While the script for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" was still in draft form, copies of it began to circulate around Hollywood. One of the actors who immediately expressed interest in the film was Jim Carrey. Fortunately for all concerned, director Michel Gondry felt as much pleasure over Carrey's desire to be in the movie, as Carrey did in taking on the role of Joel. Gondry felt Carrey would bring a lot to the character and now that the film is about to be released, producer Anthony Bregman believes audiences will be amazed at Carrey's performance. "I think that people are going to be very surprised to see the character that Jim is portraying here. Joel is very unlike any of the characters that Jim has played before. In many scenes, he is almost unrecognizable from the Jim Carrey that we all know," says Bregman.
JIM CARREY ('Joel'):
How did you come about getting this role?
Honestly, the script came to me. Someone gave me the script and I read it and I thought it was incredible. I couldn't believe that I was being offered it, so I was just very, very happy. It was one of those things. I read that script and I kind of had this guilty feeling like, How can I get this one and Truman Show?' Two really interesting, original movies. So, I was really happy about it.
This is such an interesting romantic movie. Was there anything that was an inspiration for you as far as films of the past or favorite romantic scenes?
Just in my life, you know? Movies are great, but the real romance happens right here (tapping his nose) somewhere - real close-up. I don't know. This part, I really couldn't have done it if I hadn't been through a lot one way or another. Either you're the one erasing or you're the one being erased, so it's not a pleasant feeling!
The idea of erasing somebody from your memories is extremely appealing.
Of course! In the moment, especially, when you're going through something. You think, I don't need this! I don't need to live in a fight or flight response! Why can't I just let this go? But, in retrospect it always seems to work out that you can look back on something that was a disaster and find some gems in there.
This movie is about the tension between wanting to erase bad things that have happened to us and holding on to them because of our willingness to fail again. Do you think nowadays theres more of a tendency to want to erase things?
I think quick fixes are big, for sure. We're all erasing stuff every morning when we go to Starbucks. You know what I mean? We're like (mimes drinking down coffee), Don't let it come up again! Don't let it come up again! I think we suppress, we don't completely erase. I think we would, in the moment, definitely choose that a lot of times when we're on our knees screaming at God. I don't know if I answered the question.
What do we lose by erasing?
I think you make the same mistakes over and over again - not that you wouldn't anyway - if you knew. I think there are beautiful moments. These days everybody expects that fairy tale [that] you're going to be together forever with somebody and I don't really subscribe to that. I'd love that to happen if that happened, but 10 years is enough. 10 years is a good thing with somebody, I think. It's a nice thing. A lot of good love can happen in 10 years.
You have wonderful chemistry with Kate Winslet in this. Whats is it like to work with her?
I get excited when the people I work with scare me. She's just scary-talented and just an amazing actress...'actor,' whatever you call them these days. I get excited when I'm surrounded by people who make me better and make me stay on my game and challenge me. She's wonderful to watch - unbelievable - because you sometimes don't know what she's doing when you're in a scene with her. You look at it later and she knows what's going to come off, how it's going to look. It's beautiful.
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