Jim Carrey On Owing His Career To His Inspiring Late Father: "He Was An Amazing, Incredible Character"
The life hasn't always been funny for the great comedian Jim Carrey. Growing up in Canada, his family was on the verge of poverty for most of his teenage years. Carrey's father lost his job when Jim was only 12, which pushed him into 8-hour shifts as a janitor and security guard.
This childhood photo of Jim Carrey means everything to me right now. pic.twitter.com/vz9THiVJiQ— Jannabelle (@Jannabelle) September 8, 2017
Combining school and work almost left the future actor completely burnt out, but, luckily, he's never lost his sense of humor and desire to perform.
And the person who inspired Carrey to follow his dreams was his father.
His number one inspiration
Jim Carrey has had many idols in his life: Dick Van Dyke, Jimmy Stewart, and many other, who made him laugh and want to be a comedic actor.
But his biggest role model was the man who passed on his charm and humor to him, his father, Percy Carrey. Jim revealed to Closer Weekly:
He was an amazing, incredible character. I'm always drawing on my father to play characters. He was the kind of guy who if you talked to him for five minutes, you felt like you knew him for 50 years.
“My father was a wild man, funny as hell. Except for a few things, I'm him. He didn't like confrontation, he wasn't a hard-ass. But you should have seen us when I was opening for Rodney Dangerfield. I'd bring my father backstage at Caesars Palace, and Rodney would invite us in, and it was like we'd jam. It was like tag-team comedy. Rodney loved him. Of all my siblings, I'm the most like my dad. I get along really well with my siblings, but it's a drag for them. They get hassled all the time. They have American Journal camping out at their houses.” —Entertainment Weekly Interview (November 1995) #jimcarrey #percycarrey #carreyfamily #fatherson #fathersonlove #ritacarrey #siblings #family #familylove #fathersontime #familyiseverything #siblinglove #youngestsibling #jimmygene #rodneydangerfield #comedyclub #funnymen #comedylegend #comedian #actor #artist #activist #author #producer #90s #entertainmentweekly #vintageinterview
But Percy wasn't just the inspiration for Jim, he was also his biggest supporter. Carrey senior used to drive his son to auditions and stand-up gigs, showing his support and hoping that one day his son will become a star.
Unfortunately, Percy passed away in 1994, the same year Jim's first breakout role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) came out and put him on the Hollywood's map.
Jim kept his father in mind and continued to conquer the big screen, eventually becoming one of the biggest comedy stars of all time.
Learning his father's lesson
The biggest reason Jim decided to pursue comedy was the fact that his father lost his opportunity. Percy Carrey also wanted to be a comedian, but life got in the way.
Jim saw what it did to his dad and how much of unrealized potential was lost. As he said during his commencement address to Maharishi University of Management's class of 2014:
So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn't believe that was possible for him. So, he made a conservative choice and instead he got a job as an accountant.
Although Percy couldn't witness Jim's success, he was the reason we have such a brilliant actor as Carrey, who can make the entire world laugh.