Jim Carrey remains one of the most beloved comedic actors of all time. His ability to occupy every shade on the emotional spectrum has seen him craft some truly timeless characters: Ace Ventura, The Grinch and Lloyd Christmas to name just a few. Carrey has also delivered a raft of astonishing dramatic performances, the most notable being his appearance in The Truman Show.
But no actor, no matter how dexterous, can muster an award-winning performance without a little pick-me-up. Perhaps that’s why Carrey has such a strong connection to music. After all, if there’s one thing guaranteed to raise your energy levels, it’s a killer song.
Opening up about some of his favourite music during a conversation with Fox 5, Carrey recalled hearing speed metallers Pantera for the very first time: “The first time I ever heard Pantera, I was driving down to San Diego to do a concert at a theatre and to check in to a hotel. Me and my manager, Jim Miller at the time, we put Pantera on. And I had never heard anything like it.”
Carrey continued: “It hit me on such a level of, like, extreme stimulation that I just started laughing uncontrollably for the entire track. Just like nervously laughing, like, ‘What is happening right now?’ And then we went to check in to the hotel. The guys behind us in the line checking in to the hotel were Pantera. We turned around and we went, like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?’ This is too weird, man.”
Carrey’s success is in part down to his elasticity. Capable of remoulding himself at will, the actor has always had a knack for adopting the mannerisms of others. Anyone whose seen his uncanny impersonation of Jack Nicholson can testify to that. Unsurprisingly, Carrey’s music taste is equally elastic: “When I get up in the morning, my musical taste is so all over the spectrum, it’s crazy,” he began. “I can go from Count Basie one day, I can go rap another day and then I can go… Most mornings I’ll wake up and grab my coffee, sit on the back porch and listen to Gregorian chants. Because it brings the birds to life, it brings the whole world to life, and suddenly I feel like I’m not just in the body but I’m the whole yard.”
But when it comes to getting energised, there’s only one song with enough raw power to do the job. “And if I get into a certain mood, if I need to get chaotic or crazy sometimes, something like a Pantera which challenges the world on a masculine, in-your-face level. Or ‘Breed’ by Nirvana. ‘Breed’ is one of the greatest, unsung, really… It’s kind of an unsung piece; it’s overshadowed by other hits they had. But ‘Breed’ is one of the most kick-ass tracks ever in history. It’s wonderful.”