


What drew you to Mr Popper’s Penguins?
I honestly did the picture because I love penguins and I am not kidding. When I looked at the script I said: “Yes, I’ve got to do the penguin movie.”

So the six penguins arrive. How do they change Thom Popper’s life because, until then, he is a bit of a selfish workaholic?
Well the penguins make his life impossible, destroying his path toward greatness and interrupting his flow. By doing so they make him a real person.

What was it like working with real penguins?
The penguins were insanely beautiful. There are very few animals that strike a chord with people the way penguins do, who just immediately make you feel love. It is really difficult to be unhappy around a penguin. Penguins are kind of an obsession with me. I really love them. I don’t know any other animal I would rather work with.”

You have worked with animals before.
Of course! I am Ace Ventura so I have had a lot of experience with animals. I rode an ostrich and had a date with a yak but penguins take the cake; they are like puppies times ten. They are pure love. I think they are one of the secrets to joy and happiness. It can’t be denied.

It must have been challenging working with them, no matter how adorable they were?
I had no idea they would be so difficult to train. It is impossible to train them. We thought we would be able to make them jump through hoops. But all they want is fish, so I had to have fish in my pant legs, in my shoes and in my pockets. They will follow you anywhere if you stink like fish, so I tried to stink like fish as much as possible.

Were there any especially crazy moments?
There is one scene at the dinner table when they were absolute maniacs ‘mrraaaa’ (he makes penguin noises). They bit me mercilessly actually, but I didn’t mind. I was constantly feeding them. I had to make them go to different spots when they would be on camera and my fingers were bloodied a bit here and there. They weren’t unfriendly. They just don’t like to be handled.

They make a lot of noise, don’t they?
It was very loud on the set. They’ve got some pipes on them! The penguins would be in a separate area and I would be doing an intimate scene somewhere else and suddenly we would hear ‘VROOA A VRWHOOOO’ (does a penguin voice), almost like a dinosaur!

Was it really cold making the movie?
We filmed during the worst winter in New York history. Also, we worked on stages that were 30 degrees so that the penguins would be comfortable. It is so important to keep them comfortable because when they start to do this (he makes crazy noises), it means you have to turn down the temperature. Humans really don’t matter at that point because you can’t hurt the penguins!

Are you still as passionate about your work as you have been in the past?
Yes, I am. It is as if I am starting out every time I make a movie. It is as if I am beginning again in the business.

What are your goals and dreams at this point?
I feel super lucky and incredibly blessed and grateful to make movies like Mr Popper’s Penguins. There is nothing that makes me happier then when someone says: “I watched your movie The Mask 300 times when I was kid.” I look forward to the time when I am 70 or 80 years old and there will be people coming up to me going: “It was you, dude.” That’s an amazing feeling.”

Finally, what do you think really makes this film unique?
I think you’ll be surprised at how funny and how edgy it is at times, not in a way that’s ever going to freak out any kid but in the way that the old cartoons I used to watch were entertaining, like Warner Bros, Looney Tunes. It has adult humour and yet it is completely innocent and joyful and uplifting, and the penguins help you transcend all disbelief.”

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