Thanks for sharing, Ernio. I was really blown away by the documentary. I've been worried by a lot of the speculation around Carrey in the last few years, but this was a great way to get the word straight from the horse’s mouth as it were. I was really struck by how in-line the interview was with other statements from Carrey over the last few years. His speech at Maharishi University in 2014 for example.
I think he worries a lot of people because he’s not talking in the language of work a day life. Most brick layers and accountants aren’t struggling with existential questions of being and identity, but for a lot of actors, that’s an integral part of the job.
What Carrey is alluding to throughout the interview sounds a lot like Grant Morrison’s Fiction Suit. Essentially, creating a persona of who you want to be and wearing it like clothing. Do that long enough and you literally step out of your old life and into something new. You reimagine yourself.
For someone like Carrey, coming from very humble beginnings to literally having anything he wants, it’s got to incredibly disorienting. And now he’s reimagined himself dozens of times. Are those reimagined selves captured on film more or less real than the Jim Carrey that walks around without being filmed? I can’t fault the guy for spending his wealth and free time asking questions about who is and should be. If everyone asked similar questions, I think we’d see lot less assholery in the world.
I hope that Carrey never comes to any kind of self-harm. I’d be perfectly happy to see him buy a cabin in the wilderness and go away to explore his own happiness. I’m hoping that his talk about mortality and loss of identity are part of a larger narrative around the death of ego and self. That would seem to fit with his exploration of mysticism and eastern faith practices.
And more than that, I hope his public struggle with those questions encourages a few more people to look at their own identity. Are we living to be the best versions of ourselves or simply filling a role that others have asked us to play? With the prospect of a technology-fueled future where the nature of work and leisure are transformed, I think it’s time we looked in the mirror a little more often. To me, that seems to be what Carrey is onto.