Jim Carrey is one of the most popular comedians in the world. A master of physical comedy and widely regarded as a brilliant actor, he has excelled in both dramatic roles and comedy. He has won awards and been acclaimed by critics around the world – but to this day, Carrey is known as a man of the people, a humble artist who prefers to keep the limelight on others. Over the course of his long career, the star has turned down several high-profile film roles, including starring in a 2002 comedy that has gone down in history as one of the worst comedies ever set on celluloid.
Carrey was cast in classic comedies such as The Mask, Ace Ventura: Animal Detective, Dumb and Dumberand How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He received recognition for his willingness to take on tough physical challenges, including morphing into storybook characters like the Grinch. While trying his hand at dramatic roles, including films like man in the MoonCarrey remains best known to fans as a gifted comedian.
In 2002, Carrey was the first choice for a film called The master of disguise, a comedy produced by Adam Sandler. Executives were drawn to the actor for the role of Pistachio Disguisey, a man who is trained to be a “master of disguises” when his parents are kidnapped by a criminal. According to BuzzFeed, Carrey opted to turn down the role, and Saturday night live Alum Dana Carvey took on the lead role instead. This turned out to be a wise decision for Carrey The master of disguise crashed and burned with critics and fans.
The master of disguise was a major flop, with many critics criticizing the film’s concept and execution. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds 1% on the tomatometer, along with a 35% audience rating. “In his 40-year horror career, David Cronenberg never dreamed up an image as chilling or stomach-churning as Dana Carvey as the human turtle,” said one critic.
Another criticized the comedy in the film, writing, “The humor here is relentlessly youthful, and not even the kids in the audience seemed to like it much.” One critic wrote that Carvey was “embarrassing” to see in the film, along with the supporting cast – stars like Brent Spiner and Jennifer Esposito. Ultimately, many critics and fans consider The master of disguise not only one of Carvey’s worst films, but also one of the worst comedies of decades.
Carrey appeared in a number of films in the early 2000s, but as his star continued to rise he decided to become even more sophisticated in the roles he accepted. BuzzFeed notes that he didn’t simply dismiss the tip The master of disguisebut that he also retired from live action in 2002 Scooby Doo Movie. Matthew Lillard reportedly stepped in to take on the character Shaggy after Carrey opted not to take part in the film.
These days, Carrey is considering retiring from acting in general. In an interview with Access in April 2022, he said he was “tired” of acting. “Well, I’m retiring. Yes, probably. I’m pretty serious,” Carrey said, as reported by Page Six. “I feel like – and this is something you may never hear another celebrity say while there’s time – I’ve had enough. I’ve done enough I’m enough.” Still, he didn’t rule out a return to the big screen, noting that if the project was special enough, he would consider acting again.