Actors love to get into the role, especially when it comes to impersonating a real-life individual. They want to get every detail perfect and to the point. Nothing can go wrong. Method acting and doing in-depth background research is key to recreating such an iconic character. Jim Carrey, however, took that to the next level and impersonated Andy Kaufman to such a high level, the public perceived him to be one person and not two.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, is a feature-length documentary showcasing behind-the-scenes footage of Jim Carrey becoming Andy Kaufman. Universal Studios did not want these images to surface when they were first recorded and were kept for safekeeping, away from the public eye. With Jim Carrey being the star, they did not want these images to become public as they did not want to take the footage out of context and tell a different story. Nearly 20 years later, the images recorded are now available for viewing in this documentary with a personal interview with Jim Carrey himself, explaining his actions for why he acted in such a manner.
As someone who wants to work in a similar industry in the future, I found this documentary utterly fascinating. I’ve personally never heard a story like this. I’ve heard of actors/actresses getting deep into the role but never this far in. It’s scary to see someone be like this and be able to do this. It’s like an impossible magic trick no one understands but is still interested in viewing the trick. The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind are two of my favorite films ever made. Jim Carrey is up there in my mind as one of the best actors. The way he able to transform into a character just like that is something a lot of actors will never be able to do.
If you have never seen Man on the Moon, I would personally watch it after seeing this documentary. He is a completely different person, literally, just like Andy Kaufman used to be. After watching side-by-side footage of his performances with Jim’s acting, I cannot tell the difference. If you want to be blunt, yes, their facial features are slightly different, but I saw it as a mirrored image. I find it terrifying an actor can do such things. The ghost of Andy was inside on Jim.
After watching this documentary, not only have I gained a different opinion of Jim Carrey and his acting abilities but I question still why this footage was hidden from the public eye. More films should be doing more in-depth behind-the-scenes footage. I understand that film sets do incorporate this, but not to the level that Man on the Moon had. It shows how the film industry functions and how amazing actors, like Jim Carrey, perform.