Martin Freeman calls Jim Carrey’s Man on the Moon method performance ‘narcissistic’ and ‘highly amateurish’

Carrey refused to break character for four months when playing Andy Kaufman in 1999

Ellie Harrison
Friday 21 May 2021 12:51 BST
Martin Freeman calls Jim Carrey’s Man on the Moon performance ‘highly amateurish’

Martin Freeman has criticised Jim Carrey for his method acting in the 1999 biopic Man on the Moon, calling it “narcissistic”.

In 2017, the Netflix documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond examined Carrey’s performance as the comedian Andy Kaufman, revealing that he spent four months never breaking character and insisted on being called “Andy” even when the cameras stopped rolling.

In a new appearance on the Off Menu podcast, The Hobbit actor Freeman said Carrey’s approach to the role was “self-aggrandising, selfish and narcissistic” and argued the star “should have been fired” over it.

Freeman said it was “highly amateurish” for Carrey to go so far and “the idea anything in our culture would celebrate that or support it is deranged, literally deranged”.

He told hosts James Acaster and Ed Gamble: “I am a very lapsed catholic but if you believe in transubstantiation, then you’re going somewhere along the line of, ‘I became the character,’ no you didn’t, you’re not supposed to become the f***ing character because you’re supposed to be open to stuff than happens in real life because someone at some stage is going to say ‘cut’ and there’s no point going, ‘What does cut mean because I’m Napoleon?’ Shut up.

“You need to keep grounded in reality and that’s not to say you don’t lose yourself in between action and cut but the rest of it is absolutely pretentious nonsense… It’s not a professional attitude. Get the job done man, f***ing do your work.”

The Independent has contacted Carrey’s representatives for comment.

In the opening credits of Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Carrey explained that Kaufman spoke to him “telepathically” when he heard the actor would be playing him.

“It was absurd but somehow it worked,” said Carrey. “That’s the moment when Andy Kaufman showed up, tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Sit down, I’ll be doing my movie.’ What happened afterwards was out of my control.”

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