In Dumb and Dumber To, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) are back and as dumb as ever. It’s been exactly 20 years and Lloyd has to get snapped out of the comatose state that he’s been in, so that the two best friends can go on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had, in order to help him with the kidney transplant that he desperately needs. The zany sequel also stars Kathleen Turner, Laurie Holden, Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin and Steve Tom.
During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels talked about catching up with Lloyd and Harry, 20 years later, that this sequel was really fan-driven, getting back into the mind-set of these characters, why these characters are special, working with Kathleen Turner, and where these characters might be in another 20 years. Jim Carrey also talked about which other movie he would have liked to have done a sequel for. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Question: Jim, the only other time you’ve revisited a character was for the Ace Ventura sequel, which happened immediately after the first film. Do you prefer doing it that quickly, or catching up with a character 20 years later?
JIM CARREY: I like to wait until the executives pass on, before I do a sequel. I prefer that. I like to bury them, and then do the sequel.
Jeff, since you’ve never done a sequel, how did you find the idea of revisiting a character you’d played in the past?
JEFF DANIELS: I haven’t done much of anything, at all, so it was very nice. To be honest, it was a little bit like The Newsroom. That was the closest sequel experience I’ve had. To come back a second season and a third season is sequel-like. When we got the call to do this, it was like doing more seasons of The Newsroom, so it wasn’t that jarring. I think the reason why this sequel happened was because, over the years, the fans came coming up to both of us.
CARREY: It was a fan-driven thing. They wouldn’t leave us alone.
DANIELS: The appeal of it wasn’t just 12-year-old boys. The demo kept getting wider and wider, so it demanded that it get done. And we all wanted to do it, so it got done.
CARREY: It’s cooler, when you wait. A sequel, when you wait 20 years, becomes a chic-quel. I think I just coined a huge phrase that’s going to change everything for everyone.
CARREY: I start thinking about dumb stuff, about a week or so before. Lloyd is a part of me now. I just wack the tooth out. With some parts, you have to really get totally into the politics of the character. There are a couple of things with Lloyd. You wack the tooth out, and you think really selfishly. You just go, “Mine! Mine! Mine!,” in your mind. Also, there’s the love between the characters. That’s important. You can get away with anything, as long as there’s real love between the characters, like The Honeymooners. They were yelling at each other through the whole show, but you knew that Ralph loved Alice. That’s the bottom line.
Was it easy to get back into these characters?
CARREY: The first one was a discovery. You’re meeting a new friend and you’re shy about it. Now, it’s like family.
DANIELS: With the first one, you’re just hoping it works. From day one, on this one, it was just right there. Every day was fun. The first two weeks was just the two of us. We didn’t bring Kathleen in yet. So, we were slamming, every day, all day. It was a great two weeks. It really was. And it came back, right away.
CARREY: It’s like old friends. I tried to tell them to turn it into a vampire movie, just to hedge our bets, but no go.
CARREY: Every character I do is something special to me. Every time you score with a great character relationship in a movie, it becomes your baby. It is a special thing. And the fans made it special because they were constantly reminding me. I don’t remember yesterday. I pretty much live in the moment.
DANIELS: They’re real people to us.
CARREY: Lloyd feels like a separate person from me.
DANIELS: I always imagine that Harry is alive and well. Someday, he’s gonna come and see the movie, and then he’s going to meet with me and tell me how I did. It’s a little game I play. You owe it to whomever you’re playing, to play them as authentically and believably as possible because you’re going to have a dinner with them later and you hope it goes well.
CARREY: Lloyd is going to ask me who I was doing. He’s going to say, “That guy was really funny. Who is it?”
Jim, did this sequel really happen because you called up the Farrelly brothers?
CARREY: I don’t remember the genesis of this whole thing. It’s been a lot of years of listening to fans, and stuff like that. I did call the Farrellys at some point and say, “First of all, we’ve gotta work together, period.” As you get older, you value these things. I wanted to be with the gang again. I wanted to hang out with [Jeff Daniels] and the Farrellys. It’s just really about that. I wanted to go have some fun and do something dumb. Also, the audience who saw it as kids has grown up. It’s a new audience to have fun with. They want to see it again.
CARREY: She was the first big star I worked with (on Peggy Sue Got Married), and she was great then, but such a trooper now. It was amazing that she did this. There’s no ego in comedy. Keenan Wayans used to say that to me. You’ve gotta throw it out the window. There’s no place for it. And she just jumped in and did the most thankless possible choice, and I love her for it. She’s amazing!
DANIELS: To walk up to Kathleen Turner and go, “Excuse me, sir,” you hope that day goes well. And right off the bat, she played along. It was just great.
What was the funniest scene you guys shot together?
CARREY: It’s really hard to choose what the funniest scene is ‘cause that’s not really up to us. I think that’s up to the audience. Things happened in the first movie that we didn’t think were going to be big deals. I get the Slurpee line, all the time. You just don’t know what people are going to grab onto.
DANIELS: I really like the Stinkaroo scene.
CARREY: That’s going to make it really hard for waitresses in bars.
DANIELS: Waitresses are going to hate us, for the next 20 years. I just thought that was hysterically funny. Also, all three of my kids were in it. The Farrelly brothers do that a lot. They bring in friends, and you’re constantly acting with some friend of Pete and Bobby’s from Rhode Island.
DANIELS: And you’ll have to do a long scene with him. So, my daughter was one of the extras, and my son played the bartender and had one line. My son is a musician and he’s got a song in there, just as we walk into the bar. Hats off to the Farrelly brothers. They do things like that, to make it feel like a real family experience for them, but also somebody like me. I really appreciated that scene.
Where do you see these characters in another 20 years? Will they still be exactly the same?
DANIELS: I think they’ll be exactly the same.
CARREY: Lloyd will have lost an eye in a bar brawl. They don’t have an arc. There’s no life arc for these two. They’re going to fall into the grave stupid.
Jim, are there any other movies from your past that you have to sequelize?
CARREY: I don’t know. I don’t concentrate on sequels, but I’m not as resistant as I used to be to them. There are certain characters that I would loved to have done sequels with. I would have loved to have done a Lemony Snicket sequel because it was an opportunity to do a lot of wacked out characters. I don’t have hard, fast rules, creatively. If it sounds fun, in the moment, I’ll go there.
Dumb and Dumber To opens in theaters on November 14th.