If you’ve not had a chance to watch the Netflix documentary Jim & Andy The Great Beyond, what have you been doing with yourself?
The film chronicles the process and preparations behind Jim Carrey’s performance in the 1999 biopic Man On The Moon, which chronicled the life and times of comedian Andy Kaufman and his alter ego Tony Clifton.
It’s a staggering watch, showcasing the extreme methods Carrey adopted in the name of art. Eager to immerse himself in the character of Kaufman as much as humanely possible, Carrey went about as method as method acting gets, dressing and speaking as the comedian throughout production.
The film sees a visibly enraged Milos Forman, the film’s director, struggle to deal with Carrey as Kaufman, while the actor even strikes up a unique bond with the late Kaufman’s friends and family, many of whom seem the accept Carrey as the second coming of Kaufman.
Much of the footage was originally filmed to help promote the movie, before being canned amid concerns from studio bosses that, according to Carrey, the film would make him look like “an asshole”.
It’s difficult to disagree with that assessment.
While most of the cast and crew are left largely dumbfounded by the presence of Carrey as Kaufman, one guy comes in for some pretty harsh treatment at the hands of the Dumb and Dumber actor.
Treatment that will leave you questioning the validity of “method” acting.
WWE legend Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler enjoyed a unique relationship with the late Kaufman.
The pair engaged in a rivalry that spilled over into various talk shows and TV appearances as well as a couple of memorable wrestling matches.
It was all in the spirit of fun, of course, with Kaufman and Lawler good friends behind the scenes. Or at least that was what most people assumed.
Carrey saw things different though and, throughout filming on Man On The Moon, made a point of antagonising Lawler at every turn with taunts, disparaging comments and, as the film documents, even spitting at the wrestler on one occasion.
Though Lawler keeps his cool for most of it, he can’t help but rise to the bait on a few occasions, resulting in some rather unpleasant altercations with many of the crew forced to hold the wrestler back insisting that Carrey was “just doing a character”.
— Aaron Varble (@TheVarble) November 24, 2017
Now, in an appearance on “Dinner With The King” alongside co-host Glenn Moore, Lawler offered up another anecdote from filming that only confirms what we already knew: Jim Carrey was a bit of a dick when he made Man On The Moon.
“After we finished wrapping the movie and did that the last scenes in New York, that day he [Jim Carrey] invited me to dinner, and- and this was like this is going to be so cool because, you know, he was going to be out of character I was used to him being Andy Kaufman,” Lawler recalled.
“So I was going to get to go to dinner and after all this bad blood between he and I during the filming of the movie, we were going to go out to eat together and then then sit and talk about all of this stuff. So he told me this really nice restaurant and to meet him at there in New, York, City. Anyway I went and he stood me up and he talks about that. I didn’t realize at the time that he did it intentionally. But I didn’t know that until I saw this documentary. He was even more of a jerk than I thought.”
The King has definitely got a point.