Jim Carrey on His Latest NFT Art, Working With The Weeknd and Remembering Bob Saget (Exclusive)

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Jim Carrey has become something of a renaissance man over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, channeling his creative energy and eccentric spirit into new movies, Saturday Night Live appearances as President Joe Biden, fine arts, NFTs and even an unexpected musical collaboration with The Weeknd

"He’s an incredible guy," Carrey told ET's Lauren Zima of the performer, "an incredible artist and a lovely person, and I feel very lucky to be his friend."

The actor and comedian narrated three songs on the pop star's fifth studio album, Dawn FM, which was released in January, and also appeared in the music video for "Out of Time," in which the pair shared a "full-circle" moment when Carrey appeared in a hospital setting to put an ominous mask on the performer's face.

"The Mask was the very first movie he ever saw and kind of inspired him to want to be in this thing," Carrey said. "And boy, did he ever get in this thing in a big way... He put it to me that he was doing this thing that was the radio station in purgatory, and I didn't want to work and I was like, 'I love you, but I don't want to do any work.'"

"And then I started waking up in the middle of the night -- which is what happens with me, I play in the middle of the night -- and I start spitting bars, of all things, for god's sake," he recalled. "It was really funny because I fully left it to him... I said to him, 'Use nothing at all or use a line here and there, if you want to, but I don't have to be in it, whatever.' He said, 'No it's fire, you gotta do this,' and gave me a really beautiful place on the album, so I’m so gratified."

The Weeknd certainly isn't the only person Carrey has influenced throughout his storied career. Many of his early comedies have made the transition from box office hits to generational classics, including Liar Liar, which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year

"It's funny, because a lot of these films, at the time they just seemed like wacky comedies, and yet, they all had a thought behind [them], they all had a purpose behind them," Carrey reflected. "Even Dumb and Dumber had a purpose, in my mind, behind it in showing the infallibility of innocence."

"I don't look back a lot, but when I get reminded generally, what I think of is the wonderful relationships I had at the time, you know?" he shared. "Tom Shadyac, who directed some my greatest work early on, we're still good friends, and Steve Oedekerk... he's responsible for a great deal of my success, and of course, Cary Elwes, who's one of my best friends."

One of Carrey's pals in his early comedy days was also the late Bob Saget. The performer took an emotional moment to reminisce about his friend and fellow "circus geek," who died in January.

"He was a friend early on," he shared. "He came into Toronto to play Yuk Yuk's, and his act was solid, his persona was worked out, he had this wonderful kind of freakiness [and] freedom in his work that would stick with people for months after he left."

"I asked him about Hollywood, and he was one of the first people to say, 'Here's what it's like, and give me a call when you get there,' and I did, so we kept in touch after that," Carrey continued. "He was just a wonderful guy, and we had the weirdest relationship because we both loved weird pantomime, so whenever we saw each other... we'd start going into this pantomime, crossbows shooting each other and stuff like that."

In recent years, Carrey has branched out from mainstream comedy and his television and film projects to share his fine art creations on social media -- which have now expanded to include his own NFT creations on the SuperRare marketplace.

"What's wonderful about all of this art business is I've come full circle to realize that the simplest aspect of art is that you create this image or this invention on a canvas, which to me represents consciousness," he explained. "In a fun way, this is kind of like an analogous thing to do, you know, to all of my beliefs... It's great -- I don't have to just be one thing, I can be a billion things."

"It's really wonderful and it doesn't take too much time and it just hopefully touches people and they walk away going like, 'Oh, that was cool,' you know?" he added. "And I don't have to spend four months in a character... which can be taxing. I am willing to do it, but it can make a head case out of somebody." 

Carrey's latest NFT piece, titled Goon in Moonlight, is set to be minted on Monday, Aug. 8, with a 24-hour countdown to the auction, which begins on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET and runs through Thursday, Aug. 11, with a reserve price of $50,000. A portion of the proceeds will benefit World Central Kitchen.

The piece is described as "a contemplative vignette involving a wide combination of Carrey’s talents, including drawing, painting, digital enhancement, writing and vocal performance art. The themes explored in this piece are both touching and universal and are a reflection of the thought-provoking process that went into its creation."

"Our consciousness is so compelling at times," Carrey shared with ET, noting that Goon in Moonlight also plays on the concept of memories, both good and bad. 

"Memory is there to remind you," he noted. "It's kind of part of what the ego plays with... The creative process for me is, I don't care what it is, I want to show all shades of light and darkness and just express things from a place where I don't even know where it's coming from. Goon in Moonlight happened spontaneously -- I didn't even know what I was gonna paint and what I painted was my subconscious and unconscious mind and those feelings of alienation, which everybody feels... Everybody is the goon at some point in their lives."
  
As for the donation to World Central Kitchen, Carrey said simply, "I believe in feeding people." 

"I've seen a lot of people with a lot of food insecurity in the last few years," he added. "When the COVID hit, when everything was really upside down, a lot of people lost their their means of support and their way to get meals, to get food. This company does a beautiful job of, you know, providing relief where it's necessary."

As for what's next, Carrey told ET in April that he was hoping to take a step back from Hollywood and do "a whole lotta nothing." However, he explained that isn't ready to set anything in stone when it comes to his retirement, and would be open to everything from smaller indie projects to more work in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

"The universe is just multitudinous in its creation, so I want something to surprise me if I am going to do it again," he explained. "I do have a love for the Sonic franchise and for the people involved there...I obviously would consider doing another one if it was right."

"I really just want to be inspired," he added. "When I picked up The Truman Show [script], I went, 'This just must be said'... Eternal Sunshine [of the Spotless Mind], this just has to be done. Dumb and Dumber has to be done, you know? It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's a wonderful, inspiring thing to do and create. Then I can have fun."


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